Travelisbroadening – travelis broadening – travel is broadening – tra vel is bro den in g. Broader with every strike of a key, better than being broadened by way of the desert tray. One broad thrill is the sight of so many (as in almost all) deliberately not being where they are when they’re there. Confused? I’ll explain. As a canoe guide I constantly encouraged (nagged) those I was guiding to leave home behind and not take it into the wilderness. No radios or other such, please. (These days probably impossible to do given the reliance on phones, though possibly the batteries might die or service be unavailable.) To myself I called it the no Peoria rule (no offense to Peoria) to encourage visitors to the wilderness to be on lake X rather than mentally back in Peoria. Three days of reminding them might do the trick. Or not. Some were never where they were when they were there, but likely on Lake Y when back in Peoria. Us peoples are strange beings, am not we?

I’d be sure there’s no curbing the hu-people (all honor to you J. Trudeau) from being elsewhere and nowhere or nowhere else, ever. See? And not just the connected, either. Other morning the Harry saw a prime case of human separation as a proclaim-ed by self queen took a table for six to spread out all the silver and napkins to define her territory. Approach not! That time of morning there were six of us in a space able to hold sixty, but once one aims at separation the separater the betterer. Table territoriality does include awareness of others being about in same universe, but it’s the same awareness of those who yell into phones for all to forcibly hear and of those who walk forward with phone held before them as a make-way shield. Those who glow over the promise of technology connecting us don’t, perhaps, know us very well, do they?

Well enough of that. What do you know of Aruba? If like me, not much. A century ago that formerly scantly populated island hosted the world’s largest refinery. Gee. Ten thousand worked there. This due to Royal Dutch Shell. (Regardless of origin, Arubans carry Netherlands passports.) In WWII Nazi U-boats hunted in the Caribbean for oil tankers. More recently, a globalist/climate triumph, Aruba’s refineries were shut. Aided by aspirations of its neighbors (mainly Venezuela) 9,000 unemployed were set adrift as others took the oil prize. But no fear, gutting Aruba was for the good of the people, though it depends on which people are meant. However, an impoverished Aruba has its uses, too. You can depend on it as so many unemployed means the cost of labor is tantalizingly low. Fortunately for us taconite cannot be cheaply (or at all) made of fossil corals or our unions and jobs would go the way of the refinery quicker than you could winkle.

Shipboard life (I’ve never been afloat so long) is reliably dull but has its odd sides. In general the Brits, unlike Americans, seem to need (or is it like) being flogged into group enjoyments. A hundred Brit geezers being yelled at to exercise in somewhat unison is a sight to see, and sadly difficult to forget. In that sense the ship is a care center at sea. Would be a fine place to be a Geritol salesperson. An even better place to sell alcohol. There does appear to be a lot of drinking among the passengers, but whether it’s ship motion, age or inebriation that causes an unsteady gait in the passageway toddle is impossible to say without a breathalizer. Mine unfortunately forgotten at home.

Actions and attire of passengers is of interest because like or no people (and not just cat litter) clump. Brits playing cards with Brits, Germans ping-ponging with other Deutsche, Yanks pretty much looked down on by all groups due to our charming (sometimes) annoyability. But see you a pattern, or color bars? Hmmmm. The crew (with the exception of a few lighter hued Spanish descent South Americans) show good tans, um, more so among Africans, but you get the picture. I see in this a DEI nightmare of “What to do,” as in “What the hell to do?” Should more crew be lesser tanned and more passengers in the darker tones? Would you advertise trips based on color? Or could racial discrimination be got around by language classification? Advertising in an Asian language would probably limit the number of light- skinned respondents. Problem solved or problem caused? No go if not enough passengers. No jobs if ship no go. At Lancut castle two people were employed winding, adjusting, and setting all the many, many clocks. Wasteful extravagance of the rich or employment income for two families?

One thing being among the broadening public accomplishes for me is a much increased awareness of how people are certain of knowing things they do not know. This is common among us peeps, but at a dinner table it can stand sometimes out like beet juice on a table cloth. Knowing what we don’t know while being certain of it is as fine a trick and any Houdini could manage. I was struck by a knowledge bomb when a tablemate offered Jan 06 as one of America’s darkest days. Not if you wanted political ammunition it wasn’t, was it? Especially not if an aim was to topple an illegitimate leader once and forever after, aye women and men. Reinforcements (National Guard) were sought well in advance but could/would not be approved until House Sergeant at Arms plus Senate version of same and Capitol Architect agreed. As they would/did not, the mess continued in fine fashion to serve (excuse my suggestion) political optics. Better material could not have been had, and better yet the House Speaker stepped in to demand the resignation of the Capitol Police Chief for failing to protect the Hill. And so he was sent packing in speedy time so as not to be around for the Inaugural event. Things can move swiftly when some wish it so.