• Nearly every year since 2008, the amount of money that American consumers spend on holiday gifts has been increasing over the previous year.
• For 2019, industry experts expect the average American to spend $920 per person on holiday gifts, up from $885 in 2018 and reaching a total of more than $1 trillion in holiday spending.
If only for myself, I need to put this in little bit of a perspective. The USA Federal Budget deficit over 2019 is less than US $ 1 trillion ($1,000,000,000,000.00!) according to this article in the New York Times. It equals no less than 110% of The Netherlands‘ GDP!
On gifts alone… This frenzy has got to stop! This is not meant to be America-bashing in any shape, way or form. Most developed countries have a situation that is quite similar.
So my six words musing, not only for this Saturday but the whole holiday season, is:
Not too long ago I stumbled on this section within Redd It dedicated to six word stories. Do go there whenever you need inspiration for your 6 word story! If anything it is sure to put a grin on your face. For more fun I can also recommend the top 500 from last year. If this won’t make you laugh out loud I don’t know what will…
Now, if you like this I have got a small request. I’m trying to make it on Redd It’s top 500 list of this year. So far I’ve mustered around the 100 votes with this 6 word story. Can I please ask for your vote…? All you have to do is click on the up-arrow beside the line ‘May burning bridges light the way’ in this link. And I’ll be forever in your debt!
Here’s the full story behind that rather cryptic line. I was visiting Cuba. One morning I had nothing planned so I decided to go for a walk. Around noon or so I bumped into this Cuban family and we started the routine chit-chat about where I was from and what a lovely country they had. Before I knew it this gentleman offered me some crab, and then invited me to join him and his family for a picnic sort of lunch. Hungry as I was I accepted and had one of the most interesting and lovely hours spent in the company of what set out to be perfect strangers.
What amazed me was how proud of their country they were. Not a bad thing about Cuba. Sure they were critical of some things, but by-and-large they were a bunch of happy campers. I’ll never forget his parting lines: ‘Hope you enjoyed our simple meal as it is one of the few things we can offer you. Along with our company of course.’
This experience drove home (once again) that I’d better leave any form of preconceived notions at the airport. We all say we do, yet more often than not some slip through the cracks…
The line in German ‘MEIN GOTT. HILF MIR. DIESE TÖDLICHE LIEBE ZU ÜBERLEBEN’ sums it up the sentiment regarding the deadly regime at the time quite nicely. It translates into something like ‘MY GOD. HELP ME. TO SURVIVE THIS DEADLY DISEASE‘.
It’s been thirty years since that hated wall came down. Little did anyone know what the real consequences would be.
‘You’ve got…what?!’ symbolizes another viral disease called freedom that proved deadly indeed to some. But for many, many more it was the unstoppable virus that led to unification of a nation.
Lest we never forget what this wall symbolized here’s one more piece of art that shows how things were.
This post gives you some more images of signs in current day Berlin.
Came across this blues-y busker on a trip to Valencia, Spain. I was so caught by him, his appearance, his repertoire and his introvert way of performing (the only way blues can properly sang, in my mind), that I stayed. For more than an hour or so. Afterwards I gave him a €20 note.
To my surprise he objected and wanted to give me at least half back in the small change he had. But I told him nowhere in Valencia, or in the world for that matter I could listen to blues like that, sitting on the front row for that little money. Bought his CD, which was called ‘Blues Lines‘.