how we see the world today

#Daily Thoughts 19 January 2021

19th January. We look out the window. The window to the world. The window to the USA. I was born there – grew up there and left in 1981 for Australia. We were there again 2002 – 2010 to teach before going to China for three years – to teach. We go back there most years. We, being my wife and me. I became a dual citizen in 1995 keeping one foot in Australia the other in my home place. That has been good. I have been comfortable being anywhere in the world. A world citizen really – so I think. Perhaps a cosmic citizen too, I like to space out across the universe – it seems safe.

Up to 2019 I just went along with whatever – especially the ageing process. Now 73 I am happy. Things have changed but I feel encased in a protective shell – sort of an Australian social DNA – life is good here. Covid-19. It is 2021 – can we have a marker for Covid-21? News today is that Australia is one of five countries in the world that is above water economically (forgot the exact wording – but the implication was there). Of course, Australia was the only OECD country that did not enter into recession during the financial crisis of 2007-2008, holding one of the highest growth rates of the developed world.

We are locked-down and alive. Well no longer locked down here in South Australia – still alive though. None wears masks. I have not seen that behaviour since our arrival from the Netherlands in March 2020. We were in the Sydney area for the month of November 2020 and we did wear masks there on the public transportation and in shops – and that is it in almost a year. We go to our aqua Zumba and aqua fitness class three times a week – I go to the gym most days, we go shopping as we did before covid. Of course, we scrub scrub scrub when we get home and we do not hang out in crowds; except, in the aqua classes I am one of two males in a pool of 35 – 40 females. A fantasy I had fifty years ago coming true now.

Then there is the election thing in the States. Holy shit! We watch in horror. I voted for Joe this time, the email lady in 2016 and Obama by post from my ivory tower here in Adelaide. Before then I voted for Obama in person in Jersey City, where I am registered to vote as a USA citizen – that being my last address there. My son, Sacha, in Melbourne, voted via Hawaii as that is where he was last – we left when he was six-months old but being a US citizen, he gets to cast his vote across the sea.

I have always liked Joe – not in a male crush type of way – just in ‘what a normal dude’ type of way. I can barely comment on what is happening over there. Narda’s son, grandson, daughter-in-law live in DC. I watch the Capitol Cam on my computer – right now it is 5 degrees Centigrade (41 Fahrenheit) compared to a nice mid 20 C here in Adelaide with it going up to 41 C in a few days – well over the 100F mark. We watch NBC or CNN news live via You Tube or whatever the streaming thing on our TV is. I follow Twitter. I stay up to date – it is too much – I go to the gym to escape the news – I am trading an increasingly muscular body for American-Crazy. It works for me – I can look in the mirror and feel good – because my man will be president in

. It has been a difficult time since November 3, 2020. We are a dozen hours from USA time. We watched the results come in - evening there - daytime here. I was so stressed – surely tr… was not going to win but he was so far ahead. Four years earlier the same thing happened. I was physically ill for days before the election – I did not know why – then tr… won – I was ill some more. Over the years I ignored it – we travelled every year – six months a year out of the country. We were in the States, Pakistan, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka – all over Europe… so many places, then Covid knocked us off the travel bubble(s). Last year we had paid for the Queen Mary II from Hamburg to NYC, Amtrak from DC to Chicago where we had a house exchange lined up, and a wander through Great Britain and a visit to the Dubai 2020 expo. Luckily, we got our money back from everything except a ferry from England to Germany. 2021 we are doing long trips with our caravan in Australia. That is good but we are already lining up our visits for 2022. My highlight will be taking the Queen Mary to NYC on my 75th birthday in August 2022. Narda’s highlights finding traction on our calendar will be seeing her son who teaches in Lahore, Pakistan and her son and family in DC.

We are having a presidential watch party Thursday – Wednesday in the USA. I have a large American flag that we are putting over our caravan with a sign beneath saying ‘Thankyou Joe’ ‘Welcome Joe’. We are happy.

Covid-19 #Our current status

Tuesday 19 January 2021 8.47 AM Adelaide

Our current covid-19 status (Narda and me) @ 

- we arrived in Adelaide after 10 weeks in the Netherlands [March 2020 - now last year] on flights back via Amsterdam and Singapore. We have been given amazing help with a home in Swan Reach along the Murray River where we did our quarantine of two weeks in Adelaide until the 8th of April 2020.

As of 19 January 2021, we feel good, but we can not visit you yet. Cheers.

We are currently at #home - Perseverance Road in Vista, South Australia. We had Christmas with the grandchildren. So lucky to be in South Australia where all is good. New Years has come and gone - we spent a couple of days in Victor Harbor. I lived in Victor from 1987 - 1995 with my two sons. I love going there and remembering. Now we are home until February when we have booked ourselves into an AirBnB in Darwin for the month. Hopefully no flights are cancelled - no covid-19 around the place. Australians will be getting their 'jabs' in March - April 2021. Our plan is to take the caravan across to Queensland for three - 5 months later in the summer and start international trips in 2022 - see you then.

We just took a five-week drive to the New South Wales coast, camping in our caravan - see our blog uploaded just the other day @ https://neuage.me/.

Last year (2020) I unpacked a box of ties that I used to collect from thrift shops around the world while teaching in: New York, China, Australia between 2002 and 2018. With being stuck at home I decided to wear a different tie everyday. 183 of them. 183 days non-stop. Travels with my ties became ties in isolation.

We do have a short covid story / A cautionary tale from when my son Sacha came to Adelaide from Melbourne recently.

cheers!