We're on a plane headed to San Diego. Instead of leaving two vehicles at the airport for a week, or going through the hassles of having friends drop us off on a Sunday morning, and then pick us up on the return trip, we tried a van service.
The driver was a refugee from Iraq.
He had a copy of the Koran on the dashboard, plus a Haddith (sp?) by the seat.
Wonderful man. He turned off the radio and put in a CD of Christmas Carols for our benefit. He got a kick out of my daughter announcing that she looked forward to beating me at tennis in a foreign country.
We got to the airport, which was a freakin' zoo. Everyone travelling for Christmas and New Years. All that PLUS a higher security level.
Lots of soldiers and sailors in unform.
I spent a lot of time thinking about how many people's lives have been lost, how many lives have been disrupted, and how the economy has been slowed down with security and inspections because a tiny percentage of one of the world's major religions decided that they hated everyone who disagreed with them.
(Had to stop a moment while the plane took off....Read this week's Weekly Standard if you get a chance. There's a wonderful article in there by a P.O.'d ex-Mormon. He's got some good things to say about the ridiculous mess going on between Southern Baptist Huckabee and Mormon Romney in Iowa. Will give the guy a link on this post if I ever get a chance to find it online....)
I'm now in the "Library" of the cruise ship. It's the Princess Dawn, excuse me, The Dawn Princess sailing from San Diego. We're docked across from the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan and the wooden ship that Russell Crowe captained in the "Master And Commander" movie.
Here's another thing: If I were taking this trip prior to 9/11, security wouldn't have been so tight. I KNOW I could've gotten my own liquor onto this boat.
There are people from all over the world on this cruise. I briefly sat at the bar with a man from Jordan and talked with him for a while. Great person, except for the fact that he made his wife (in a traditional head covering) wait for him outside the bar.
If there's a point to this post, it's this: Life is a great thing. People are generally good. If you try to be a nice friendly person, they'll like you. They'll be more likable if you try. We don't need to be issuing Fatwah's against each other, we don't need to assure our team that God Won't Hear The Prayers of People On Their Team. We don't need to invent any more Hells for each other, here or in the next life. (With the exception of the person who wrote the Big Band arrangement of "Let It Snow" that's booming all over this damn boat. He's going to hell.)
Everybody have a great Christmas. Happy New Year. Hannukah. And Kwanzaa.