Morning Thoughts

Usually, I do not post here on consecutive days. I believe my readers deserve a break from my nonsense. When I am not haranguing some of you with gruesome stories from history, I am attempting to philosophize the remaining day lights you have left. It is all meant in good grace.

I am writing this sitting on the train which takes me daily to my place of servitude. Distance is essentially irrelevant. I could tell you it is 200+ kilometres from home to there. In Switzerland, this is considered practically immigration. In Mumbai, it is a short hop on the urban line. If you have never been to Mumbai, you might think I am exaggerating. If you have lived in Mumbai, you will know I am not.

However, rail travel is not the point of this post.

I have my fellow passengers for amusement. The usual commuter lot. The open laptops, the cups of take-away coffee, the croissant balanced on the armrest. Those commuters. Some of them are repeat offenders, I have seen them daily for years. I will remind you, this is Switzerland. We do not speak. At the very most, a knowing nod after a year is considered an ice-breaker, the first attempt at being, not friends, but no longer strangers. Is there even a word for that? Acquaintance is too close, too familiar. This is something like a limbo between no longer a stranger but not ready to speak yet. The, “if you fall over, I will help you up” stage. We will probably never speak, but this is Switzerland after all, so a nod is already a familiarity.

Mr Suit is still banging on his keyboard as if he is teaching it a lesson, Ms Executive looks like she is regretting wearing a low-cut white blouse which in this light is positively see-through (or maybe that was the plan, who really knows what women think. I know I don’t). There is Young New-Job – with much sweat dripping and palm rubbing, who leaps out of his seat in Zürich and dashes down the steps as if he has been sitting on a particularly petulant bee; though I must say my favourite is “I look like I work for Google.” The wannabe 30 who is pushing a mean 45, with his chequered Vans, “Eat, Skate, Repeat” T-shirt, jeans shorts suitably frazzled and the Marshall headset. He carries a very expensive leather laptop bag and his phone costs the same as the moon landing but hey, he is hip, cool and can get down with others in his age group. Have a little decorum at least. Scuff up your Vans, rip your shorts yourself, and do something to stop looking like a poster boy for “I will cling to youth until my hair falls out and then I will shave my head and go Hipster on you..” I am not saying grow up, I am saying stop trying so damn hard.

Yet that is what we all do, isn’t it? We try too hard.
We want to please our boss, our spouse, our children, our parents and even our friends. Accept me, we plead, I am really trying to be everything you want me to be. I am the model employee, the ideal partner, the greatest parent, the finest child and the best of friends. I will stand here and spin on my heels, twiddle saucers and tumble backwards if it meets with your approval. That no one else seems to be trying as hard, well that must be because they are either better than you or they aren’t trying hard enough. When we no longer please, we are sure we will be discarded. Hollywood tells us younger women will always win over older models, so we must preserve our youth long past the time when should care and run the risk of being called unflattering names like “cougar” or help us all, Madonna. Men don’t need a physique when they are old but hey, they had better have the cash or else Hollywood will cast them either as loser crooks or drunks so keep that beer belly tucked in and at least pretend you are rich, but never ever admit you are old. Music wants us to twerk our bottoms and do these rather fiddly strutting things that look like everyone is suffering from St.Vitus Dance or piles. Youth calls us boomers (though funnily enough, as a 72 model myself this makes my parents the boomers, not me) – I have an update for millennials, just wait, your kids will have titles for you too – Sage Moonblood, Primrose Bean and Moxx really will have a thing or two to say to you.

Richard Branson, that unbelievable fountain of wisdom, said “treat your employees well and in turn, they will take care of your clients,” says the man who really has nothing to lose if his customers are thrilled or spitting bricks. What wonderful advice – every employee should take this to heart and see how long they have their job when there aren’t any customers left. Rude staff isn’t usually a plus point. But this is 2022 and Jeeves is no longer welcome.

I sit on the train, with these muddled thoughts in my head, wondering which way is up anymore. I have tried to live honestly and learn from my mistakes. I have failed and I have succeeded, although I have not always met life on my own terms, at least I can say I have not hit or bitten anyone in the process of striving for something a little simpler. Yes, I strive for simplicity, I am tired of complicated. I can look out the window and watch these towns flit by while in my head, I am far away, not sure where, but someplace where I don’t have to sit on a train every day.

Photo by Marc-Antoine on Pexels.com

4 thoughts on “Morning Thoughts

  1. Da yoof has been calling me a boomer since I was 27. Ish. But, I’ve at least reclaimed the (to my mind) obnoxious term “dad bod” by continuing to get stronger after wee lad was born, and actively avoid backsliding into poor habits.

    Which alone has put me at variance with some who assume that because I train for strength, I must therefore be a snob. I honestly don’t give a damn what most people look like. The exception to the rule is the hypercritically shallow yet damningly undisciplined, those I expect to put up or shut up. Not that my snide opinion of that sort means anything. Anyway. I’m glad I don’t have to ride a train.

    You know it’s funny, my aunt is Swiss German. She’s among the most gregarious and loud women I know. Although I suspect this is her survival mechanism for living in America.

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    1. When the Swiss are not at home, they are quite different. I have met them in the strangest locations and they have all been louder than here. They also pop up in odd places. A theology student from Basel studying Hindi in Lucknow, a party of surfers in Trincomallee during the war, a chimney sweep learning about indigenous medicines in Indonesia. They are a queer bunch.
      I agree with not backsliding into bad habits. It takes effort and it is not easy yet it is worth it. I certainly don’t do it because I think I will live a day longer than I am meant to (depending on your philosophy, I believe the gods figured that out a long time ago for you) but while I am here, then I shall do my best to be healthy, my body deserves at least that much.
      Your “snide opinions” are some of the most sensible I have ever read, please continue!

      I think the selfishness of the times irks me the most, this clambering, me, me,me and by the way, what about me attitude. There is something highly abhorrent about people who think the grass grows for them only. I recently had to deal with an intern who thought he could be rude to people older and infinitely better qualified than him because meh, we are all equal and all that. He said “well positions don’t mean anything, we all bleed red…” I wished him luck on all his future ventures which will probably few and far in between.

      Anyway, I have rambled enough!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s all understandable. The generational happening, while understandable as to why we have it, is also I think one of the top three destructive symptoms of globalism. Our views on Wyrd and Ørlög might line up, I believe in conditional predestination myself. We have parameters between which free will operate.

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      2. When I missioned in Guatemala, I met a German speaking apothecary. I was able to parlay with him in my bad, pygmy German which seemed to make his day. But as you say, odd places. We have a smattering of Germans in Maine, so far flung that even a touch of the Deutsch is a huge relationship starter. Then I suppose I take English for granted as the unfortunate choice for lingua franca of the NWO.

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