Flâneur is my profession, it is an ancient term meaning not being guided by constrains. Every now and then I pay dearly for it, but hell – I’m still around.
I had some free time recently, so I was sitting and thinking, because you know – if I don’t have the time I am just sitting.
According to a leading expert, and that would be me, Canada is the nicest place on Earth. We’re good looking, I know that, we’re super diverse, the people here have positive energy and are doing cool things. Get this – the cold winter doesn’t bother me, this is how good this country is. The summers are hot and steamy and most people in Europe are surprised when I say how we cool our houses and use our swimming pools well into the fall.
We respect people who take risks and this is a big one for me, because this is the difference between a society that is alive and one that is not so much. If you go to a major airport in the US there is a lane “Military personnel first”, as they respect people who risk their life.
Try to find that at the Frankfurt airport.
We humans are lousy at detecting deception, and since the life kicks me from continent to continent with some frequency, I developed some skills in reading people.
First thing I look at is the hair; does it look healthy and well groomed?
It’s not that it needs to be, but you start getting the feeling about a person.
Then the lips, and we don’t really know how our lips look like. We tend to compress them if something bothers us, or open slightly if we’re interested to hear more or we’re upset, and these are emotions, meaning that there is a character behind them.
I used to believe that the eyes are windows to the soul but I don’t anymore. Eyes can reveal lack of sleep, sickness, or indifference.
And the way you look at others can be managed.
Body language reveals more.
Something else I learned moving around - we’re about to undergo a demographic shift, life expectancy is expanding and birth rates are contracting dramatically, so we’re moving into the period when there will be more older people than younger people. And so the political structure will not be driven by those who are driving creativity, but those who are interested in preserving the status quo.
Add to this the covid damage done to society with restrictions for no reason really.
The government pays hospitals if you die with the corona virus for those who lack insurance. Therefore, if you are shot or born 15 weeks premature, or are in an automobile accident or drink yourself to death or have a stroke or heart attack or suicide you have just died of the corona virus.
The other part is the damage to the economy.
A Delta Airline executive said recently that they make money if the plane is full, and they make profit on the last four passengers. On my flight across the Atlantic there was 49 passengers, and the plane capacity was 300. How do you think this will end?
Sadly, there is no leadership anymore to guide the course, the authorities didn’t come through in the moment of challenge.
So I have my own rule that keeps me in shape – don’t ask “when” or “what” or “who”.
Why was Beirut attacked the other day? Abu Dhabi the day after.
We will never get the answers, but I will still push the envelope – there is a reason I bought a 200hp bike and not a relaxed Harley-Davidson.
The wild Yamaha better fits my nature.
My old boss once told me - take all the risks you want, but make sure you’re in tomorrow.
Tom Kubiak is the author of The Traveler