West of the Atlantic

I wasn't expecting it. Thinking it would be business as usual, whatever that could be. And within minutes, oblivious to the stressful day, the cold and tiredness, I was completely swept away. The extraordinary - perhaps made (more?) so because it was not planned?

Whether this shall evolve or not - and it really does not matter - it set something, even if as of yet only abstractly defined, in motion. Perhaps just a coincidence, but perhaps the (expectation of) exciting times ahead actually reverses cause and effect here?

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty... ah, my friend, certainty is absurd.
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Travelling - or perhaps, the idleness associated with boredom during flights and airport stays (certainly not a new idea here) - and the associated movement across large distances allows the mind to wander and through such, put some things in perspective. Businessmen jet-setting for meetings, families resettling, youngsters off for vacations: for one so used to a self-contained routine with minimal external interactions, an almost welcome opportunity to be confronted with a whole breadth of different people (humans! humans everywhere! what do they all do?) .

Besides the WSJ, grabbed a copy of the international edition of the NYT as I boarded my flight. On the front page, an interesting piece on Canada's welcome to Syrian refugees. Fitting, not only because of where the story took place. Flying to Brazil for a short vacation break, it almost as if invited me to ponder the subject through my own lens.

There are distinct terms given to migrants, depending on where they come from or what drove them away - each associated with different perceptions, some more pejorative than others: refugees, fugitives, expats. The country I (voluntarily) left behind is certainly not war-torn to the same extent experienced in the Middle East. Nevertheless, civil violence is an ever present threat (indeed, with such banal commonality that it is almost no longer makes the headlines). And the constant disregard for rules and institutions - appreciated by many, but maybe a tad too much for this Prussian descendant...

I was fortunate enough - by grace of rules almost arbitrarily defined - to be able to relocate without so much as having to apply for a visa. To the bureaucratical eyes of my host country, perhaps strictly speaking I am not even a migrant (the exact status being still an open question). Still the article rang some bells. My attempts to bring my family closer together, the repeated efforts to find ways for good friends to also move. And the feeling of guilt for having found a better life? No, definitively that does not apply.
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Thirty eight.

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