I’m working on my cliches, if I can be said to be working at anything. We have too many sources of news, if that is possible. In the morning we get the NYTimes on our Kindles while listening to NPR and read and listen over breakfast. When the NPR morning news recycles we sometimes turn on TV for CNN, MSNBC, or a Food Channel show to settle our stomachs. We read each other headlines and clips from the NYTimes and we remember what some of the places we are reading about looked like just a few months ago.
There is turmoil in so many parts of the world that it seems it is hard to plan a trip that doesn’t involve some area where there is strife. Over the years we have chosen to plan our trips with little regard for potential problems unless of course there are State Department warnings, in which case we think about it and then as often as not venture on. We have been to Israel many times when others consider it unwise. We have traveled in Latin America when others consider it inadvisable, especially into some areas of Mexico. We have avoided parts of Mexico that Mexicans avoid and feel very sad that it really seems foolhardy for an American Jew to visit Egypt. We may never get there. We, or maybe just I, have mixed feelings about India. I want to go and I know that much of what we see in the press is limited in its impact on most tourists. But the very nature of the apparently generalized abuse of women makes me hesitant about traveling there with Carol.
I would love to be able to say I know what should happen in Ukraine and in Thailand, but sitting here as a recent traveler who has read endlessly I can only say I cannot even imagine how things can work out. Ukraine is a democracy that has turned out a corrupt leader by unconstitutional means and needs to find a way to reconstitute itself within its constitution. It is caught in a vise between Russia and a substantial portion of its population that is ethnic Russian and a much larger portion of its population that yearns to be a part of the European community. Ignoring, if that is possible, the financial disaster it faces with no foreign exchange or even internal funds, if Russia decides to really squeeze them it can shut off the flow of gas and that will be the end of heat and power. Of course that will also be the end of Russia’s largest export and Putin’s income from Gazprom.
Thailand is a total mystery. A constitutional monarchy with an incapacitated king (I can say that safely sitting the US) where the people of commerce want to throw out the constitutionally elected government and the constitution because they cannot win an election – hmm sounds like Texas Democrats – so they can change the rules (maybe that was Texas Republicans). The current government is no prize and certainly is corrupt, but so what else is new. In the meantime in Burma the peace loving Buddhists are slaughtering Muslims who have been exiled in Burma for more than a hundred years and have been declared non citizens. Oh a side note, last night we watched Bridge Over the River Kwai (1957) since we had just been on the real bridge. Boy do they get it wrong even if it is a great film. Just one example, the tease talks about “deep in the Burmese jungle” nice line but the rail line was being built to get from Bangkok to Burma and the section of the line in the movie is in Thailand (even though they filmed it in Ceylon).
But enough about the world. We left Falcon Lake Monday morning planning to drive three days to Las Cruces. It is Wednesday Afternoon and I writing from the Siesta RV Park in Las Cruces. Monday night we stopped at the WalMart in Del Rio Texas, I will leave it to you to look at a map of the Rio Grande Valley and find Del Rio. Topped up with fuel and our purchases at the WalMart we continued on toward Marfa. Over the years we have not found a suitable place to stay in Marfa. Being a bit more proactive this year (looking for a place before we got there) I found Tumble In.
This park offers a little piece of desert with all the amenities a traveler might want, electric, water, sewer, nice bathrooms and showers excellent wifi and laundry and much more. No pool or playground but a short walk into town and great views. It is honor system self check in. knowing this I chose to reserve and pay online to avoid the need to leave a credit card number or cahs in a box. Here is Carol at the “office”
We finished a great AudioBook on the drive, The Invention of Wings, by Susan Monk Kidd. We both highly recommend it. We started a new audiobook by John Grisham, The Sycamore Row, so far we are deeply in its grip. We may not listen again until Monday when we get back on the road.
Miscellaneous aggravations. The dash fan has been acting up and we fear it is more than the breaker which has dropped out on us twice. Rally don’t want to get into what it might be but I have been assured by Tiffin that they will take care of whatever it is under their extended warranty program, “Bob said to fix it” The tankless water heater gave us fits, failing to provide hot water when the wind was blowing just so. A long conversation with tech support – Gary – with me at the heater found two issues. The heater was installed into an opening that was not square with the heater’s case. The deformation of the case caused a small fan to stop working. The fan is intended to help prevent wind from blowing out the flame (?). I fixed that with a little bending and pushing. The cover that Tiffin supplied is supposed to have a plate riveted over some of the openings by the exhaust to balance the airflow (?) to prevent the wind from blowing out the flame. The plate is in the mail for me to install. There are other small things that with a little twiddling will make life a bit easier.
The keys have not shown up.