1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Rick Hughes - June 16, 2011

Our adventure evaluation began on a 12 hour flight across the Atlantic and European continent with me, my wife, my son and his girl friend. We initially wound in a back alley off the main street of Rome in a local hotel. Roma, proved to be a very lively city until midnight, then everything shuts down until next morning at 9 o'clock when very thing regenerates. The city streets are narrow with heavy thick car traffic and lots of heavy congested pedestrian traffic. One night i got up at about 3 in the morning, and the cops were flying up and down the streets with their sirens at full throttle and their lights flashing, pursuing street criminals all around the city. While we were in Rome we stopped in a bar and we set with two couples from Wales. They were on their way to Israel and they told us England had an awful financial mess. which according to them had been building since World War 11. They said the destruction of sound money had made the English economy unstable and it was slowly sliding south. I want to emphasis ,this was their view, I just asked how is the economy in England, I encouraged no point of view. Anyway we were very very glad to meet them and I liked them very much. After two days in Rome or Roma we got on a plane and flew to Cairo, Egypt and Africa. CAIRO has 22 Million people, it is a spread out city. There are no TRAFFIC LINES MARKINGS AND NO STOP SIGNS, and huge numbers of people driving at whatever speed they deep acceptable. I can tell you it is bizarre to watch  all these people going at various speeds ,and I saw exactly zero wrecks. The EGYPTIANS are the greatest drivers of all time or the luckiest. Also, at different herds and flocks of livestock go right down the center of the crowded city streets. It would appear they are just lucky but still we saw no accidents. Gee, in Ohio you put 2 people on the road any road and they can ,if not have an accident, a narrow miss. In Cairo people just seem to sail along without incidents? It appeared when we were there they were moving toward more freedom. There were large numbers of small businesses in Egypt. About one half of the housing  is sub standard, but it looks on the surface most of the people are working, many for themselves. would say that 10 years from now Egypt will be a better nation with a caveat or two interjected. Egypt, may be moving toward freedom and capitalism, but it also shows some tendency toward anti western thought and just a small percent may be anti west. They want economical development, to do that ,they need me the western tourist .While there we were able to go and view the pyramids and as we moved we always needed armed guards who carried pistols .At night when you went out on the streets some people would be openly armed. Anyway most of the Egyptians liked us and were very nice. One man ask me about a recent dramatic event, what I thought, and I told him to let us reverse positions and the way he felt would be the way I felt, the guide snickered and said i see what you mean. We got along pretty good and hopefully I tipper well TO MAKE A GOOD FEELING AMONG THEM. We were in Egypt 12 days and then we flew back to Venice, Italy . This is a city on the sea ,water flows up the canals, and gondolas move up and down the waterways. It is a beautiful romantic city. The people are friendly and they adore or at least pretend to adore the tourist. After a short time we got on a cruise ship and began a trip to Croatia. What a place, lots of mountains, lots of mountain music, colorful country outfits, real Balkan country people who are always different from city people and always more toward my type, these are big joyful tough mountain people, not necessarily more friendly but somehow ,to me ,more genuine. Anyway they live a simple life in very beautiful picturesque country. After a day in Croatia we moved toward Greece. We stopped next at the birth place of western civilization, Athens Greece. Athens ,has horrible traffic congestion ,it moves with great strain and many parts of the city are filthy There is a sense or feeling ,at least with me ,that the standard of living is slipping. Next we went to Europe TURKEY ,which you instinctively feel is rising in living standard. We traveled to the bizarre ,which is comparable to our malls .It is a consumption center, there was lots and lots of beautiful possessions which can be purchased, all you need is money. Europe Turkey is a prosperous growing nation and economy which appears to be optimistic for the future. Asia Turkey is very ambitious ,they try to provide goods and viable services in exchange for your Euro. Turkey ASIA, IS MUCH more picturesque than European Turkey. A personal note an Asian Turk gave me a phenomenal haircut, and for just a moment he was so good ,I thought I was back in Sam Bennett barber chair, So here is the way I see it, the EURO is at this time still has more spending than our dollar. Egypt, where I  saw the revolt and all the destruction, is one nation with potential for greatness or destruction, it could go either way, lets hope its pro American, pro Western, Rome, is a great fun city ,it has no extra strong convictions but leans toward us. The Croatians are focused locally, they are parochial ,their interest are within 50 miles. The Greeks .and this is a personal observation, are on the financial decline ,you can see and sense it. The Turks, if I did not know history better, I would think they were our best friends ,some items make me know they are not, they did not let us go through to get TO Iraq. They have some street publications which are anti west .Still, they have a strong growing consumer oriented free market economy. I would like to add when we got back to America we thanked God we were born here and are citizens in the greatest nation ever created, offering opportunity no matter rich ,poor ,or in between, there at this time is no other nation like this, lets hope we can make it even better.

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