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Friday, December 14, 2007

Home Again: Grateful for the Simple Things - Like Electricity

Recently while completing my travels to a major foreign nation, I was in a portion of a great and seemingly wealthy city where many people were deprived of one of the most basic resources that I tend to take for granted at home: access to electrical power. In an area where there was about one electrical outlet for every 10,000 people, it was almost surreal to stand in a huge and luxurious public building and to watch hundreds of desperate, weary people mill about in hopes of getting a few minutes of access to one of the almost maliciously rare power outlets in that building in order to recharge a battery or two. The powerful officials and wealthy business magnates profiting from the masses there apparently had little regard for the basic needs of the common man. Though it was depressing to experience that, it reminded me to be grateful for the simple things I enjoy at home. And so, in a way, I'm glad to have had that chilling experience in Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on my way home from Russia. And eventually I did manage to get a few minutes of power for my laptop.

Of course, being grateful for simple things doesn't cover the whole spectrum of gratitude that we should have. The rest of my trip helped in that regard, for my few days in the beautiful city of Moscow helped me to be grateful for some of the finer things in life, like Ukrainian borscht, smoked salmon, amazing architecture, and most important of all, kind, wonderful people and good friends.

3 comments:

wutsua said...
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Peter said...

Glad to have you back Jeff.
Hope everything is well in your neck of the woods.

Peter

Sarah said...

I have to say, I was seriously confused when I saw the title and first paragraph or two of this post... I mean, yeah, there are areas of Russia where things seem a bit primitive, but the "wealthy city" bit totally messed me up.

The worst part of visiting far away places usually has something to do with airlines. Glad you got there and back again safely!