[Travel snippets – TS – a series of reflections on past travels and adventures]
In 1990, I visited Bulgaria. The “wall” had fallen in Germany, Communism was on the run, but some countries, like Bulgaria, were behind the curve. They were still stricken by the modest living conditions that contributed to the downfall of communism.
It was the first time in my life I had eaten donkey, and it was cold donkey. We went to a restaurant, and they served us, literally, warm water with bread crumbs in it, and through circumstances I do not recall, I made friends with a young man.
The young man I befriended exchanged mail with me when I returned to America, actual written letters. I don’t remember what he said in that first letter, or if I still have it anywhere, but I do remember that I sent him back a jar of coffee. He wrote me back that he was able to use the coffee to pay his rent for a month.
In developed countries we take so much for granted, there is much we should have gratitude for, that others do not have. Not to say that material things are the secret of a happy life, I have been told there are African countries where happy people live on $70 a month. What I would simply say is, there are many things we do not have to worry about, and that frees us to consider what else we might do with our lives.
Be grateful and give thought to what you might do with all you have.