Stories That Put Vacations Into Perspective


‘A million hit by island’s worst crisis since tsunami’ says today’s Independent newspaper. ‘Sri Lanka is battling to confront widescale monsoon flooding that has affected more than one million people and which the government says is second only to the 2004 tsunami in terms of the devastation it has caused. Around 30,000 troops are struggling to get aid and emergency supplies to the worst-hit areas, where up to 325,000 people have been forced from their homes. So far, the death toll stands at 23.’

It makes me fel ashamed for bitching about my messed-up vacation. There are mudslides in Rio and parts of Brisbane are underwater. But nobody could agree on anything at the Global Warming Summit (those who could get their because of the adverse weather conditions) because weird weather and GW aren’t related, are they?

Any more than gun control and killing sprees are related in Arizona (where, by the way, residents are demanding looser gun controls so that ‘everyone can protect themselves with firearms’ – yesterday’s jaw-dropping press headlines).

But the freezing weather conditions in Britain this year have been proven to be a direct effect of global warming.

Against all this there’s the determination, dignity and sheer bravery of Australians and Sri Lankans who went out to help each other as much as they could. One Sri Lankan told me ‘Every morning the people in my village look at Buddha and remember the peace in our hearts that makes us treat others with respect and kindness.’

Even he might have met his match in the god-fearing gun nuts of Arizona.

6 comments on “Stories That Put Vacations Into Perspective”

  1. Megan Morrissey says:

    Wow Chris, even your blurb there put things into perspective for me. I’m from Queensland and have spent the last few days in a constant state of worry for friends and family and the tens of thousands of people that have been evacuated from their homes. I had been completely oblivious to the MILLIONs of people facing a similar situation on the other side of the world. Reminds you of that old saying “there is always someone worse off”. Fortunately for Queenslanders, we have a spirit that is pretty hard to crush. My mothers response to being asked if we still had a house was ‘oh well, if there’s no house there’s still a block of land. It’s a shame I had just got the carpets cleaned though’. Alwyas good to have a sense of humour!

  2. Martha says:

    It didn’t read to me like you were bitching – only describing. I, for one, was glad to have your on-site reporting.

  3. Vickie Farrar says:

    Re Marths’s comment: ditto. Although it made me uneasy when I read more detail elsewhere about the flooding in Sri Lanka while you (and Bryant & May) were still there. I do not have the courage (or the finances) to travel to places or in the manner in which you do…so by all means, continue to share your interesting adventures — and viewpoints.

    And Megan: LOL about the just-cleaned carpets.

  4. J. Folgard says:

    -what the others said. You described succinctly & efficiently what was going on for you and other people there, your viewpoint is both valid and valuable.

  5. Helen Martin says:

    People experience what they experience. I liked your comments about the people of Sri Lanka, who don’t seem the same as the ones who were fighting so violently for all that time. And I’m with Megan’s Mum, who will have to have it done all over again – if the carpets are still there. We had one day of snow and then a day of rain sodden stuff and now it’s to be just rain for a week, but nothing terrible like Rio or Queensland so we should just be grateful.

  6. Steve says:

    I agree.

    There, but for the Gods of Grace……..

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