Saturday, October 07, 2006

Travel Insurance

This is another post which, if the index is right, was never posted. I apparently wrote it last November. I hate to waste things, so here it is. If you do remember seeing it before, just skip it.

If you were to look into the deep recesses of my wallet you would find a $100 bill. It is my “mad money” and I have been sitting on the same bill for well over thirty years. It’s antique value may exceed the face value soon.

When I arrived in France to start work, a co-worker showed me a short-cut from our office to my home. It was through the back roads of metro-Paris, but avoided the twice daily traffic jams of the main roads. At one point it crossed a wide open area populated by real European gypsies living in shacks and “covered wagons”. The place teemed with children playing, interspersed with dogs chasing the kids and each other. It sounds romantic, but it wasn’t. Just a scene of poverty and grime. My guide informed me that the gypsies would train the dogs to come quickly when called. With the dog and the caller on opposite sides of the street, they would wait for a car to come along. The caller would attempt to time his call to have car and dog meet – to the detriment of the dog. The collision would bring crying children surrounding your car and wailing about the loss of the old family pet. It would then be suggested that the purchase price of a new “old family pet” would assuage their feelings.

My co-worker suggested always carrying a 100 franc note (about $20 US at the time) to stop the tears of gypsy children before your car was laid waste. And possibly you too.

When I returned to work in New York City, the streets of the city as well as the subways were not comfortable to walk alone. There was an epidemic of muggings. The wishful thinkers byword was that the victim would not be harmed severely if the “crime paid”. Familiar principle. Hence the $100 bill in my wallet.

Actually, I never killed a dog or met a mugger so I don’t know if my prevention measures were valid.

8 comments:

Ch'i said...

I think you should seize the moment and buy something new. Maybe a great book or some music!

Archana Bahuguna said...

HI, thx for visiting my blog. I have left a comment at ur tag, pls read.

Oestre-Bunny said...

those poor dogs!!

east village idiot said...

Hey that reminds me of carrying "boot money" when the east village was much more dangerous to live in. It's the $20 bucks you kept in your shoe just in case someone mugged you and stole your wallet. Back then twenty bucks was more than enough for a train ticket or a cab ride.

p.s. your september 17th post on your other blog about "being at war" was brilliant. You should write an article or letter to a newspaper about it. Regardless of a pro or con position. As a charity cause at my son's school I wanted to raise money for kids who have parents in the service and were having problems making ends meet. I felt it was the least we could do.
the wealthy parents of my son's school felt "uncomfortable" about it. Gee - - I guess we're not ALL in the war after all.

Marilyn said...

My father ALWAYS carried "mad money" in his wallet when I was a kid. I know that for a fact, because he'd occasionally show it to me...and then say, "But don't tell your mother..." I should ask him when he stopped carrying it...maybe he still has it. :)

And what is this "other blog" East Village Idiot speaks of?? :)

Floridora said...

Well Marilyn, a while ago I decided that I wanted to keep this blog "upbeat", but occasionally I had a thought that reflected anger, disgusted, or just plain nasty. So I started "lakesidebacktalk.blogspot.com". I find I am not anger very often so it isn't used much, but is there when something puts me in a bad mood.

Archana said...

I have read this post before :-)!

When I was at school my parents used to give me "emergency money" which was, obviously, to be used only in case of emergency. I mostly used it to get auto rickshaw (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto_rickshaw) rides home when the public bus did not show up for ages.

Wow - a 30 year old $100 bill? You shd probably get it framed soon :-)!

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