So, I was heading to Graz from Salzburg. Since I have a LONG history of missing trains, I decided to be proactive and come a little bit early. Of course, my calculations weren’t really exact and I ended up being there just in time, just to realize that my train has been cancelled and that the next one leaves in 25 minutes.
Of course, 25 minutes in "Egypt" standards mean absolutely nothing: Just the time to park a car or maybe finish a phone call. But when it’s freezing outside and in a country where you can have lunch, go to the other side of the city and open a bank account all in a 20 minutes coffee break, 25 minutes is a LONG time. So, I decided to go get some breakfast, and, locations locations, right in front of me was this luxurious restaurant that was the only one to offer a very nutritious meal with absolutely no pork in it, free internet AND at the never-before-seen price of 2.49 Euros: A place they call “McDonald’s”!
Got my food and the only available seating place was on a long table, next to this very typical Austrian rather-old woman. Short, blond hair, perfect make-up and cloth. Now, when I say “rather-old” in Austrian perspectives I only mean “late 70s”, “old” mean “beyond 80” and don’t get me started on “really old”!
So, this lady invited me to sit and I had no reason to refuse. I began eating while checking my email and, just as I was done and about to check Facebook, she began talking to me very vividly, with a very typical Austrian English accent, about the fact that she IS on the internet!
With a hopefully unnoticeable smirk on my face I replied “No Way”, she said “YA itsts troo, go to double voo double voo double voo, punkt you tooob punkt com”. Then she asked me to search for “Tom Cruise” then spelled her name. Came a short video of this same lady, in the middle of a hundred people, and she is talking indeed to Tom Cruise, apparently, during a trip he made in February to Salzburg. I had to look at the video description and in it, it said that this very lady was “the artistic director for ballet galas, classical concerts, opera galas and show events” which is a very vague title in Austrian perspective since, I believe HALF of the population does that!
I had to ask about her job and she replied with all the drama you can imagine that yes, this is what she used to do right before “Katie learnt that Tom loves me”.
Now, the legend says that, after Katie (Holmes, I presume), discovered Tom’s undisclosed love to this “beautiful woman he met in Salzburg”, this was about to destroy the Cruise family. “I coold haf done that with Penelope, but not with Katie.” The lady’s “love to Surry” didn’t allow her to do that. So, she decided to disappear from public eyes and quit her job!
And here she was, having breakfast in McDonalds, with a folder filled with the same snapshot with her and Tom Cruise. No regrets, no remorse, just a recommendation she gave me to go see his latest movie “knight and day”!
Now, I believe “society-induced Craziness” comes in 2 forms: third-world style craziness (that’s the one you can commonly see in a crazy homeless man walking the streets of Cairo) and industrial-world style, perfectly represented in the Tom Cruise lady.
In Egypt, people turn crazy because of lack of the simple, basic needs needed for a human being to live a proper life. I’m talking food, shelter, family, health, education, security and freedom! The continuous lack of satisfaction of any (and many times, ALL) of these needs is convincingly a reason to go crazy.
In the developed hemisphere, these very basic needs are satisfied enough to the extent that people don’t even consider them as needs anymore: Their primitivity and basic-nature is beyond their concern. Therefore, people have to look for other sophisticated reasons to go crazy: Unsatisfied ambition in life, repetitiveness, lack of social warmth, lack of direction and spirituality and, most commonly: Lack of problems! And this is why I believe Finland (a land were people have virtually nothing to worry about) has the highest suicide rates in the world.
So, if you expect that by improving people’s lives in Egypt or by satisfying their very basic “animalistic” needs they are going to get less crazy, you are perfectly wrong. It’s only that, once you did that, you can comfortably sleep at night!!!