Pot-Pourri number 3317

This is the year 2075. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the end of WWIII, our historians have just released a major finding: the contents of a hard drive dating back to the beginning of the 21st century. Most of its contents bear interest only for historians: bank accounts, utility bills and so forth, however, some valuable texts such as the one we present today could be retrieved. They were called “posts” or “blogs” (etymology uncertain), by which people shared personal ramblings – as difficult as it is to imagine today – with unknown correspondents across the world. We now present one of those “posts”, which sheds some light on the strange customs of the late 1900’s and early 21st century.

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Hakuna matata Palace, Potsdam, near Berlin, 2010. (Editor’s note: the Sans Souci Palace was built by Prussian King Frederick II between 1745 and 1747. Sans souci is French for “no worries” or “Hakuna matata” in Swahili, now the major trade language as we all know. See the Lion King for further reference.)

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Amsterdam, winter of 1966. The frozen canal in front of our apartment. My sister and I wanted to go ice-skating, but that was a no-no. (Editor’s note: this photograph was clearly taken before global warming. Amsterdam – as is well documented – is now a tropical beach resort with palm trees.)

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San Francisco, July 2016. Death walks the streets of San Francisco. (Editor’s note: probably a celebration of the Mexican Día de muertos)

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British troops in Port-Saïd, Suez canal, Egypt, c.1938. (Editor’s note: before WWII the British held a strong military presence to guard the Suez canal, the “gateway” to India and the Empire. Now why are the soldiers wearing skirts? Some historians claim they were Scottish troops, wearing a traditional garment called Kirt or Kilt)

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Tlalpan, Mexico city. c.2016. The entrance to our new street.

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“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio. A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.” San Francisco, July 2016. (Hamlet, V, 1; historians are puzzled at this San Francisco reference, since we all know Shakespeare was born in Denmark. Source: Wikipedia)

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Zeppelinstrasse, or Zeppelin street, Potsdam. Graf (Count) von Zeppelin was the inventor of a rigid air-ballon, used massively for military tasks in WWI and later for civilian transport. (Editor’s note: after a fire destroyed the Hindenburg air-Zeppelin in 1937, the model was abandoned. Planes were found to be much more efficient for bombing cities.)

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The Cathedral of Siena, Italy. Built between 1215 and 1263. Eight centuries ago.

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London bridge, 2016. (Editor’s note: the London bridge was destroyed in the 2020 bombing of London)

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Bangkok, c.1957. Bangkok’s waterways or klongs were then the main thouroughfares, with all human activity developing on and around the water.

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The author, Karachi, Pakistan, c.1954. (Editor’s note: It seems that in the second half of the 20th century, babies and children were submitted to endless hours of jail-time. A barbaric practice indeed)

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San Francisco, July 2016. (Editor’s note: Dr James E. West, born in 1937 in Virginia in what was then the United States of America, invented a new model of microphone in 1962. Microphones were replaced altogether by Gamma waves in 2035.)

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Phnomh-Penh, Cambodia, c.1957. Ruling Prince Norodom Sihanouk is greeting a foreign dignitary whose name has not been written on the family album (possibly a high-ranking United nations official). My father, then Managing Director of Royal Air Cambodge, the national airline, stands in the centre.

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Beaubourg, Paris, 2016. (Again there is heated debate among historians about Beaubourg: was it a factory turned into a museum, or a museum turned into a factory, after the end of the great depression of 2032-2035?)

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Bogotá, Colombia. December 2016.

The Captain and crew are delighted to have you on board again on Equinoxio Time-Space shuttle and would like to extend their best wishes for the year 20-17. Some forecast models predict strong turbulences in the months ahead, so make sure to keep your seat-belt fastened at all time. Nevertheless, Hakuna matata, Sans souci, No worries, we have landed in a time-space continuum where/when Trump has NOT been elected.

47 thoughts on “Pot-Pourri number 3317

  1. Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    Wonderful, just grand the humor and history thoughts to this post. The pictures are top notch. I really enjoyed reading the post, I hope you will also. Please go to the post web site and give the author a shout out. Hugs

    • Merci Gilles. As a matter of fact, when we lived in Amsterdam we froze our … off. I have gone back a few times recently and it was very warm. Unusually so.
      About the humour… I only hope it remains fiction… Bon week-end. Brieuc

  2. Please do not mention this damned name with the five letters so often, this is just feeding his ego whereever it may be today. Be happy not to live in this eon known also as the “Donaldian Era of Selfdestruction”, because this president with an IQ < 80 fueled the climate change while assuring everybody that the next ice age is not far away anymore. This disease is nowadays categorized as the "Postfactical Lunatic Syndrome", a mental stage of complete delusion. How crazy was this?

    • Delusion it is my friend. The only glimpse of hope I just had today was a word that came to my mind: “Impeachment”. 🙂 It worked with Nixon. We need to gently push our American friends in that direction. Impeachment! Impeachment! 😉

    • Oh, and it seems that one of your comments was lost over the ned of the year. I was traveling in Colombia with very little Internet but i caught a glimpse. So your name is “Ulli”? as in Ulrike? (I had a friend called Ulrike in Grad school) Enchanté Ulli. Je sais que les noms ne sont que des mots. (I use three myself) 😉
      Tschüss. (And be wary of the cold)

  3. Funny approach this time, albeit some bits of information may even become reality sometime. 😉
    You’re unmistakable, even behind bars. 😀

    unrelated: I’ve just changed my blog’s e-mail address and the “smart” guys at WP can’t automatically switch to it so I gotta refollow everybody again; you’ll probably get a notice about that.

    Have a safe and peaceful year ahead, mon ami! 🙂

    • Thank you. Same to you. Glad you liked the approach. I wanted to do something different. Good luck with the change. I was just forced to update my Mac to OS Sierra, and it’s driving me nuts. Cheers.

      • Merci aussi. 🙂
        The sense of humor helps us keep our sanity. Around here we used to make fun of everything, even of ourselves, when times were rough. And apparently they’re rough again and it gets worse. We need to laugh at “them” very, very loud.

        You know what I did when Google started “misplacing” my sent e-mails? I deleted my Google account. You know what I did (days ago) when Yahoo started demanding me to change the password and give them my mobile number? I deleted all three Yahoo acounts going back 10-12 years if not more. Last week a good friend of mine couldn’t reach me anymore through his usual e-mail provider (Tutanota) on my AOL account; I performed a test and confirmed AOL is blocking Tutanota, probably because it’s an encrypted system. Well, I switched my blog to Mail.com, am in the process of moving other registrations to it, notify people of the switch and then… you know the drill. Actually, my first IM account ever was on ICQ and it came with this AOL e-mail address. Now it’ll go full circle. Verizon bought AOL and Yahoo to destroy them, not to develop them. I wonder where Apple, Microsoft, Google and the others are heading to.

        People should stand up for their principles, not give in to pressure. But they rarely do that and here’s where we got to. And right now I just don’t feel like laughing.

      • I can understand. (This new OS version sucks) And, I find it very suspicious when Linkedin or Facebook ask me if I know so-and-so who’s just a mere acquaintance. They’re all swapping files… That is bad. Bon week-end nonetheless mon ami.

      • Actually it’s a huge, unique database and you have no idea what’s in there. Thought Skynet was an invention from the “Terminator” series? Think again!

        Bon weekend a tous! 🙂

  4. Quelle vie mouvementée, what a fascinating (and unusually long) life you lead! A beautiful construction, your blog. (Gives me idle ideas of shaking off anonymity and publishing photos of myself and brother in uniform, walking to our Shinto elementary school in Tokyo.)

    • Mouvementée? It is an apt word. We “moved” around a lot. (Now, being born in ’53, I still don’t think it is a “long” life…) 🙂
      Now about anonimity (which I have seen on many blogs it is fine, but I also find rewarding to share old photos, including of my father’s youth in Egypt with everyone. A testimony of a world gone forever. So do share your uniform photos. Shinto school? Interesting. Your father must have been stationed in Japan after the war. A bientôt mon amie.

      • Do not jump to conclusions! My father was an itinerant academic on a Ford grant. (Military brats don’t usually go to local schools, let alone those attached to a shrine.) We rented an apt in a Japanese house. I do love your photos. Your life, so different, reminds me of mine.

      • You are absolutely right. Toutes mes excuses. I guess the word “uniform” influenced my thinking, though I know Japanese schools use uniforms.
        How fascinating. How old were you and how long did you stay in Japan? Do you still speak Japanese?
        And yes “expat brats” had a different life, difficult to understand for others. 🙂 I would love to see you post pictures of you and your brother of those days. Very much. “Domo”? 😉

    • Haha! Soory about the date, but you are right, I believe it will end. (And I do hope WWIII will not happen) Now the baby cradles are still “in”. No bars though. We just bought one for Grandbaby Gonzalo who is almost ready to walk. (His average time inside is about ten minutes. Then he lifts his arms to be picked up) 😉
      I hope you are well. health and weather-wise. I imagine Ireland is not as cold as the rest of Europe is it?

  5. I’m not sure what’s more worrying, that London only has 4 more years (interestingly the same duration as Donald Trump’s first term in office), or that Amsterdam may one day have palm trees and a beach. It already attracts enough British stag parties!!

    Lovely post Brian, and I too wish we could skip either forward to a post-Trump era, or backwards where we might be able to fix it before it happened.

    All the best, Paul

  6. I had to reread WWIII. First thought it was a typo..silly me should have know better. Impeachment is what I am hoping for but that would mean that the Republicans have to admit they made a major/colossal mistake allowing this to actually become reality.

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