I’ve just returned from a business trip to Western Europe. The Continent was in the middle of a heat wave, with temperatures approaching 100°F/40°C. It gets that hot there only once a decade or so. Even so, the evening breezes and long solstice nights made for relaxing evenings. Sitting in Delft’s Beestenmarkt, quaffing a local beer over a nice long dinner, I felt like an extra in an independent film.
Although it’s tough to be away from home, one’s perspective on the real issues facing humanity does tend to broaden after crossing an ocean. You don’t realize just how often you hear about the impending menace of ISIS until you stop hearing about them for a few days. Someone in a Syrian cave must be writing a playbook on easy it is to scare the hell out of us Americans.
CNN International does simulcast some of the mother ship’s shows, and I found myself watching Wolf Blitzer while on a treadmill in Zurich. Wolf was busy hyping the “lone wolf” threat posed by ISIS-inspired terrorists over the long July 4th holiday, and tossed what he thought was a softball to former Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge. When Ridge pointed out that thousands of Americans will be killed or injured by drunk driving and fireworks over the weekend, and tried to place the lone wolves in the proper perspective, poor Wolf didn’t know what to do.
Luckily, my workout was done, and we headed into Zurich for a traditional meal of a wurst, potato salad, and a glass of Swiss wine. The dollar was strong, the evenings long, and the work done.