Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Web Secret #307: Desiderata

Desiderata - things that are needed or wanted. Mid 17th century: from Latin.

For most of my childhood, I lived between two continents: Europe and North America.

This was before the Internet, the cell phone, the personal computer.

It was a long time ago.

Calling someone "long distance" was VERY expensive. So you wrote letters. Even airmail could take 2 weeks to travel from the US to Switzerland - the two countries where I lived.

The world was much bigger than it is today.

When I was in Switzerland, I was not able to watch the latest US TV shows, or eat Cocoa Puffs, or go out for a hamburger.

When I was in the US, I could not buy Asterix comic books, eat Spaetzle, or find Caran d'Ache Neocolor.

When I was in Switzerland, I missed marshmallows and "The Brady Bunch."

When I was in the US, I missed, Muesli and Spirou.

This international upbringing makes me cosmopolitan, tri-lingual, and somewhat confused. I never entirely get the joke. Not quite American enough, not completely European.

So you might understand why for me, living in a digital and highly connected world is especially thrilling.

I can order my favorite books, sweets, pens, Euro-cultural flotsam and jetsam on line and have it delivered to my home.

I can read trashy French magazines on the Internet, watch French TV shows on YouTube, and share Carambar with my daughter.

Maybe that's the best part - I can share my European side with my children.

It almost makes up for it.

The picture that accompanies this post features the 15th century Vufflens Castle. That was the view from my childhood bedroom.

No comments:

Post a Comment