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Here’s what inspired me to look at it. My friend Karen told me she’d taken an amazing trip to Antarctica and that she had found the tour operator in this book.
When I was in college, I came across a “National Geographic” centerfold that showed hundreds of penguins in Antarctica. For years
it was my dream to go see those penguins (or their descendants) in person.
But what if I were to go to Antarctica? I could fall into an ice crevasse. Ever since hearing about the main character in the true story “127 Hours,” I have imagined finding myself stuck in a crevasse and have wondered whether I would die due to squeamishness about cutting off my arm.
I’m guessing everyone has wondered about that, though I probably return to this thought more frequently than the average Joe Plumber.
What if I went to Antarctica and got hit by a polar vehicle? What are the hospitals like there? Do they even have hospitals? And if they do what’s the infection rate?
Along that same line of reasoning, I wonder whether I would embark on the nearly weeklong trip I took in 1980 on the Beijing-Moscow Express. If I were to take that train now, I’d first want to know the quality of medical care in Irkutsk, for example.
At the same time, I suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). So just knowing how much Karen loved Antarctica meant I had to consider it. All my life I’ve made this mistake of believing if someone loves or hates something that I will also.
I didn’t take physics in high school, because everyone said it was hard. Then I found out classmates thought it was hard because of the math. But I was good in math.
In a worry context, I would have benefitted from understanding how things work. Isn’t it physics that keeps airplanes aloft and bridges with bumper to bumper 18-wheelers from collapsing into frigid rivers?
This makes me think of how absurd it is to ask waiters what they like on the menu. For example, I love chicken livers; in particular, I like the way I make them in a puddle of olive oil, medium rare then plopped with all the oil and liver juices onto a slice of whole grain toast. Add a little salt and pepper. Mm.
So recently at my least unfavorite restaurant I asked my favorite waiter, “How are the chicken livers?
“You’re gonna love them,” he assured me. I can’t blame him; it was I who ought to have known better; I could never like any chicken livers as much as my own. At best theirs wouldn’t be horribly worse. Needless to say they arrived overcooked in a goopy dark sauce. Yuck.
So my 1,000 Places to See book appears on my doorstep and I randomly open it, landing on page 368 that trumpets a hot-air balloon safari from which to view the “hundreds of thousands of wildebeests [as they] mass together . . . moving in search of vital substance.”
Need I point out that this is double trouble? That the balloon pops and I become vital substance for the wildebeests?
Isn’t life is trouble enough without seeking trouble?
I’ll leave the remaining 999 examples to your imagination, because I’m worried my blog posts are already too long.
What destinations do you avoid and how come? If stuck in a crevasse, would you cut off your arm or die?
MARRIAGE, DIVORCE, RELATIONSHIPS, THERAPISTS, 1979 CHINA AND MORE IN MY NEW MEMOIR . . .
“Readers of all ages will relate to this deeply personal story, told with comical sensibility by a quirky, startlingly honest mother, daughter, ex-wife, and dog lover, who—à la Nora Ephron—will feel like a dear friend. Confessions of a Worrywart: Husbands, Lovers, Mothers, and Others will stay with you long after you finish reading it.” (adapted from Amazon description and culled from Amazon reviews)