My twenties and thirties were spent on on three and a half
(Saudi is actually on Asia- but acts more like Africa)
My world view is skewed because of those years living abroad.
Lots of observation of religions
and listening to others talk
how the world should be.
Several incidents stayed with me that helped form me
into the skeptical,
person I am today.
My first encounter with "totally different"
was having a German polizei
throw his baton at a car
and it can screaming to a stop.
Man, you did not disobey the German police.
They will not hesitate to use that baton on your face!
Police are very different in different countries.
You'd better respect the people with power!
We went to Greece
on a train
We did not have passes and ended up in Communist Yugoslavia
Six Turkish men covered for us.
It was elaborate, but it worked.
People are generally good
when they feel you are generally good.
On a late night subway in Hong Kong.
A passenger said to me,
as he was pointing to the child seated next to me
"You know the plan is not to take the West over by military force,
but to dumb you down with those (pointing at the child's Tetris game),
and make your monetary system go wild.
The West cannot live without her money."
Be careful with things you cherish.
Another conversation was in Saudi.
"We are cousins, you see,
Christians and Muslims and Jews.
We are not really interested in taking down the people who
follow the laws of God,
we are interested in dismantling
the people who have no God."
Remember God is #1.
Those in authority are a force to be reckoned with.
People are generally good.
Don't let money be the source of your life.
Cherish the right things.
People with no god might find themselves in a world of hurt.
Keep my eye on the ultimate prize-which is not here and not now.
Like I said, my philosophy is a bit different.