My niece, Keri, is here visiting for the weekend. She’s eleven and cute and smart and … Well, you know, a pretty typical modern day kid. Except she’s been to Paris four times. (Maybe five. She’s not sure.)
Anyway, my niece has been to Paris four times (maybe five) and traveled around the country while she was there. I’ve been there three times. That includes my first trip there when I was 17 and didn’t go to the trouble of seeing a damn thing. The last time, we simply changed trains and went right through Paris to Chartres and, after a couple of days, headed down to the Dordogne from there.
Keri is learning French at her school and simply takes it for granted that there will be return trips to France and to the European continent in her future. She’s going to become an adult with an understanding and an appreciation of other cultures and what a gift that is!
By contrast, the American people as a whole have almost no understanding of what’s going on in other countries. I was shocked to learn that only 19 percent of Americans have passports … and one can assume that a large percentage of those are for travel to Mexico or Canada.
Isn’t it a pity she can’t vote.