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Hidalgo County Herald
Lordsburg, New Mexico
June 13, 2014     Hidalgo County Herald
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June 13, 2014

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HIDALGO COUNTY HERALD FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2014 7 Just A Thought A totally different way of doing thin By RICK KRAFT " to walk through some areas of the different mentality. In America I saw the Queen of England city without getting hit by a bike. we seem to retreat to our homes today! Not by design, but by co- In Rome, you have to be and spend time watching TV or incidence. My wife Tanya and I overly aggressive or you will on the computer in the privacy of were walking down Parliament never get to the front of any line. our home. In Europe crowds of Street in London when a proces- sional came by and there she was, with nothing between us but a temporary metal railing, riding in a carriage with her hus- band Prince Philip be- hind a thundering herd of horses, followed by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla. They were traveling from the opening ceremony of Parliament to Buckingham Palace as they do each year. But let me come back to this. Tanya and I just got back from a Rick Steves trip to Europe that spanned eight countries in just over three weeks. With the tour group we visited The Nether- lands, Germany, Austria, Italy, The Vatican, Switzerland, and France before extending our trip on to London. Across the ocean they have a different way of doing so many things. At the beginning of our tour our tour guide suggested we "shake like a bubble" and be flex- ible as to how we handle what comes up on the tour, because there are so many moving parts that are unpredictable. We learned that a lot of life is lived differently in Europe. Traveling abroad can push our comfort zone and cause us to have to shake like a bubble. I will share some of the differences that I experienced. The core means of travel in many larger cities is by bicycle. I have never seen more bikes in my life than I did in Amsterdam. There are far more bicycles than cars. Some residents own three or four bikes. They have a bike lane for bikers that is separated from the road and if you didn't know any better you would think it was for pedestrians. I saw people on bikes wearing everything from suits to dresses. Some even texted while they biked. The bikers move so fast that it is a challenge Rick Kraft Briane Danielle Gandara Gandara graduates HS in Phoenix Briane Danielle Gandara graduated from North High School at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 22, 2014 in Phoenix, AZ. Briane is the daugh- ter of Robert and Cynthia Gandara. Grandparents are Corny and Carmen Gandara and Nicolas Ruiz, all of Lordsburg, and Coral Nelson of Salt Lake City, UT. We traveled on buses and trains in Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, and London and none were as aggres- sive getting on and off public transportation than in Rome. It's not nec- essarily being rude, it is just "survival." In most of Eu- rope they don't use top sheets for beds. You sleep on a mat- tress sheet with only a comforter on top of you. Nothing to tuck in, just a loose thick and fluffy comforter. Regardless, it works and it is easier to make the bed. Learning a new money sys- tem was a challenge. We did ad- just to Euros throughout most of Europe, but in Switzerland they used the Swiss Franc and in En- gland the Pound. We had to con- vert money three times. The smallest paper money used in the countries we visited was a unit of five Euros, Francs, or Pounds. So if something cost two units, look- ing through paper money for ex- act change won't work. You grab your coins and look for a two Euro coin or two coin pound. The different money comes in all shapes and sizes and from time to time I would just grab the change out of my pocket, hold it out in the palm of my had for the cashier to determine what coins are 50 pence or 20 Euro cents and pick up the right coins for exact change. The bathrooms were really an adventure. In the city of Amsterdam they have outdoor urinals for men that provide pri- vacy on three sides that men can just step into and take a pee. They can be anywhere, next to a busy road, a church, or some other high traffic area. Many public restrooms throughout Europe require you to pay to use them. We referred to this as "pay to pee." Some had turnstiles that you had to pay to go through, others had a basket for you to put the money into. Some rest stops along the high- way required 70 Euro cents to get through the turnstile, but then gave you back a coupon for 50 cents to use at the stop. These fancy potties featured a turning seat that was sanitized after ev- ery use. Most bathrooms flushed by pushing buttons rather than pull- ing a handle. Usually there were two buttons, a smaller button for "number 1" and a larger one for "number 2." Many of the toilets still had high water tanks that would be flushed by pulling a cord. What made me the most un- comfortable was the unisex restrooms where you wait outside a stall next to a lady or a lady comes out of the stall next to you and you wash your hands to- gether. In Rome I walked into a bathroom at a restaurant and a young lady was standing in it. I apologized and began to walk out until she gestured that the bath- room was for men also. Awkward. In the bigger cities, the lo- cals spend more time outside. Their homes are small and basi- cally to sleep and eat in. For so- cial time they leave their homes and sit on steps of a public loca- tion or at a sidewalk cafr. It is a people sit along the Seine River in London, on the Spanish Steps in Rome, or in Paris at the cafes or" the park by the Eiffel Tower. Throughout Europe I really enjoyed trying to figure out where the cars and trucks we were see- ing were built. The automobiles were primarily European built by companies such as Citroen, Renault, Fiat, Peugeot, Opel, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, BMW, Rolls Royce, BMW, and Volkswagen. We hardly saw any American made cars. There were beautiful churches everywhere and we regularly heard church bells . There is a long history of each country going back to before the time of Christ. Each of these could be another whole column. Most countries .did not have tipping after a meal. The rule of thumb was "round up." Because waiters and waitresses are paid well, paying 15 to 20% on top of the meal as a tip could be consid- ered offensive. One thing I did like in Europe was that none of the countries added tax on their products. If an item cost 29 Eu- ros, you would pay 29 Euros, not 29 plus an additional sum for taxes. It was much easier to deal with merchants without getting into computing cents. Navigating Europe involves traveling through numerous tun- nels. Especially in the Alps area of Switzerland, Italy, and Austria. We even went through one tun- nel that was about ten miles long! Eating out was more expen- sive, especially in Switzerland and Italy. Even a choice for fast food would take much more from your wallet than the United States. Some countries close down their businesses after lunch for an afternoon "siesta." An in- teresting concept, but if it lets workers go home and have lunch with their family, this is a good move. One similarity to America was that in interacting with "for- eigners" for several weeks, we came upon some of the kindest people you could ever meet and some of the rudest people also. I guess good attitudes and bad at- titudes follow mankind regard- less of where people live. Back to the Queen, even her being transported in a carriage with guards wearing red jackets and large black hats is different than how we move and protect our higher ups... My challenge to you today is to enjoy the routine and pre- dictability of your life, but rec- ognize that there is a whole world out there living differently. There are many aspects of living in other countries that would benefit us. Expand your horizons by a trip to another country. When you are there, don't be criti- cal, but seek to understand a dif- ferent way of life. Au revoir, Auf wiedersehen, and Chiao for now. Just a thought.., Rick Kraft is a motivational speaker, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to rkraft@ or write to P O. Box 850, Roswell, New Mexico, 88202 - 0850. We have all the tools to keep your Business We offer Professional Services for all aspects of your small business! Including: V Payroll VMonthly, Quarterly & Annual Tax Preparation V Financial Statements V Bank Reconciliations 575-542-3125 212 E. Motel Drive * Suite A * Lordsburg A Picture From The Past By EDMUND SAUCEDO/Lordsburg Photo courtesy EDWARD "LALO" RUIZlPhoenix Freshman initiation day (known as "Fish") at Lordsburg High School - 1952. The boys were required to dress in girls' clothes, including hats and high heels, and the girls had to dress like boys. Left to right: Hilario ("Lalo") Talavera, Jr., Pasqual ("Junior") Diaz, Jr., Hector ("Bones") Molina, Manuel "(Magoo") Rodriguez, Oscar ("Okie") Gutierrez, and Pat ("Monjo") Garcia. Cowboy and western musician Sheriff Jim Wilson to perform at AFP June Cotirtesy submission eral years Welcome him back to acoustics and a state-of-the art Jim Wilson is a native Texanthe AFP, and join us for a trip to sound system. The AFP book- who was born in Austin and raised our western heritage through hisstore stocks CDs by featured art- in San Antonio. For nearly 30 music. (And since he really was a ists as well as Western-themed years, he served as a Texas Peace sheriff, we'd all better be on our books and art, along with hand- Officer in Denton and Crockett best behavior!) made jewelry, pottery, and soaps. Counties. In 1988, he was elected If you go: Beverages and snacks are avail- Sheriff of Crockett County Doors open at 1 p.m., with able for purchase to enjoy during (Ozona), Texas, and served in that performances starting at 2 p.m. the performance. capacity until his retirement from For reservations, call 520-378- Operated in partnership with law enforcement in 1996. 6165, or email reservations@ the University of Arizona Sierra Wilson began playing folk Admission Vista and staffed entirely by vol- and country music while he at- is $15.00 for adults and $6.00 for unteers, the AFP is a 501(c)3 or- tended Texas Christian Univer- children 17 and, ganization. Founded in 1996, sity, in the 1960s. However, his To get there: the AFP's mission is "to collect, earliest musical recollections Go 6 miles south of Sierra present and preserve the songs, stories, legends, myths, and west- were of his father singing the old Vista on Highway 92 to Ramsey ern poetry of the State of Ari- cowboy songs, such as "Leaving Canyon Road. Turn right (west) zona." Cheyenne" and "Streets of on Ramsey Canyon Road, drive Coming soon: Laredo." With the emergence of 3.3 miles into the canyon, and Upcoming performers at the contemporary cowboy music in watch for the AFP entrance and AFP include western musician the 1980s, Wilson naturally re- sign to the left. Keeter Stuart on June 21 and 22, turned to his musical roots. About the Arizona Folklore Pre- and local favorite Michael A regular performer at cow- serve: Grande on June 28 and 29. For boy music festivals throughout Tucked off the beaten path more information, including per- the country, including the in beautiful Ramsey Canyon, the formance schedules and addi- Cochise Cowboy Poetry and AFP offers an intimate, appealing tional information on featured Music Gathering, Wilson has per- theater seating just 60 guests, artists, visit the AFP website, formed at the AFP in the past, but The rustic, comfortable, or call this is his first appearance in sev- ing space also boasts excellent 520-378-6165. Fast Approval l .BuildYour Credit No Checking Account Needed No Hassles Call Us Today! Apply in person on call ahead! 716 $. Main St et * Lord burg, NM Call today! [] []