Friday, February 28, 2003

So, my passport came into the mail today. That's happy. The picture is every bit as bad in the passport as it is out. A fact that makes me even happier. Europe is getting to feel so real. I'm doing things which seem so foreign to me, like building itineraries, and checking and rechecking budgets, and running the numbers to make sure rail pass X is really better than rail pass Y. I've never done this sort of thing before, and I'd just sort of assumed a natural chaos would prevail. But so far, everything's worked out unnaturally simply. My passport is accurate; my plane tickets are right for when I want them and where I want them. Money keeps finding me, and I haven't even been hunting it down.

On a completely different note, healthcare in the US is something else. Everyone seems to get taken care of somehow, even though there isn't a real system for ensuring it. I know a few times doctors of my mom wrote off office visits or even actual procedures to charity because, in the midst of getting twenty operations in a year, and dialysis, etc., there's just no way for the average person to keep up on medical bills; and we didn't have to beg them either, it seemed standard procedure for serious cases, and they offered it freely. Today, when my sister said something about not being able to pay for the (super expensive) drugs she has to take to control her lung disease, the doctor went and rustled up a handful of free samples for her. That buys my sister much needed time for her medical card to come through.

It's easy to see the world as a nasty, horrible place. But it's unfair, I think, when there's so much good that we generally just overlook. It's curious that the human mind is so quick to fixate on anything grotesque or wrong. But it may be a good thing yet. We still, as a generalized group, seem to find the grotesque out of the ordinary. It's a sign of our incredible good fortune that we notice evil things at all. If everything were evil, evil simply wouldn't cause the outpourings of emotion that it currently does.