Did I go around the world twice, I did. When there are tens of questions to ask somebody like me, you know what is the most and only thing people ask? Money!
But I'm not going to go into that at all now. I'm tired of telling. Those that know the logic know it anyway. In order to balance the budget, you either make more money or spend less. Travel is expensive when done as tourism, when you set out to do a round-the-world tour, you go around with what you live in settled life. You want me to quote a number? Backpacking in “third world” countries, not going out drinking, you may travel for a year for 8,000-10,000 USD. Living small is an alternative too, you know. Add to that 3,000-5,000 USD more, you travel more nicely. I am not rich enough to drink and smoke, I am not rich enough to eat out, to have tea-coffee out every day. But yes, if there are people who insist on using that label that I detest, be it, I sit pretty, living on the fat of the land.
The publisher owes me money. He cannot keep telling enough what a difficult situation he is in not to pay it back, the crisis being a suitable tool for an excuse. Given that I am doing a round-the-world tour... That is, something that is useless. If I bought a car, if I said I have house mortgage to pay, everybody would be comprehending. He wouldn't be able to complain to me, because it coincides with general desires, the places people see fit to spend in life. Then, we would weep together. But now I am defeated, he has valid ground not to pay the money he owes me. He holds the leverage.
Nobody can look at where I spend the money and say “You don't need it, you sit pretty.” That is, they shouldn't be able to, but they do. They don't get it that, if I am doing these things, I renounce other things. Renounce is the wrong word actually, it's not that I want them and give them up; I just don't want them. But come and explain this to people with classic daily worries/preoccupations.
Because I travel, they conclude “you are very rich”. It is like this in my country and in most of the places I visit, apart from the ones that are so affluent that I am destitute next to them.
In Burma, buying a book from a girl, she sold it expensive, gave it for a dollar less to the guy next to me. She said five to me, four to him. In front of my eyes. Right after me. When she did it so brazenly, I said “Eh, so if that is its price, give me back a dollar” smiling. Not that I wanted it. But for her to see what she did was not fair or nice.
“It doesn't matter for you, it matters for me,” she replied.
Obvious she's been taught. Well, why did she think a dollar would have mattered for the Czech guy I don't know!
I used to hang on tight to my money. I didn't want to let people swindle me. But then I changed my mind. I let go, anybody who wants, can get my money. I didn't even say anything to the man in Costa Rica who looked at the odometer of the car and told me a price as if it was the taximeter. Albeit, one feels bad afterwards. But not for the reason you think; that we live in a world where such wretched/despicable people live... That the order of this world has created such people.
But now I was going to tell something different:
I liked a small textile wallet in the market in front of the hostel in Puerto Escondido. I asked the price, the woman told it, I handed the money. Mathew next to me, said “Bargain.” I shrugged.
“This is the market,” he repeated, “You can bargain.”
I know that too. But look at this poor old lady I buy the bag from. Why should I bargain with her? If she is to rip me off, how much can/is she overcharging, what I buy is only 3 - 5 dollars anyway. Why should I cut off from her earnings/income? I'm sure she has grandchildren, obvious she doesn't spend it on gambling, let that money be hers.
In this trip, thinking just like the girl in Burma, I had started giving people whatever they wanted without bargaining. I still do. But there is this. Yes, that's right, it doesn't matter for me that I have a dollar less in my pocket. And yes, that's right, it makes an important difference in hers. But if I keep reasoning this way and start giving that money to everybody in whose life a dollar makes a difference, in the same day, or even in a couple of hours or minutes, I'd be in their position too. A dollar would start making a difference in my life too. I'm not printing money and unfortunately I don't have the money to cover all the needs of the world. I wish I did, believe me, I'd give it away.
Why do some live more comfortably without thinking much about money? Is all elbow grease and an honest penny? No, it's not. If I construct a sentence “Those who sweat more make less” you might say it's a generalization but nobody can say “It's an outright lie, never!” Do those who have money, those who make more have talents? Some yes. All? No, not. Besides, why do some talents sell at a premium? Of course, when somebody creates something with brain power, let him make billions, but when the other is working a whole day with sweat with muscles and gets one, how can it be explained humanistically that the other makes millions in a second? Can it be? Who determines what something is worth? Is it the markets? Is it a matter of supply and demand? Yes, in the way we understand, it is so. But who determines this? People who hold the money. What can someone who doesn't have money demand out of life?
"All we are saying is give peace a chance" accompanied the crowd, in the sumptuous theatre saloon of the cruise ship. An impressive/moving scene in the thousands of candles lit. A penetrating/profound sentimentalism/romanticism. Whereas you take a step back to look, the reality is so very different; wonder how it would seem if there was a “poor” (wo/man) there?
As long as money is distributed, I don't know how but in a different manner than today, for example according to greed/ambition and lust or it doesn't become an unheeded object due to abundance; in short, as long as money does not lose its governing power, peace does not have a chance in this world.
The most basic problems in the world are grounded in money perhaps, but it doesn't finish there, I'm aware.
Did peace prevail during the period where there was no money?
The essence of man has a share in this, the order that we set up as society too. The discrimination of “we and you” of people, seeing their rights as the universal right and the desire to impose that on everybody is boundless.
It wasn't like this in my first round-the-world tour. Did times change or did I?
Everywhere I go, a thousand complications, absurdities/inanities beyond the mind and understanding. I had not dwelled on it much until now, I had accepted it, as it was what I had known so all along, I had not felt the need to think otherwise or even deem likely it could be otherwise. But now all has gone way too far over the line. And I can no longer stomach people who were born in some place prohibiting that piece of the world to me saying “Whoa brother, where do you think you are going, passport-VISA.”
I know but I don't want to accept; there is no El Dorado on this Earth. Man is a dissatisfied creature. If he had everything, he'll want to lose it gambling. If he had peace of mind, he'll want excitement. When he is under risk, he'll want security, if he is secure in every way, he'll be wanting risk. The rage, lunacy/mania, grudge/rancor/spite/animosity, arrogance/conceit, sordidness, self-seeking, lie in him, count as many as you can the “evil/wicked/dark” qualities, will not by no means disappear completely. A detergent to wash and purify will not be invented. I know... But I do not want to accept.
Is Money a Slave or the Master?