When changing countries we have a lot to learn. I come from a country with a lot of young people. There are young people walking dogs, up to a dozen of them at the same time. Those young men look like Charlton Heston driving his carriage at Ben-Hur.
If the allegory didn’t seem strange to you, it’s because you’re more or less my age.
Around here, I saw an elderly walker a while ago. She was also not young and walked propping up five old ladies at the same time. The walker was like in the center of the gang, two of the oldest on each side and on the sides of these, the ones that were left. They all went with shaky steps, clinging to each other as best they could. It seemed that if one fell they would all be scattered on the ground. Seeing them was as beautiful as it was distressing.
Apocalyptic visions like these are sharpening my aim. For example, I’m better off choosing the checkout queue at the supermarket. Here, the most successful strategy is no longer to choose the queue of customers with smaller purchases. I learned to skip the line with elderly customers. They hinder the flow. They want to discuss the price, they want to pay with expired coupons, and they count the coins several times because they forget where they were. Old people in line at the cashier are a setback!
But, I still have a lot to learn. I failed the test of choosing who to ask which bus to take. At a stop with half a dozen old people, I zeroed in on one who seemed like the best person to ask. The old chap was in good shape, but he had a level of Alzheimer’s which was a shame! To the point that I could not escape in time from the hallucinating explanations of the good man. I don’t know how he got to his house, but the old ladies I hadn’t asked warned me that I had missed the bus that was passing by on the other side of the street.
And the worst, you know what? It’s just that I’m now realizing that it doesn’t matter which side of the street you’re on, because, as I learned from my wonderful wife, we are all heading to the same destination, by car, bus, on foot, whatever, but we’ll all end up in the same place, in the same way.