A woman was sharing her impressions about a trip to China with a few other women. It was , it seems, an organized tour for Canadian senior citizens, though apparently a few American couples managed to infiltrate the group and taint that Canadian purity.
The woman rushed to explain with typical Canadian magnanimity: We did not mind. Most of them were quite nice people and we all got on famously. There was one particular wonderful couple we liked very much indeed. Except for one incident. When we were visiting Tianamen Square the husband asked the tour guide about the tanks. Which side of the square did they come from. We were all terribly embarrassed. We didn't know where to look, where to put ourselves. They are like that, those Americans, even the best of them, they just don't know how to behave, and they ask such tactless questions...
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Saturday, February 20, 2010