Poor Life Choices
(Madagascar, 4 Jun 2012)
One of the sobering sights of Tamatave is the cadre of ex-middle-aged Frenchmen enjoying startlingly poor judgment in their particular choices of young Malagasy women.
Some are permanently stranded here (this used to be a French colony), some just felt insufficiently loved at home. But overall these were not gents whose judgement I admired.
But as I have discovered, some people will always make unlikely choices. Passing an island in the south of the Philippines (years ago on a windsurfing trip, clothes strapped to the base of the mast, money in a plastic bag) I encountered an older German with what appeared to be three, very decent, young Filipina wives. He was making a living as the only boat engine repairman for some nautical distance. But, despite these blessed circumstances – three wives, and a monopoly, in a paradise – he was clearly looking much the worse for wear. He had given himself to drink.
Now why one would give oneself to drink with three wives to manage, I did not (at the time) understand.
It may be that the further you go to look for happiness, the further you distance yourself from it. Here, also in Tamatave, is a couple that don’t have much, but even so seem to be very happy with the way things are.
And here a nice gent, not far from his home, and with even less, who still seemed to find life quietly amusing.
6 Responses to “Poor Life Choices”
Don’t know what to make of this post . . . I’ve read it three times, and am still not sure exactly what I’m reading. If anything, it raises more questions than the information it presents.
I get the 3 wives bit, but the rest . . .
I’ll just wait for the next post.
Yes, I agree – it is rambling. I had originally removed it from the menus and pages, but as it seems to have been recently found – I guess through the new “Related” feature – I guess I have to restore it.
And it does raise questions that it does not answer, but as my views tend to the eccentric, any opinion I expressed would likely get me attacked from all four sides. No need to create controversy that benefits no one and resolves nothing.
The reason I kept the post and did not kill it off is just that I liked the people in the pictures.
“They seemed to find everything funny, which made me wonder why I didn’t.” Yes, I saw this in Jamaica too. Some of the poorest people without the least chance at having a decent life and still, happy. I think for many of them, an unshakable belief in a god I couldn’t believe in, is what kept them happy and sane.
Well, I think what makes poor people happy is the same as makes anybody happy – living within your expectations, connections with friends, love of family. But I am sure they also have many moments when they don’t smile – they just don’t feel the need to infect strangers with it.
I liked it. A combination of riches, humor and sadness. And that was just the German guy.
yes, poor sod. I think theoperative here was “why one would give oneself to drink with three wives to manage, I did not (at the time) understand”. Age, even if it does not bring wisdom, at least brings caution.