Thursday, May 10, 2012
A pilgrimage to visit America: a time in Boston
Boston is filled with places that nudge you into, “I read something about that, I wish I could remember what!”
My wife and I have had our share of first time visitors to America. To our on-going surprise, so many want to see Niagara Falls. Awesome, but equally so for the sales ability in tourism offices. Go Boston.
We spent some days there last week. Annelie had never been to Boston as a matter of circumstances; it was the last great American city that we had not visited together. As usual, she read up on things prior to a visit; this time it became for both of us a pilgrimage to understand America afresh.
So much to learn, and so much unanticipated. Our hotel was across from Faneuil Hall, the scene of some of the memorial meetings leading up to the American Revolution. That I knew, “Faneuil” I did not. My multilingual wife simply proceeded to wonder if it harkening back to the Huguenots. I had thought of that persecuted people coming to the colonies in the Carolinas, but possibly here was another reminder of the so-many who had suffered for their faith and had prospered in America.
I have visited forty-three countries now, but I will say that breakfast in our hotel was unique. In part, it was pure joy: all those high school student groups on their senior day trip. Tall teacher in the front of them, big teacher in the rear of them, quick teacher in the middle of it all. Give them a pay raise, folks! It was beautiful as they surged along the Freedom Trail.
Equally marvelous were all those college kids going helter-skelter, backpacks swung, earphones ringing, and never missing a punch on their twitters. We took a bus tour and the guide remarked there were a hundred and fifty colleges and universities in the city; a full share of these must have flowed passed as we drank a second cup of coffee. It was like seeing the United Nations dumped out, an overflowing river of college students from every part of the globe. And then there were those eating breakfast close to us. I think there were a couple of different languages going every morning. Our favorite was the obvious joy of the Japanese parents who must have come over to be at their daughter’s graduation.
Amid that frenzy, the breakfasting was splendid. We were not seeing some New World Order emerging, but rather I think we were observing that process by which some day there will be a more agreeable world.