You are an American antiques experience all in your own, I was once told. If you share that in some odd way too, now you can begin at your nearest train station. Why would I possiblty do that you may well ask. Well, for one, did you know the trains of America were created by the size of two horse backsides width? No, you say. We and history says it is so. All the Roman roads in Britain were build - with whips and chained Britons, and the realization that the new road, lets call ours Watling - must carry the weight, width and stength of two powerful Roman horses side by side.
They need to pulll all those soliers with swords to kill and weapons for that purpose to the next urgent uprising. Heads must be liberated for more bodies! And so the first wagon wheels in modern times were found to break apart if they did not stay in those soon more powerfully rutted routes. So, that became the standard. And when steel tracks came out of the first dark black deep coal pits with their half blind ponies pulling, the tracks had to be adjusted if the coal was to reach town on the only good roads available.
They built, we adapt. And when the English first allowed America to enjoy the fruits of this brilliant noisy smelly dirty new rapid machine- speeds up to three miles an hour = were terrifying and exciting new means to get about. It was all the rage. If you still could only handle your carraige and it was not horseless, you were soon the object of humor with your out of date ways. And so it is not quite that way in down town Ulan Bator in the central heart of Genghis Khan and his family.
This train was built long ago and does connect the capital of China to the south and Soviet Siberia to the north, and then on to Moscow. Such choices. So in some small irony do we find today a Canadian mining company nearby who are extracting massive riches and only they have been entrusted among all companies of all other nations on earth to dig and make messes, which they are doing. Ponds are filling with waste and trucks carry and shovels dig and the Canadian flag flies just under that of the proud nation of Genghis Khan.
Not Joe Stalin. Not Chairman Mao. Only Johnnie Canucks. Why? It seems that they do not like their nearest neighbors. They do not trust them. Even in 1961 I wondered. Although my personal Berlin Wall Genghis aimed his machine gun at me, I did wonder how proudly he wore that Communist Red Star on his furry hat. And it would seem the answer is not at all. Or much. He may not have been a happy volunteer I then did assume. The people of Mongolian watch in silence each train pass through their land as a not welcome and not silent invader.
And you think we should wory about bombs on our train tracks? Yes but not with that inevitably. I can take the train to Seattle and not have Mongols on ponies watch me silently. Do you have difficulty feeling their pain? Too bad for you. Too bad for us. If we get a chance to be even near a short walk in the mocassins of one we see as so alien we woulc never be brothers. He may be a site boss at the Canadian job site. And he still would think I was an American. Just gentler. That is why we are welcome in Mongolia.
We left our tanks and our guns at home and brought our digging equipment and money and jobs. It may be so complex myseries some cannot understand can be seen as so natural. Like falling off a celestiaL log. Or getting up in the yhurt the right way in the morning. We will all soon be ponpis in history, but some fine things will continue after we are only as if gone with the winds of time. Walter did you fall asleep in there? Yes, dear. You drooled all over your newscast papers again. Yes dear.
Good night Walter, it will all flow in the morning as honey in our land of milk and honey. Yes dear I am sure with the right attitude you could yet be proved right. Time will tell. A sound of bells tolling, for you, for me, for thee in the soft evening air. Or is that a dawn sun halo? Let us go see.
Derek Dashwood enjoys noticing positive ways we progress, the combining of science into the humanities to measure politics, wise use and mis use of power and protective love at