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Some Fatherly Advice
Travel the World but Know Where You Are
This is just my opinion. You can do what you want with it.
I had been reading quite a lot about Brittney Griner, the charges against her, the resultant trial and sentencing. Now I’m reading quite a lot about her former head coach at Baylor, Kim Mulkey.
My opinion is Brittney Griner is a political prisoner. Just as Paul Whelan, both pictured above, is a political prisoner. Here’s a little bit about Whelan. Yeah, he’s a spook (spy) but that is not what this is about.
Media is trying to get Mulkey to say something, perhaps even offer support to Griner and the legal entanglements she finds herself in. Not much is being said about Whelan. Probably because he is not a sports figure.
Anyway, the media is harshing on Mulkey and her lack of support toward Griner, indeed, to offer any comment at all. Here is just one of many opinion pieces making the rounds these days.
Mulkey and Griner have had a past. Frankly, I do not care why or what it is about. Mulkey seems like a piece of shit though, just saying. Again, that is not my point with this post.
The point is this…
I have a daughter. We have traveled outside of the country many times. I would always remind her to mind her own business and always follow the rules. Have a great time, meet people, have adventures, but NEVER forget where you are. You are in a foreign country and if you get in trouble, help is an awfully long way away. You do not have the home court advantage. And the rules will be very different.
If I were Mulkey and compelled to offer any comments, I would offer that bit of worldly wisdom.
I would wager Griner had previously strolled through that airport checkpoint many times with the same kind of contraband, without incident. But things changed when Putin pulled his shit in Ukraine and the good ol protector of the world – USA – figured it would be fun to enter a proxy war with Putin.
When traveling, you absolutely must watch out for yourself, understand what is going on around you and understand world events.
My first venture abroad, I decided to take a cycling trip around England, perhaps even wind up over on The Continent. I had never been out of the country before, save for Canada and Mexico, and that wasn’t much of a problem back then.
I filled out my customs form on the flight over. When I got to the Occupation blank on the form, I had to think about it. I didn’t really have a job at that point in time, was not a student, not traveling as a member of the Peace Corps. So, I was being as honest as possible, without thinking of possible ramifications, and jotted down Occupation: Traveler. Perfect.
The stern English Customs Officer interviewing me did not think that was funny at all. He hammered me with questions – How long will you stay? Do you have a return ticket? (I didn’t) How much money did you bring? Where are you staying? Do you know anyone here? Where were you born? What do your parents do? On and on and on. I recognized many of the people from the flight over, while answering all these questions, who were clearing Customs in seconds. I was still dutifully answering every question fired at me. He finally stamped my passport with a notation that I was not allowed to WORK in the country, and let me in. Mind you, Customs can turn your ass around and put you on the next flight back to where you came.
I didn’t know any of this. But I have not repeated that mistake. And the joke is on that guy. While in Colchester, I ended up working as a day laborer for a circus that was just coming over from The Continent. Got paid cash. That’s a delightful story too.
Here’s a cool song that goes along with traveling the world.