In the warwaging over Gunter Grass—the Nobel Prize winning German author, teenage Nazi soldier, and author of a poem denouncing Israel’s threats on Iran—it’s hard to tell whose national psyche is more scarred. In Germany, where Grass, 84, published the poem, translated into English as “What Must Be Said,” the intellectual landscape has been virtual
What would you do if you were a Shabbat observer on a delayed flight late Friday afternoon and it became increasingly unlikley you'd get to your destination before sundown? Ask to get off the plane, or stick it out and hope for the best?
Maybe you shouldn't have been on the flight in the first place.
I remember how amazed I was, many years ago, when it first dawned on me that a plane between cities could be the cheap option.
It was around 1999, the dawn of European discount air travel, and I had to figure out the cheapest ride between Paris and Nice. The train cost over $200; the flight, about 20 percent less, and it shaved six hours off the trip.
My father once made a trip overseas. The year was 1955, Europe was struggling to rebuild itself from postwar trauma, and my dad shipped out for Lausanne, Switzerland, to spend a year at conservatory. When his studies were finished, he went to Paris for a week to tour the Louvre. Then he came home, satisfied that he had seen Europe.