We've had what many New Yorkers think if just too much rain lately. It's enough to have to take an umbrella to work, to wear galoshes, to consider wearing a raincoat. It's all such an inconvenience and we miss our wonderful, sun-filled early summer weekends. Quelle Horreur!
But just talk with someone in Central Europe and your perspective will shift. They've got too much rain also. In fact they have so much rain, they are flooded. Seriously flooded. Nine people have died in the floods thus far and the water is still coming down.
Our new intern, Franziska Stefan, is from Leipzig, Germany. When I asked her opinion in searching for today's blog topic, I thought she would mention the CitiBike program, causing complaints and delights, depending on with whom you're talking. Or maybe the discussion about Mayor Bloomberg's post-mayoral intentions of influencing policies in states around the country on topics of importance to him, like obesity, education and the like. Or maybe how much all of us in the Flatiron district of Manhattan are missing the "Mad Sq Eats" pop up restaurants that left the neighborhood scene last Friday, May 31.
Instead, Franziska shyly suggested I look into the flooding issue that is so distressing to Germans. Flooding? Really? I then did my homework and realized just how parochial our conversations can be. I'm worried about getting a cheap lunch on Madison Square, and people in Germany are trying to protect their homes and businesses from flood waters. They've been forced to call out the military to help with rescue and and damage prevention. We thought Hurrican Sandy was bad. And we talked about it incessantly. The German floods sound that bad and worse. These are the worst floods in Central Europe in nearly twelve years. And they are affecting a far wider breadth of Central Europe than our hurricane last year..
I realize that if I had not asked Franziska what was on her mind for today's blog, we would not have had the important conversation that ensued. Once again I'm realizing how much everyone around me has to say and how so often they don't get the opportunity to express it. People around them are listening to music on their headphones, or are talking on the phone, or are hard at work, or otherwise unavailable for talk. That connector, talk.