Home » More & Less Hockey » Behind veil number one…

Behind veil number one…

I am so tired I can’t really think straight, but I feel like writing something about it.

There’s been talk about realignment being nixed by the NHLPA.  We have been told many times by many outlets that this is a terrible thing, that because of this we will not be guaranteed a chance to see the great players from outside our conference every season.  Quel calamity!  Oh the humanity!

Right, ticket sales are down or not up more because Lundquist won’t be coming to town every season.  What the frikking hell.  Ticket sales are down because the world (which does include the USA) economy has been in the toilet for about a decade now.

Speaking of dreadful economies, I was surprised to get a bunch of “oh nos” about my latest travel adventure.  I’m going to Philly and Detroit because this makes perfect sense to me.  Hockey is my latest travel theme (possibly everything theme), so of course I must go to Philly (crossover with Jagr theme) and Detroit.  Why would I need to explain to anyone why Detroit is on my list of places I have to go for hockey?  I mean, it’s the Red Wings’ home town.  It’s a no-brainer for me.

And yet…

I’m getting the same feedback on Detroit as I got about going to Russia.  Well, no one is saying the cops will mug me and hold my passport hostage.  No one is saying I will be held hostage myself.  No one is saying I’ll be run over in the crosswalks.  I’m just being told to not set foot… anywhere.  Oh well.  Maybe I have become too bold because of prior experiences in places I am told not to go:

Russia: None of the advertised bad stuff went down, quite the opposite.  After 2 days in Moscow, I was walking to the ice rink that I’d pre-scouted the day before and a uniformed man stopped me in a pedestrian overpass.  He pointed at me and said “hockey?”  He apparently remembered me from my pre-scout and the only word I had said, pointing at the building: “hockey?” I had pretty good luck with uniformed officials in Russia.  Even the one who thought I was trying to bribe him.  Hey, I didn’t get arrested.

Prague during some international to-do in 99:  riots were expected.  I blew those warnings off because I knew the Czechs hire (or build) Uni Sols for their police force. Yeah, saw not a whisper of a riot or demonstrations.  I even went to where all that was supposed to go down.  Not even loiterers.  But what do you expect from US government travel alerts?

Belfast in the late 80s: all I saw there were a lot of armed men in camo lurking in the shadows.  I had a beer in a pub, looked at some outdoor market stalls, bought something or other, got back on the train and returned to Dublin.

Eger, Hungary, bitten by a dog: had to get out of the country before they forced me to have a big shot in my stomach.  Found a hospital in the middle of the night in Frankfurt (because it seemed like the thing to do until the German doctor let me know I’d gotten him out of bed at 2am to see a non-wound).  I even got some therapeutic conversation at the airport from some US servicemen.  I needed that, because by then I thought I might have rabies.  I didn’t but fyi, you don’t need shots in the stomach for rabies anymore.  You can get shots in your extremities.  So don’t let anyone do that to you.

Naples, Italy, cheap hotel district: lovely restaurants not in the cheap hotel district and a notorious mob town.  What I learned about mob towns: tourist women are mostly pretty safe.  No one does crime in a mob town without permission, which requires cause, which means I was probably completely safe the whole time.

Note: I am a fairly paranoid person.  I keep my eyes open, I do pay attention.  It’s not like I walk into dark alleys to look for a bathroom. I study crosswalks and intersections very closely before stepping off a curb in a strange city.

The fact remains that I have not yet been to any of America’s worst crime spots.  I’ve been to NYC and Chicago and LA, but not the bad parts.  From what people are telling me, Detroit is pretty much all bad parts.  I have trouble believing that since there are hotels that charge a lot.  They can’t do that, can they, if their clients get shot in the lobby?  At the very least, those guests won’t be inclined to pay their bills.

I jest, sort of.  I know that no one does crime like the US of A.  I knew that even in the 80s in Belfast, when the violent deaths in war-torn Northern Ireland still were fewer than murders in LA.  And LA has a lot of safe neighborhoods.  So Belfast sounded scary but really wasn’t.  The true numbers in Naples, Moscow, even Hungary then or now are probably hard to get. But I doubt they’re as bad as rough American cities.

Which brings me to this horoscope I read today:

Saturn and Mars rising in your sign foretell a deadly combination of conflict and the search for knowledge. To avoid sudden murder, try not to read any predictions about your future this week. -Libra horoscope for week of Jan 3, 2012, The Onion

Places remain to be discovered, cities I have not seen. That is a veil I can pull back with a plane ticket and a hotel reservation.  This comes at a good time, just as I’m getting a little frustrated with not knowing what I need to do vis a vis the Sharks, except that I need to go somewhere I have not been.  Since that has gotten sticky, I’m double frustrated.  Here I was thinking I was my only obstacle.  Nope, I have new ones, someone saying “no, I don’t think I want you to go there or do that.”  At first I felt relief, since I was so stressed about moving forward, about tugging on more curtains.  That didn’t last long. Now I want to move again. I still don’t know what the heck I need to do when I get there but the restless legs are getting to me.

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