Also, general readership has dropped since I left the Orient. I guess people are not interested in Europe.
- First of all, there hasn't been much in terms of adventure. Not going over a waterfall in a barrel, hiking the Himalayas or personally confronting Kim Jung-un. Notice how the tenseness over North Korea has diminished the problems in Syria. Reminded me I need a haircut.
- I should have been more informative about the French presidential elections. Effectively, compared to the U.S., the dominant Republican and Democratic Party candidates were defeated by two outliers. Marine Le Pen is an extreme right-winged conservative, something we don't really have, although Donald Trump seems so. Emmanuel Macron has never run for office before, and if he wins, he will have very little support in their Parliament. Thus, no matter who prevails in the runoff on May 7, they will have no control over legislation, unlike Donald Trump. However, Marcon, the centrist, at least will keep France in the EU, be sensible about immigration and retain the Euro. So he will easily win.
- My Westin TV set accessed 229 channels, with nearly 50 from the Middle East and Africa. Libya, Algeria...and all in language I don't understand. Even a bunch of stations from the former Soviet countries like Kyrgyzstan. And Cuba. There were 20 or so radio stations and four of them played classical music, while a half dozen regularly had older American hits (60's to 80's). While in Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and South Korea there must have been a dozen sports stations, in Germany, there was only one, with a paid channel for U.S. sports.
- Speaking of sports, I've been managing my six ESPN fantasy baseball teams, and four are currently in first place, with two in third. There was at least one, and sometimes two or three, major league baseball games every day in Japan and South Korea on television.
United's Polaris, the reason for this change is that they are deleting first class and enhancing business class. However, for now, apparently, being on Polaris First Class is supposed to be equivalent to most international first class flights. I'll see, soon. All USA airlines have pretty much terminated true first class service, and if they have it, it is really business class. I'm curious where Polaris is headed. But the basic point remains: