Month: November 2019

Appointment in Samarra

The speaker is Death: There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me.  She looked at me and made a threatening gesture,  now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate.  I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.  The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went.  Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threating getsture to my servant when you saw him this morning?  That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise.  I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

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Among my crowd of ex-pat friends here in Chiang Mai there has been a rash of heart attacks and strokes. We who are too old for medical insurance have to pay our hospital bills out of pocket. Several of my friends have created Crowd Funding sites on the Internet. Another guy languishes in the public hospital where there is no air conditioning and there are ten beds to a room. The lone Norwegian in my group was told by his country he could fly home on his choice of airline and would be met at the gate by a wheelchair and taken by ambulance to the hospital. Guess it pays not to be from a third-world country.