Upon my return from Denmark, where I had seen and done so much, I promised myself that I would explore more of my own region - Washington DC and Northern Virginia.
With this set-up, I faithfully ventured into town today to take in an oft-forgotten but delightful gem in the Smithsonian Museum collection - the National Postal Museum.
Despite being all alone, I had a fabulous time! There were so many interesting things I didn't know about the Postal service and the museum is very interact, so learning was fun! My favorite part was the historical international stamps. A Mr. Miller of the early 20th century collected and than donated his entire stamp collection. Which is EXTENSIVE, to say the least (stamps from 1894, stamps with mistakes, exclusive stamps). What I thought was riveting was seeing international stamps during various remarkable historical incidents. For instance, the stamps from Germany of 1940 have Hitler's picture, the Russia stamps of 1911 - Tzar Nicholas II and by 1920 they are of Lenin, China in the 1950's communist propaganda. Stamps, it seems, are very much a reflection of the political situation to which they deliver the mail. If I go back again, I would like more time to poor over this particular collection.NOW ONTO A TOTALLY DIFFERENT SUBJECT
Returning back to home, I hit a red light. At this specific intersection stood a woman holding a sign which read something to the effect that she was out of work and could we (in this sense the we being the general public) help her (I think meaning money). Again I twisted with my conscious if I should give her something but in the end didn't (I still am in doubt as to this decision). However, it did leaving me thinking, have we had a cultural change? What leads a person to beg? Wasn't there a time when there was shame associated with begging or am I just imagining that? How does one come to beg, making that decision? How do you feel when you beg? I'm not throwing judgment at all but better trying to understand this phenomenon....