OTY: The river raider was either channeling Queequeg, counting coup or out for an afternoon suicidal joy ride. Steering a Boston Whaler skiff, the guy overtook our towboat and barge and then quite deliberately zoomed under our barge bow in bold defiance of all boating rules and regulations. We held our breath as he disappeared from view, and exhaled with relief when we saw him zip out the other side, creasing the bow wave. Fool or bold warrior, it was not for me to judge. I was in awe of his crazy nerve.
OTA: At times, we were a ship of fools. Sitting through a meal with Trumpian Republicans and listening to the arrogant pontification was a trial by firing line. My fellow voyagers were floating through a world of distress and they did not care. They had received their inoculation of the good life and were immune to the vulnerability of others. I did not have the nerve to debate absurdities and cause a rift among the happy shipmates. In these moments, I could remain sane by recalling the good works of others. My brother had visited Mandalay several times to teach critical thinking to students and teachers. With the present civil unrest in Myanmar, I like to think some of his pupils were joining the protest lines and strategizing on how to achieve a better Myanmar using some of those critical thinking skills.