The alley; reality not a video game

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- The main street in the alley is not an imitation wall or floor waiting for the first smart drunk who thinks it can be conquered, so he can move to the next level to win the game. It wasn't designed to be tested by adolescents pretending to be grown adults. For the most part it's simply a commercial strip established to support a small band of merchants who provide both products and services to the population. The merchants who have set up shop here are trying, as we all are, to support a family. They don't need the additional burden of policing 'ill-mannered' foreigners. 

The alley is tough reality and it has the potential to kill you (drunk or sober), same as any commercial district in the world. Yes, I said kill you. I've watched the cars, trucks and buses streak up and down the street like it were some kind of autobahn. They drive on the wrong side of the street, turn without singling, stop without warning and dart out from the side streets without a thought in the world for what might be coming up the street. There are tractors of all kinds, horse carts and push carts, mopeds and motor cycles. There are children, dogs and chickens in the street. Traffic is haphazard at best and down right dangerous at its worst. And winter has come to the alley with its rain, mud and grime that makes the street very slick and far more unpredictable. 

Now add darkness to the mix; walking is challenging enough without darkness or rain thrown in. Add drinking and now the senses become dull and inattentive, one can't judge the challenge as keenly as before. This is a recipe people, for disaster. 

I've read several great articles of late about "the Ugly American," how true they are! None of us want to be singled out for that epitaph. But I submit personal safety is at risk here today, don't imagine you're going to get to the next level in your imaginary video game if you're too drunk to recognize the danger of the street. Think how intense you must be in your video game online; you need that intensity and more to win the reality I'm talking about. The next level in the game of reality is tomorrow, the next day and the rest of your life! Think about it!