Sunday, August 3, 2008

Where in the world is Thomas L. Friedman? ..by Sybil Adelman Sage

Does Tom Friedman spend any time at home? Doesn't his wife mind rattling around alone in their 11,400 square foot home on 7 1/2 acres in Bethesda, Maryland, or does she enjoy not having to share the space? Does anyone else wonder if Friedman has his clothes cleaned by hotel valets? Does he take drinks out of the Mini-Bar? How much time is he in the air? Waiting on the tarmac? Does he buy airline sandwiches? How often does he need a new passport?

Maybe it's not my business, but I think the man is away too much. I admire curiosity, and traveling is an adventure, but what about the family? Am I the only one worrying about this? When there's a week without a Tom Friedman column, I'm relieved, hoping he's catching up with Ann and his daughters.

Today's column starts, "Jorgen Peder Steffensen made me an offer I couldn't refuse: 'If you come to Copenhagen, I will show you a Christmas snow, the snow that fell between 1 B.C. and 1 A.D." Friedman goes on to say he doesn't go to the Arctic Circle every day. No, he can't. He's everywhere else! Steffensen, an ice specialist, knew Tom Friedman would turn up. I bet he'd come if I asked him over to dinner.

Without any effort, I can cite some places Friedman's been -- India, Baltimore, Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Montana, Beirut and Israel. I saw him on TV interviewing Indians at a call center and another time climbing over the fence in the West Bank. How much does he have to run around? Is anyone else annoyed that he went to the Arctic Circle?

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