A Palm Tree Theory

Probably you know this joke.

A man is lying under a palm tree on an island, relaxed.

A businessman comes and asks: “Why are you lying here doing nothing? Go pick up bananas, sell them and you will have some cash”.

“And then what?”

“And then pick up more bananas, sell them again and you will have more money”.

“And then?”

“If you continue working hard, you will be able to hire people who will pick up bananas for you. You will manage them, get rich, and build a house. Then when you earn enough you will travel to beautiful places and relax on the beach under palm trees!”

“And what am I doing?..”

This joke was funny when I heard it for the first time. It is not funny anymore, it’s more philosophical and indicative of the existential questions which I often ask myself.

Eight months ago we moved from Ukraine to Portugal, if more precisely – to the island of Madeira. And although these places should not be compared, to compare is in our nature – and I can’t keep from it.

In my county (as well as in other places I travelled before) people are occupied with well-being. Pursuing the American dream, but with more human face. And you know, together will all the drawbacks, it has one appealing feature: the society is pushing you to realize yourself and your best abilities.

It was the line of the businessman from the joke.

Now it’s the aboriginal speaking.

Every morning in our town, Camara de Lobos, I see fishermen playing cards or hanging out in the bay, or in the bar. If you think that I am speaking of marginals, you are wrong, those are workers (but, for your interest, I am friends with most of marginals here).

You will say: these are extremes! And I will reply: let’s speak about general public.

People get employed with restaurants, hotels or other services and stay with them 10, 20, 30 years and more. It’s their first job after school and up to retirement. Those who have other type of work or escape to the continent or other counties are more exceptions.

You will ask: so what? And I will reply: I am concerned with these people, yes! Because it’s a violation towards the human’s designation – not to ask for more, not to test your strength and not to push to your limits.

And then I stop myself. Maybe this IS the life, maybe they found their inner peace and it’s the ideal lifestyle? All the young people we meet here – maybe this is the ideal choice? Have resources to sustain yourself but not to lose the paradise.

Poor you are or rich of Forbes Top-100: in the end of the day, we all want to rest under a palm tree.

So if there is not difference – why the fuss?



The photo is provided by Art Photography Madeira. What an awesome threesome siesta: the dog is having rest under the boat which is having rest under the net while the birds are resting on the castle!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s