As he flushed, he though that he was finished peeing and he wanted to complete his urination with the flush. Unfortunately, he needed to continue after the flush was finished. This forced a second flush, which was a waste of water. He silently scolded himself for the needless waste. Moti went from the bathroom into the living room of his small house. The house was a two bedroom, one bath, that his father had bought him for his second marriage. It was in a former blue collar neighborhood of the outskirts of Baltimore, built in the 1930's for immigrants who worked in the canning and shellfish industustries. That would make the house at least 150 years old. Moti himself was only 82. He sat down to look at the news on the computer. The news was dominated with abductions and kidnappings, murders and rape. If it bleeds, it leads, Moti thought to himself, quoting the centuries old phrase. Moti was especially irked by the most publisied news, usually it was about some blond woman or child. Men and blacks seems to be worthy of only a paragraph or two, and even that was way down on the list. If a blond girl was kidnapped, there would be blanket coverage on all the major newsites. Moti remembered his own abduction. It happened during the year that he was lost to his friends. He was lost before he was abducted and he remained lost even after he was released. As was the usual case, the governemt ransomed him from the abductors, and the government then just opened the door and he walked back to what he was doing. Before the abduction, before the lost year, in 2021, Moti was headed for a career. His father had high hopes for Moti. Moti was getting better than average grades, excellent grades in fact. He was to be a robotic engineer. Robotics was a rather mundane, but sensible career. One could get a secure job with one of the many RobApps companies. The robot product was generally considered to be a commodity now that the general design was standardized. Robapps engineering was very intense and difficult, compared to the other engineering fields. Seems that the designers, instead of making the use of their products eaiser, just kept on making it harder and harder to keep up, changing syntax and programming rules every 18 months. But all these plans went astray in Moti's third year. He was dating a girl named Robin, who would have been right at home in the Robots with her name, or so thought Moti. But Robin was a Humanities student, looking to a career in teaching. It was outside of Ner Israel Rabinical College where Moti was waiting for Robin to leave after her interview to be a teacher. A rabbinical student from Germany came over to Moti and asked him if he had an iPod to see the latest soccer scores. Moti didn't have any web accessable devices with him, and said to her that she shouldn't be interested in soccer. She said that no, rabbinical students like herself could have a wide range of interests, and what business was it of his, anyway? "What's your name?" Moti asked."Giselle." she gave him, and asked him his. She was from Dusseldorf, was 19 years old (Moti was 21), and was not interested in being a Rabbi, but was studying there just to be well informed. Moti told her where he was attending (Hopkins) which did not impress her, since the requirements had been lowered so much that one did not even need to pass any tests. "Just like Baltimore high schools" she said. "Not so, for Robapps" Moti insisted. "You have to know your stuff, either it works or it don't." "Could be" she allowed. "For that. But the days are long gone when Hopkins professors would win Nobel prizes." "True." Moti forgot about Robin. He forgot about his Robapps studies. Only Giselle was on his mind. It was a daily occurance. Moti would be waiting outside the Study Hall on a stone bench, like a puppy dog, waiting for Giselle. He would then follow her around, if she went out to shop or to look at the scenery, or just to walk. Giselle was happy for the attention, but not really attracted to Moti. Moti was enthralled with her. She was foreign, and had just a bit of an accent. She was smart, but not only, she was intellegent. There was a lack of self-conciousness, a freedom from watching one's self from that mirror behind one's head using the eye in the back of one's head, a freedom she had which Moti sensed. Or, she talked to you without really caring what you thought. However, she knew exactly what you were thinking, feeling, reacting. Moti had a fear of rejection, which kept him in a constant state of anxiety, simmering just under the surface. Giselle had none of that. If Giselle heard a harsh reply from some acquaintence, she assumed that the other person was so mistaken, or maybe it was true that she deserved the insult, but she didn't care, that's how things were and she is just that. She was so unself-concious, that she could go without clothes, although she wouldn't do that, being a Rabbinical student. Giselle didn't encourage Moti's attentions, but didn't discourage him either. When Giselle went home to Dusseldorf for the holidays, Moti caught an airbus, following her. It was ugly between Moti and her father. Her father finally came out with a shotgun and unloaded the double barrels into Moti's legs. Robin ended up marrying Moti's best friend, George Saranski. George was also in his third year at Hopkins, and also was into Robapps, with Moti. They lived on campus. When they heard what had happened to Moti, it was George who flew out to Germany. When George arrived at the hospital, Giselle's father was there, appolgizing. George wanted Moti to return to Baltimore with him. Moti had a different idea. "Let's go to Cuba." Moti suggested. George had a wife and college to return to, so he declined. But Moti went to Cuba. He stayed in a cheap hotel in Havana. For over a century, the country was on an almost complete embargo from the United States. Cars, houses, the whole country was stuck in a time warp. It was 2048 when the embargo was lifted. The country still looked like it did in 1958, when the embargo began. And even in 1958, the country was considered a Carrabien backwater, with only a few good hotels and casinos. The hotels and casinos, the farms and factories, everything was still dated to around World War II, or so. So in 2048, when the embargo was lifted, the Cuban government agreed to make the whole island into a theme park and "Past time reserve", sort of like the American national park reserves. It became a great tourist destination. The whole country became an historical landmark. No technology that was invented later than 1958 was allowed on the island, except in the airport. Before you left the airport, you had to give up all of your digital watches, iPods, cell phones, inteligent clothing, inteligent optics. Anyone with inteligent implants was forced to disable them, or was just not allowed to come. It was amazing just how long the old cars could be kept running. There was a factory in East Russia that manufactured new cars with 1950's level of technology, some for collecters, but most for the Cuban market.