Ferodo was sitting at a side table in the club lounge of the Hyatt Regency hotel in Delhi. His local Indian colleague and friend Tanish was sitting there across from him. Scotch this time, it was late, in the evening, dark and monsoon out, it had not been a good day, after three weeks of bad days, the pair had just about had enough.
The desk clerk Anuga, at the lounge dropped by and since there were few people around, and not so busy, asked how they were doing.
Really not so bad, said Ferodo. We’ve been out, and now we are back.
“So, what brings you to Delhi then ?” asked Anuga
Ferodo said “actually we are… in real estate”, “there is a united nations sponsored conference on here in Delhi at the moment.”
Anuga said “oh really, I hadn’t heard of that one.”
Putting down his glass, Tanish stepped in and added “yes, it is not that well publicized, but my friend here, Ferodo, is a scientist and is helping with some key questions”.
Ferodo looked over at Anuga more intently and said “You see we’re looking into real estate on the moon.” and took a careful sip of scotch.
Anuga looked between both of them, somewhat incredulous, and assumed they were both pulling her leg.
“Yes that’s right”, said Tanish, “you see Ferodo is an astronomer, and so he knows all about the conditions on the moon and is advising the UN and the real-estate brokers all about the situation of housing on the moon. I myself sell real-estate, so I’m selling land on the moon. Well, not yet though we are still finalizing the details.”
Tanish an ambitious kind of guy, got up and left saying he would be back shortly.
Anuga looked at Ferodo, Ferodo looked at Anuga.
“You see it is like this”. said Ferodo – “there are several key features about the situation of real-estate on the moon, and many misconceptions. For a start The moon has a day, almost like the earth’s. So day and night is not a problem. The real problem is that it is constantly facing the earth.”
Anuga said “Yes like the man in the moon right ? It always looks the same.”
“Right”, said Ferodo, “It always looks the same, it is always facing the earth, even though the Earth spins past, it is always facing it. ”
“So why is that a problem ?” asked Anuga
“It’s simply a problem for humans, not for the moon. If you were sitting on the earth facing side, you would see the earth. Always. You could never stop seeing it. Even when the moon went round the back of the earth at night, you could still see the lights of Taiwan, Japan, UK, not so much India, but you could still see it.”
Ferodo sipped his scotch and gazed out the window as if drawn by a problem too hard to solve.
Anuga said “Really !, I never looked at it that way. But that would be good woudn’t it ?.”
Tanish had rejoined the pair at the table, but had missed the conversation. Ferodo asked Tanish to explain why a permanent earth facing view was a problem.
Tanish said “You see the real problem is that the earth is always always in the same spot in the moon’s sky. So if you put a house on the moon, it can only see the earth in a particular position. So one of the key features is ?”
“An earth facing window !” said Anuga. “Wow, Let me get you another drink and you can tell me more. I don’t see that is a problem.”
Anuga went off to organise some more drinks.
Ferodo explained to Tanish, “You better tell her about the earth facing side, and the non earth facing side of the moon.” “Like you cannot sell land on the non-earth facing side, i.e. the dark side, which is not dark, just can’t see the earth.”
Tanish, the ambitious one, said “Not a problem. There must be many people who really don’t want to look at the earth, reminded of the place they left, where their family and ancestors are, where their old long lost friends are.” “Living on the non earth facing side would be perfect for them.”
Ferodo waited. Anuga returned.
Anuga, looking excited told Ferodo. “i know what the problem is, I figured it out, but I have a solution. You want to hear it ?”
“OK go on” said Ferodo
Anuga kept her voice low and said quietly “You just need special blinds, you know special blinds that you can close.. and then just open them whenever you feel like looking at the earth, you know, to remind you of home”
Tanish was thinking as was Ferodo, perhaps it would work. They might each mention it at the conference in the morning.