You pick up your phone in the morning, and you see a text message waiting on it.
I've been getting some of these from expat daughter lately. Wake up in the morning to an email or the message on the phone...
Things were pretty tough on her when she first moved into her dorm...new life, culture, people, school...it is all very overwhelming at times. But, she adapted and adjusted and seemed to get on pretty well. Then, suddenly...
The flu-bug...virus...stomach flu...whatever you want to call it...struck. She got sick and, well, there is just nothing worse than not having your mommy around when you are sick and alone for the first time. We've all been through that and it isn't fun. I recently sweated out a flu in a hotel in Thailand during a business trip...not fun. And, because there is nobody there to rub your head and fill your hot water bottle to put on your tummy, the blues strike and then, the next thing you know she is visiting a doctor and getting some bloodwork and picking up prescriptions...
I called and we talked. She's going through a rough time...and adjustment time. You live your life in one way and then suddenly you are forced to take charge of it and change it. It's tough...and that is what we talk about. We talk about how she misses home, but knows she needs to get things together. We talk about school and how excited she is to be taking some of the classes she has. We talk about the pressure of getting an assignment done, even though you really don't know what to write your paper about. I talk about remembering and looking forward to the times in which she will visit us and to savor those moments. We talked about how she always has family with her...but her home will be where she is. We talk...to just hear voices. So, when I see the message...
I will. Because, we miss her in our lives too. And we have moved into a new house that is just a bit too quiet without her bouncing around inside of it. And there have been parties and dinners that we have been going to recently and she isn't there. And her brother misses her help with his homework each night and he is adjusting to being the only kid in the house. And...well, it isn't making me sick, but when I see that small question flashing on the screen of my phone, I will respond to the message.
If we retreat now, hand Iraq over to Al Qaida and sectarian death squads and Afghanistan back to Al Qaida and the Taleban, we won't be safer; we will be committing a craven act of surrender that will put our future security in the deepest peril.
Will, the Imagethief, recently posted a terrific essay he wrote for That's Beijing about eating comfort food in China...trying to find the perfect place to go.
But since then, the gloss has started to wear off those comfort food joints. If Beijing in 2004 had plenty of Western food, Beijing in 2006 has a dazzling abundance that grows monthly. I’ve given up on the diners for lunches and dinners. There are simply too many better, more interesting places to eat. I’ll still go for an occasional breakfast, perhaps because I’m a sucker for pancakes and a bottomless cup of coffee, but that’s all.
GZ is quite different that BJ. Despite being an 'international' city, GZ is probably the furthest behind of the major 'international' cities of Chiner.
When we arrived in 1996, we had Kathleen's, a tiny little American style cafe tha that served the closest thing to American food, given the scant ingredients of the time. Other than that, it was hotel food. Slowly, more small diners opened up, but Kathleen had the perfect formula (motorcycle helmet lights were the best) of atmosphere, service, booze and some food too. One of Kathleen's employees spun off her own place (Gail's Place) and it is just like Kathleen's. The food is reliable and decent.
When we moved back in 2004, we discovered GZ had many more western restaurants...but none of them to the quality we would expect in HK or even at home. The recurring theme was an expat would work to open a restaurant. They would be in charge of the menu and many times they were the cook. Only to have them leave shortly after opening the place, and the food takes a serious dive for the worse.
Today, we find ourselves in much the same way Will does...we just don't go to Gail's anymore. We find ourselves frequenting the very good Italian place (Oggi's), or our favorite Russian place, or a great little Japanese place just around the corner from our office.
Lifestyles change...and ours is constantly on the lookout for new things.
Former Canuck goalie, Dan Cloutier, has signed an extension with his new team, the LA Kings. I've been a Cloutier fan because he is a decent goalie...but also because of what Kings GM Dean Lombardi notes...
They came to America on September 11th, but they were attacking you before September 11th in other parts of the world. We are a witness in Afghanistan to what they are and how they can hurt. You are a witness in New York. Do you forget people jumping off the 80th floor or 70th floor when the planes hit them? Can you imagine what it will be for a man or a woman to jump off that high? Who did that? And where are they now? And how do we fight them, how do we get rid of them, other than going after them? Should we wait for them to come and kill us again?
I've only blogged a couple times about Typepad...well, I just spotted this article in BusinessWeek, which gives a pretty good overview of the parent company of Typepad, Six Apart.
The article is the typical sort you would find in a business magazine...history, earnings, potential, market overview. But, there was one passage that particularly struck a chord with me...
People fill their journals with very personal experiences and opinions that others can find offensive. But that doesn't mean that they should be edited by strangers. "We don't police, we don't censor," Trott says, adding that people can choose not to read a blog or visit it. "We err on the side of our users. We err on the side of their privacy and protecting their identity."
Granted, there are a ton of nasty and offensive websites out there. Do I want my kid browsing those sites? Not really...hopefully I have taught them well enough that some blogs and sites are destructive and not in anyone's interest. Just like the TV...if there is something that I don't like...I turn it off.
On a couple of occasions, the Chiner govt has attempted to block all Typepad blogs from viewing...and even editing. Each time, Typepad has responded by hiding their IP signatures, so the major filtering tools the govt uses cannot see where these blogs are coming from. I've had downtime...but I can forgive all of that.
Each time they have had major server issues in which blogging time was lost, or there was a loss of data, they immediately offerred up refunds. And the best part...they asked ME, what sort of refund I wanted. I was given a choice of three...a little, a bit more, and a ton. Well, being as they were honest with me...I was honest with them. A ton was unneccesary.
Thanx for being there Typepad... Now I am intrigued by the new VOX service you have.
Not a Fish translates a great article about the real genocide in the world...
The tragedy is that in Arab and Muslim countries a massacre is happening. A genocide protected by the silence of the world. A genocide protected by a deception that is perhaps unparalleled in the history of mankind. A genocide that has no connection to Israel, to Zionism or to Jews. A genocide of mainly Arabs and Muslims, by Arabs and Muslims.
This is not a matter of opinion or viewpoint. This is the result of factual examination, as precise as possible, of the numbers of victims of various wars and conflicts that have taken place since the establishment of the State of Israel up till this time, in which the massacre continues. It is, indeed, death on a massive scale. A massacre. It is the wiping out of villages and cities and whole populations. And the world is silent. The Muslims are indeed abandoned. They are murdered and the world is silent. And if it bothers to open its mouth, it doesn’t complain about the murderers. It doesn’t complain about the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity. It complains about Israel.
This essay goes on to summarize all of the slaughters of muslims, by muslims, around the world since the creation of Israel...
Algeria: 500K to 1 million
Sudan: 2.5 to 3 million
Afghanistan: 1 to 1.5 million
Bangladesh: 1.5 to 2 million
Iraq: 1.5 to 2 million
Iran: 500K to 1 million
In comparison...only 60K have been killed as a direct result of the Arab-Israeli conflict.