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January 4, 2007 - Guyuan, China

Baited Waters

A Schedule to Follow

As if I needed any more hurdles to clear in making regular posts, this whole lack of computer certainly hasn’t helped. It’s going to take a bit more fortitude but keeping up with day to day things like a post every now and then is within the realm of possible.

Consider me on post probation!

Did You Hear?

I could be eating dinner, riding the bus or walking down the street. As soon as somebody registers my slight command of Chinese the interrogation begins.

What do Americans eat, write, buy, listen to, wear? What do Americans drive, say, watch, drink, read? How do Americans talk, play, walk, teach? How do Americans sing, learn, sleep, cook? The list goes on as you can see.

America is my instant in - its always one of the first topics of conversation - great icebreaking material. Aside from a few awkward moments, the general feeling is usually one of wonder, surprise and awe - sentiments are warm and the conversation seems not the least bit baited.

Over the last two days however there has been a new question. One that has had the slightest trace of doubt. Testing the waters to see where I stand and to a T not a single person will respond with their feelings before I do. The litmus?


Did I hear? Saddam was executed. What do I think? He was hung? Not shot!

After I work my way cautiously through my thoughts on Americas’ bungled involvement in the Middle East I hear their take on the story.

This is not Iran, Syria or Saudi Arabia. There is no current of Anti-Americanism flowing through the streets. Hell, there’s not even an under-current of negative feelings. Being an American carries with it a certain aura of mystique and is a bit of a carte blanche. Returning to America I’m going to miss the ear-to-ear smiles and hellos I get walking for just walking down the sidewalk.

But America has wronged.

Every conversation about the execution forges the United States as the aggressor. The errant empire with the wayward leader. America went looking for a fight. America went looking for oil. America went looking for blood.

Saddam is acknowledged as being an evil man - and the death penalty isn’t debated much here - but his execution is seen as a calculated move to leverage American power.

If the sentiment here is such, what chance do we have with the rest of the world?


I was gently corrected by a reader to an error in my last post. Thanks Mike. Namely my use of “burgled” to describe my situation. As it stands “robbed” would have been more apt, but in light of the matter I still do enjoy saying - if I must - “burgled.”

The plethora of more apparent and egregious errors in this space makes me cringe.

» Link lovin’

Climbing Scandal - Cesare Maestri and his claims of ascending the Cerro Torre in Argentina despite the death of his teammate, a scandal 45 years in the making.

Undark My Tongue! - A sad tale of corporate greed and the Radium Girls that paid the price.

13 Photos - A collection of photos along with a short description on their profound importance.

Denmark and the Black Sun - In thumbnail format the images look computer generated - chaos theory-esq - and amazingly beautiful. Hitchcock would have loved this.

Tumbleweeds... and no comments. How 'bout livening things up?

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