Saturday, April 30, 2011
Cambodia and Thailand are fighting at their border. There will be elections in Thailand later this year and the politicians and the army are likely using this issue for political advantage. So they kill a decent number of soldiers and flatten some of the temples they are fighting about. "What is not in doubt is that this won’t be the last time that Thailand and Cambodia lob shells at each other over the border. They have been tussling over this land for many years, and politicians know better than to be reasonable and generous in a situation like this." (the economist) We plan to cross that border somewhere south from where they fight.
Earlier this year there was a major earthquake in Christchurch and we bought our plane tickets there two weeks later. Maybe some people didn't hear of Christchurch before, but when we mentioned it, they knew now: "this is where the earthquake was, right?" And then there was another major earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown in Japan and a few weeks later we bought our tickets to Osaka. So when we said something we left some people speechless.
A tibetan monk sets himself on fire to protest against the Chinese occupation, China closes some areas for tourists "because of the unrest" but we are still going to Tibet. India eliminates American companies from the 10 billion bid for fighter aircraft as they arm themselves to be better able to fight (who?). People are arguing back and forth about the reasons for this and the American ambassador to India will retire for "personal reasons". Nobody cares how much 10 billion could do to help some poor people or some hungry children, we need war planes.
There is a guy in Syria who is killing innocent Syrians en gros and the world is watching and not doing anything about it. There is a guy in Libya who kills Libyans and the world wanted to help so they went there to kill some Libyans too. We might have to skip Syria next year. We knew that we wouldn't be able to go to Libya, but now, who knows?
Tornadoes happen in US and 340 people are killed in one day because they didn't listen to their radios, or they listened but didn't act on it.
As the price of fuel jet goes up, AirAsia restores some fuel surcharges and will make our plane tickets more expensive. Meanwhile America is recovering from recession but continues to manipulate the data about inflation and subsequently the dollar value will continue to go down and the price of oil will continue to go up. We will have less money on our trip. So what?
Annette just told me the other day that she knows that it is the end of the world, some guy who died and went to hell returned to tell his pastor and then the pastor went to Texas and died in a car accident. At least with this theory it all makes sense now, I have one less thing to worry about.
According to Britney Spears latest single we still have until December 21st 2012 - "till the world ends". She recommends that we keep on dancing. We will keep on planning and taking our trip until then and maybe dance a bit.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Saturday's events included standing outside (this time with full-length candles) with an unnamed accomplice [Aimée] and spending the whole time asking each other if each pause the priest made in his speech really was the end... or just another false alarm. We also made slightly amusing comments on various things and debated whether Jesse really was singing along or if his lips had simply gone numb from the cold. We then proceeded to walking around the church and fighting against the bitter wind to keep the little flame from our candles alive, and then we listened to what I shall forever consider as the world's weirdest knock-knock joke. Then, towards the end, we began to discuss the texting apps on our iTouches before reentering the church. Later, I might've ruined a shirt I rather liked by nearly setting it on fire, ruined a perfectly good skirt by dripping hot wax on it, was nearly set on fire by Aimée and due to my overactive [and slightly paranoid] imagination, I have convinced myself that I also nearly set the priest on fire. O______o Afterwards, when the sermon finished, I informed my unnamed accomplice [Aimée] that I "officially re-hate your brother. Again" before hugging her good-bye. Shortly after, we gorged ourselves on eggs, cozonac, and various forms of cookies. Once we tired of this we went to our hotel room where we slept soundly until around 10 am, when I woke up and went to the bathroom.
More on Sunday's events: after spending about 2 or 3 minutes the night before (because surprise, surprise, I fell asleep rather quickly last night) worrying that the Easter Rabbit would not fill my shoes because I had, in fact, placed them beneath my bed and not with the others, I awoke and discovered that they had been moved and now had a yellow marshmallow bunny-pop in them. After eating a rather unbalanced breakfast of eggs, left-over cookies and whatnot, I got dressed and rehearsed my little "piece" I was going to read later in church. Then we actually left for church where I made a rather starling and depressing discovery before the actual cool part came along. You see, every Easter Sunday, we read the same excerpt from the Bible in multiple languages. Sometimes there are more, sometimes there are less. This year we had Romanian, English, (read by the priest), French (read by his wife), Spanish (read by Aimée's and Jesse's older brother), Latin (read by I-don't-know-who), German (read by the deacon), Russian (read by Aimée's and Jesse's father), Ukrainian (read by another older brother of Aimée's), Chinese (read by my mother), Japanese (read by moi), and Hebrew (also read by the priest).
Following these activities we went downstairs for "coffee hour" and had lunch. My U.A. [Aimée] and I bumped each other some apps for our iTouches and tried to also bump each other music, but to no avail. On the other hand, these apps are really fun!! Thanks Aimée!! :D After Aimée left, though, I listened to a bit of music and helped Johnny and his friend Dimitri with their Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? game, and then we went home. The car trip was okay, after we finally stopped playing Britney Spears's new album, and then we got home where it was freezing.
After some time, Ria, Johnny, and I settled down to watch three episodes of Remington Steele <3 Then after dinner I sat down and wrote this lengthy description of my weekend. On my iTouch. Not computer. I find that verging on suicidal, but I've always had a screw loose. ;)
*The first time this year I celebrated Easter was, in fact, much shorter and because of this, might be considered less boring. During the sermon, I was wedged between Aimée and Jesse, which made it rather awkward for me, due to the fact that I could not stop yawning and was so, so sleepy... zzZzzZZZZzzz... somewhere around half-past one I succumbed to slumber and my head found a pillow in Jesse's right shoulder. About an hour later at two-thirty I awoke and began to express my embarrassment as quietly as a half-asleep person can while apologizing profusely. I soon realized, though, that while it was indeed 2.30 am, and that perhaps because I was so sleepy, the fact remained that Jesse would not now nor ever mind that I fell asleep on his shoulder. This may be due to the fact that it was mid-January and Jesse was asleep in his own bed while I, four hours worth of driving away, was lying in my own.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Planurile noastre se transforma incetul cu incetul in realitate. "Am dat o lovitură cum încă nu s-a dat": am cumpărat bilete să ajungem în Noua Zeelandă din Kuala Lumpur cu 105$ de persoană, mai rămâne să ajungem acolo. Mihai cercetează liniile aeriene zilnic pentru a găsi bilete ieftine. Continui să învăț chineză (azi am terminat primul curs cu 102 hanzi) iar copiii își văd de existența lor netulburați, în ciuda încercărilor noastre de a-i interesa în planuri.
Am comandat haine de merino de la Icebreaker și veste de la Scottevest (care au multe buzunare). A Ilenei era mică, așa că a moștenit-o Ioan. El e mulțumit că are vestă, dar nu s-ar putea să fie de la bărbați? (dimensiunea cea mai mică de la bărbați ar avea mânecile până la genunchi).
Am început să informăm lumea de planurile noastre. Marea majoritate a reacțiilor au fost de bucurie, am primit oferte să ne fie cărate bagajele sau să fim însoțiți. Părinții au fost inițial șocați, dar și-au revenit și chiar ne vom întâlni cu ei în China. Asta nu îi împiedică să ne poarte grija în restul timpului (cu toate cutremurele astea din Christchurch sau Japonia, și revoluțiile din nordul Africii). Pentru Mihai a fost cam stresant să își informeze șeful și colegii, dar a trecut cu bine, ei s-au bucurat pentru el.
Nu știm dacă vom închiria casa sau nu, dar pentru că în luna mai este un garage sale în tot satul, selectez lucrurile de care nu mai avem nevoie pentru a le vinde (și dacă închiriem, îmi va fi mai ușor să împachetez).