Wednesday, May 16, 2007


SW is wading through the molasses lake of the hundreds of putrid emails that accumulated while away in Melbourne (science journo conference), Tilba (L-N wedding), and Vietnam and Laos (work trip, looking at rice farms (who wouldn't?).

Several unrelated thoughts:

1) I've decided the only form of communication I actually like is face-to-face conversation. All others stress me out (phone, txt, email, chat...).

2) I had some wonderful food in Vietnam and Laos. I was also presented with several things that I took pains to avoid. Most meals (especially in Vietnam) were organised by our local hosts. Some were delicious, but true provincial cuisine tends to include quite a few dishes that contain blood/guts/giblets/intestines/offal/innards etc etc. I confess to having delicate sensibilities with regard to such offerings. Much of it's psychological, I'm sure. Much of it's also texture-related. My problem with many of these foods is the texture not the taste. I also struggle with the strong fishy/shrimpy taste in some Asian foods. Yet I love anchovies. Life's rich tapestry etc.

3) The Philippines had its mid-term elections on Monday. Almost all elected positions from local to national government were being contested, except for president and vice president. I'll take the liberty of simply pasting in Lone Gopher's summary here:

Just a short report from the midterm elections here in the Philippines that took place today. I was watching one of the local news channels to get some info on who won. Well, the results are not finished yet, but what I did find out was that a chief of police reported that he thought that they had been able to show the international observers that the elections where relatively peaceful. So far 191 poll related acts of violence resulting in 114 deaths of whom 11 were candidates.
There's also an interesting BBC piece on some of the political quirks of the Philippines.

4) I can't believe the land that some people are forced to farm to eke out a subsistence living. I'd avoid simply walking up these hills once -- the idea of farming them all year round boggles my mind. Here's an example:

The land on these slopes has been cleared for farming. There's a crop (maize I think) planted in the area to the right. (Not the green patch in the upper right area -- the plants there are weeds. The crop is in the lower right, much more sparsely spaced.) The yields are predictably terrible on land like this. As I sit here in an air-conditioned orifice, it makes me think twice about whinging about my job. BUT IT WON'T STOP ME, DAMN IT.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 posts in 2 days! Yr on a roll!


9:07 am  
Blogger Lone Gopher said...

On the elections I heard a mob burned down the polling station in Batangas, so we'll have to add some to the deathlist.


10:25 am  

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