Greetings. Just a short note to answer a few questions we have been receiving (I’m at home accessing free high-speed wireless from the bank across the street, but I can’t get onto Hotmail, so I’ll Blog; who’d a thunk it).
9a (Nina): tell Vicki to calm down, it wasn’t the actual Taj Mahal and we’re a few thousand km away from there.
And the Thailand thing: yes, we are determined to go. If we can just get dropped off somewhere near a road, we’ll take a bus or rent a car and cross the country ourselves. We need to get to Phuket where we booked a very nice hotel for 10 days. They e-mailed us yesterday and said we should send in the remainder of our payment. I said that they will get it when I am standing at their check-in counter. So they gave us an extension of a few days…but wait, Edna just called me into the TV room.
Update: 9:10pm Almaty time, BBC just announced that the airport siege is over and the PM and his Party have been ousted and they are not allowed to practice politics for 5 years (electoral fraud is the charge; bastards) But the people have been heard! We have been following this daily, and the Mumbai thing, on CNN and BBC, so it’s pretty exciting to learn that this one ended (relatively) peacefully. (Several of our American friends here are going to India for Christmas break to check out a new school community that they will be moving to in June).
All of this is excellent learning for the kids. Tonight, Kyla asked why one of her friends is from South Korea and why one is from “just Korea.” So I gave her the short story of the North-South issue (where is Waldo when you need him?) She said “That sounds like grown-ups acting like a bunch of little kids.” (Or maybe I told it wrong.)
Last night at dinner, Cody said “Today I played with Salah, Geon Hyeong, Teun, Kamran, and Muhammad.” He pronounced a Turkish, a Korean, a Dutch kid (I think), and a Kazakh kid’s name so flawlessly perfect, and with so much laize-e-faire, that Edna and I started choking on our food because we couldn’t stop laughing. It didn’t faze him. The irony is that the only other native English speaking kid (Canadian) has probably the worst influence on Cody. I think most of you would be quite surprised to hear how vociferous Cody has become. Or not. But it has nothing to do with me.
The follow-up story (on the ticker-tape) to the Thailand announcement was something about everyone in politics ganging up on Stephen Harper and trying to topple his minority government. And this is a good segue into the conclusion of this entry: believe half of what you see and almost nothing of what you hear when considering today’s media-swill merchants. The one thing that really struck me about the Mumbai attacks, besides the obvious need-less and senseless loss of life, was the clock ticking away behind the reporter as he broadcast live from the burning hotel: we are in the exact same time zone. It really creeped me out. Even 9/11 was 3-4 hours “away,” it seemed to be somewhere else, far away. But Mumbai is “here.” Just messin with ya’, metaphysically.
So, 9a, we’re safe. This is that letter I tried to send you earlier in the week. We’re having fun, and I hope you all enjoy the blog.
We’ll post pictures again, soon. Good night Russ, of the Long-wood clan (I can't get your radio-show on the Internet). Good night, Sue. Good night, Art (good thing I’m going to Thailand without you and 20 years later; they’re probably still looking for you). I haven’t been there before (have I?). Happy Birthday, Mar. And Hank, have a good one on the 12th. Good night, Johnboy.