Archive for February, 2010

Or, the Diggity Dug Memorial JPG

One of the spam e-mails that ABA frequently sends me (now THAT is a wicked awesome perk of the free membership that comes with the job) pointed me to an article about a Harvard-trained lawyer who decided to give up his job at a big NYC law firm, burned his Harvard law diploma, and embarked on a quest for simplicity.  I feel that I did something similar by quitting my firm job at home and coming out here to Central Asia for a pro bono gig.  I didn’t burn my diploma though.  Also, I was aiming less for simplicity (as anyone who has seen my recently-acquired suzani collection here can attest) and more for a change of scenery and fulfillment in my job.  That I met amazing people here and fell in love were happy additions to the plan.

Anyway, this guy is blogging about his life changes, and despite not exactly being Thoreauvian in his writing, his blog can be amusing and, dare I say, interesting.  Though as someone who uses phrases like “dare I say” earnestly, I guess I would like a blog that addresses his “dear readers.”

In any event, check it out, the “Adventures in Voluntary Simplicity”: http://adventuresinvoluntarysimplicity.blogspot.com/

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Roghun reading

Following my 845-word discourse on the Roghun Dam and Hydropower Station a month ago, the forced purchases of shares in the project continues apace and banners proclaiming Roghun’s importance to Tajikistan continue to flutter all over the streets of the capital.  In the meantime, Uzbekistan has demanded that there be no construction on the dam until an independent commission researches the issue and has arrested a Tajik border guard who wandered across the frontier to retrieve a wayward cow.  Seriously.

For more on Roghun, check out these recent stories:

And one more from last March with good background:

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This is a composite list based in part on things U. and I discussed while in the States the last two weeks.  Nothing earth-shattering here and some gross generalizations, but worth noting nevertheless:

  1. People in the service industry are pretty damn attentive.  Sometimes this was annoying — leave me alone I’m eating — but most of the time, it was a joy.
  2. Many things are very well made.  I especially found myself noticing this in buildings at home, the full grouting, the straight lines, the proper insulation, etc.
  3. You can get almost any type of food you want from almost any part of the world.  While in the U.S. I ate Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Italian, French (both bistro and fusion), Mexican, New England (both classic and contemporary), and lots of sandwiches, boy did I miss sandwiches.
  4. Consumer goods are cheap compared to the rest of the world.  A corollary to this is that you can get cheap consumer goods lots of places, but the quality is garbage, while in the U.S., items are cheap and good.
  5. Americans are big people.  Not necessarily obese, although we saw plenty of fat folks during the trip, but uniformly large and well-fed.
  6. Washington DC and its inhabitants have a sickness, a disease, when it comes to dealing with snow.  The disease is that they can’t deal with it.
  7. It’s nice to be able to drink tap water without worrying about getting sick.
  8. It’s nice not to worry about random power or heat cuts.
  9. It’s nice to see cops and not wonder when and how they’ll try to shake you down.
  10. It’s really nice to have a good, old-fashioned hamburger.

Back in Dushanbe now and expect to get geared up for a more consistent blog posting schedule now that I’m back.  And yes, the vacation was amazing.

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