Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Queen of Sheba lived here


Magnolia is born
Kehinde and Taiwo are here for the holidays.
Taiwo started a blog last night. Thanks to her, I tried out the blog search button in blogspot, which is a good way to find Nigerian people/news/blogs.

Can't stop talking
I finally got both visas I need to go to Yemen.
The Yemeni one is almost entirely in Arabic. I can read my name, country, and passport number. I didn't try to read much else.
I never thought before about the fact that people carry travel documents in various languages. To think that someone at an airport can say, "sure that's my name on the visa - in Arabic script or whatever."

I'm scheduled to leave Los Angeles on Monday, January 2, 2006, and arrive in Sana'a on Wednesday afternoon. It's usually a challenge to keep smelling decent on those day-plus flights...

The school I plan to attend provides meals and wireless internet access!
The school I switched from couldn't get me a visa. It's apparently a great place as well, with half the fees, fan-tastic location, and an extremely pleasant director. (Scroll down on the services page to see testimonials).
A third school was fully booked till February.
We worked out a new plan - new school, new visa application - in under two weeks, despite an eleven-hour time difference, several holidays for Christmas, and the fact that our weekend begins when theirs ends. (Friday is the Muslim Holy Day, remember?)

While I'm in Yemen, I think I'll study Arabic a lot, go out and meet people a bit, read a couple of novels, and do my research. Maybe I'll visit Aden, and go on any included excursions.

I really hope to be a highly motivated, changed beast after this I can focus for a year-and-a-half on doing my research, doing candidacy, doing more research, and writing a thesis. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, December 12, 2005



On Friday night I answered a telephone survey. At first the chirpy recorded woman's voice was funny, and I had a good laugh talking back: as in "Hi, you have been selected to participate in this blah blah blah" and I go "Hi, your voice is very chirpy" and she keeps rambling happily "Do you think the economy is one improving two getting worse three about the same press one if you think the blah blah blah" and I go "how the hell am I supposed to know that."

Anyway before I know it, I'm taking the survey. I suppose it was meant for Americans, but Chirpy never asked me if I had citizenship or voting rights. I maintain that I don't know whether the economy is growing, or in recession, or whether in the next six months the economy will enter a recession. I don't imagine the average American knows.

Do I think Bush is one a fabulous President two a sorta great President three...and I pick: bad but not the worst.

Now do I think he should one be impeached...I think: whoa, for what? a lot of people voted him in office and re-elected him too. If he's an idiot, he's an idiot with support. Don't be trying to steal the Presidency. (Although they say that's politics.)

In the 2006 elections would I be one more willing two less vote for a candidate who pledges to work towards an impeachment. You guessed it: I'm not big on anarchy posing as politics.

Am I one African American two...I'm an alien: none of the above.

Do I consider myself one wealthy two upper middle class three...although I know what this means technically, that a highly-paid New York lawyer or the President of the United States is one class and there are people in a class above them, I pick wealthy because I can't think how I could possibly be wealthier...even if when it came to the last question on income brackets, my after-tax "household income" was in the first - that is, lowest - group.

We walk by faith and not by sight. That's possibly why Nigerians poll as the happiest people in the world...or why this happens in Iraq.