Thursday, November 13, 2008


I occasionally spend afternoons in our building's lounge, where I can use the first floor wireless network while enjoying, among other things, a cappuccino. Connectivity has been haphazard lately; today it was difficult to get the internet working. I don't mind. It's been just as bad upstairs in our apartment. It's an interesting side-effect of the hydroelectric system in Vietnam. I'd imagined water power generation was a surefire way to benefit from a national climate with two six-month rainy seasons (batting back and forth, from north and south, over elevated regions in the country's center). Certainly everything works smoothly enough in the midst of these respective seasons. But at the beginning of each, when things run to the unpredictably wet or dry, the system becomes either over- or under-taxed, and brownouts routine. But the weather is so impressive! After months of near constant rain, the sun's poking through the clouds again. In October I saw stars in the sky for the first time since April. As I type this, it's sunny and warm outside the large first floor windows of the lounge. I have the sort of feeling I used to get in the Spring, buoyed by the freshness of it all (though something malignant is blooming, my sinuses reply). Two or three days pass without rain now, the eventual storms violent and unpredictable. It's a new world. Among the things I can enjoy in the lounge besides cappuccinos: margaritas. This is also new. I discovered the fact while troubleshooting today's internet connection. The lounge manager quizzed me about how to explain the steps of putting salt on the rim of stemware shaped just like an inverted sombrero. Much of our conversation revolved around the confusing fact that "salt" is both a noun and a verb in English. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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