April 23 2006
Remember the hot hot hot chili I said I ate Sunday night? Well, it got its revenge on me last night. There's this funny little attribute about chili peppers - - your stomach digests them slower than most foods. So, just image (sounds like a beatle song, huh?) .... you eat all this really good food with some super-duper (stole that term from Josh) chili pepper. Then, you go to bed and let good ole tummy digest the food. Then, 3 hours later when you're sleeping ... alarm alarm alarm .... all the food is gone EXCEPT for this wad of fire-torch chili sitting in your stomach.
Pain, cramps, convulsions, and who knows what else .... strike the body ... can't move, can't breath, can't talk ... so I'm thrashing in bed (not the fun kind of thrashing) until Decy wakes up ... she asks what's wrong, and I weakly whisper "chili attack .... rice or bread QUICK". She rushes to the kitchen, grabs me a bowl of white rice. Somehow I shove two handfuls into my mouth, chew, swallow, pass out. 10 minutes later I wake up, feeling weak, but better ... still hugging my bowl of rice (Decy is already asleep again). I eat a bit more rice, drink some water ... and go back to sleep.
Was it worth it? You bet ! I love Decy's cooking, and this doesn't happen too often. Last night I knew I was "on the edge" RE the quantity of chili .... so ....
April 23 2006
Ok, for me in Angola it is night time right now ... Sunday night. Had a wonderful day with Decy and girls. BUT, no matter how good ... I still miss my sons.
Had a good lunch. Decy fixed drunk shrimp (shrimp stir fried in brandy), bean soup, white rice, hot hot hot chili, some leftover chix and beef. The drunk shirmp was not fresh, it was frozen import - ONLY US$30 for 1 kilo. Well, as Decy would say, better than nothing.
Ok, so today I had an "Enron moment" ... yep, shredding. Destroyed don't know how many thousands of pages ... what a shame, maybe somebody would have found some good dirt on me. Afterwards, time to relax. Guess you will have to wait for the blog to reveal my deep dark secrets.
Asians, and particularly Decy and the girls love Karaoke (guess I spelled that right). So, spent the evening listening to "live" music. Well, it was live when the girls sang. It was "dead" when I sang. Had a great time. All three have great voices. Chely and Tasya have lots of potential ... maybe someday.
Oops, got to go. Decy says it is time for my massage. She knows I have a hard week coming .... so, being the wonderful wife that she is ... well ... anyway ...
April 23 2006
Last night before the party, I saw that Decy was soaking some beans. I remembered an experience from a few years ago before we were married. I tried cooking beans ... washed them, then cooked them, and cooked them, and cooked them for 3 solid days before they were soft (forget dinner that night). I quickly decided "that sucked". So next time, I soaked the beans a few hours, then I cooked them. PERFECT ... I had supper.
So, last night, I asked Decy "why is it that cooking a bean doesn't work but soaking them does". In Decy's not so perfect English she answers a question I didn't ask. She says: You're just like a bean. Huh? She says: You're just like a bean. Huh? I don't get it ... we are talking about beans, not me.
Decy, in her patience, says, Darling - you are a hard man and whenever somebody presses you, you close down and fight back. But, when people take time with you, talk to you, get to know you, then you open up. You are just like a bean .... so, with the bean, soaking it relaxes it ...opens it up. Then, the full benefit and the flavor of the bean can come out.
Amazing little story. Decy can teach me many things ... if only I listen. Maybe we should all listen just a little bit more .... so that the goodness in people and the world can be realized.
April 23 2006
And so, what was my decision last night? Dancing or the girl? Dinner party ended about 11pm ... got to the house to change (or do something different) at 1130pm ... decisions, decisions. I took the girl.
If I had gone dancing all night, I would have had to write off Sunday for accomplishing anything. By "taking the girl" (and a beautiful one at that; my wife) I got to bed at a good hour (for me), got a good nights sleep, and now have the opportunity for a leisurely and restful Sunday.
About the dinnner party, we were saying good-bye to our friends Watty and Larry. Larry is American and Watty is Indonesian. They are being transferred to Jakarta Indonesia ... and will leave in one or two weeks. We will miss them.
I met my wife, Decy, in Jakarta under very challenging circumstances, maybe someday I will share that. Jakarta is an interesting city (as is the country). It has its positives and negatives. In many ways it is a very modern city, having something like 20 million people. But, there is lots of air pollution and considered one of the 5 smoggiest cities in the world. BUT, if you like seafood, spicey food, live music, and cheap cheap cheap (but modern) shopping, that is the place to be. And, think about it (both girls and boys) ... where else can you go for massage, body scrub, mani/pedi, cream bath ... the full works to completely detox your body and relax .... a full 6-8 hour treatment ... all for about $20-50 depending on where you go.
You may notice that I posted two new pics (one of Luanda, the other of a hash). For those of you who don't know, hashing is a worldwide sport ... jokingly, it is a "drinking club with a running problem". Essentially, we are a club that goes running or walking thru cities, towns, mountains, jungles, whatever, for about 1 hour ... then we have a party afterwards. Its great. I love it. Hashing is very much a part of my life ... my "hash handle" is Urp the Burp (you figure it out), Decy's is Spicey, Chely's is Gindungo (an Angolan chili), Tasya's is Habanero Kid ... get the pattern? I just finished my 1-yr position as Grand Master Hasher (kind of like "president"). This year I am the Religious Advisor. Its my job (now) to make sure that we have good weather, no accidents/injuries, fun, and that none of the 365,459 rules (not including subclauses) are not broken.
The hash is all over the world. If you are interested ... go to www.gthhh.com ... and you can find the nearest "Hash House Harriers" in your area.
About the pic of Luanda, that is a typical subburb shopping area. "Real" stores are in town and improving daily, now that the war is over. And, they are actually building Angola's first mall (should be ready in a year or two). In the meantime, that pic shows how the majority of people buy/sell. I have hundreds of Angola pics ...if there is some interest, I can post more.
Gotta run ... I think Spicey has something good for me to eat ... and it ain't bule food (Indonesian slang for American; but its literal translation is "albino")
April 22 2006
Bummer, this morning I write and write and write ... with my boring blog. And, 8 hours later still nobody has added a remark. Guess everybody fell asleep; it was that BORING.
Notwithstanding the preceding (sounds professional doesn't it?). Its been a very productive morning. Had good conversations with daughter Chely about life ... and had good lunch with Chely/Tasya and Decy when we talked about the future (more on that later, another day). Even more important (actually not MORE but still important), I was able to convince wifey, daughters, and even GRANDMA to join up with Phusebox ... did you notice the flood of "MORGANS" signing up ... he he he ... that's the problem with this family. We are scattered out all over the world, and it is so hard to stay in touch.
So, some of you other bloggers may get a chance to learn about life overseas ... stay tuned to this space ... ask questions when you want. I will answer what I can. For those that don't know me ... I left the USA on an overseas assignment to Colombia in 1996 ... since then I have lived/worked in Aceh, Indonesia ... Jakarta, Indonesia ... and Luanda Angola ... will I ever go back to the USA ?? don't know, but certainly not any time soon.
Why am I here ... well go back to blog #1 (at least I think it was #1 ) .... MONEY ... how much money ??? more than you can imagine .... ha ha ha ... at least Rupiah Indonesia 1,000,000 ... go figure it out.
What about fun? Oh yeah, its Saturday afternoon, soon to be evening for me. Yahoo !!! (no, that's not an advertisement). So, do I go to the dinner party tonight that Spicey has organized .... and then go home ... or, do I figure out a way to go to the dinner party and then go dancing until 6 am (remember, this is Angola). Can this old man, still pull an all nighter??? You bet I can ... when you're in love with a woman like Spicey you can do all kinds of things ... oops, almost crossed the line ... he he he ...
Hmmm, Spicey just brought me my clothes to wear for tonight ... a black and tan batik shirt from Indonesia. She tells me to wear khaki pants. Hmm, wonder if she is going to tell me what color of underwear to wear .... I love that girl. She is so special and caring.
Well, time to get dressed. I'll let you know tomorrow what I decide about tonight .... its a tough choice ... dancing all night ... or sleeping with my lovely wife ... decisions decisions.
April 22 2006
Ahhhh ... Saturday morning. The day after Friday. Urgh, what a difficult day at work ... meetings, meetings, meetings. Can't wait until night time ... and then it comes.
Dinner with friends ... Indonesian woman married to expat men ... most men were French. Not me, I'm different. In many ways. Had a good time. Lots of eating and drinking, but not too much spicey food (I love spicey food).
Had some issues with transportation last night ... what else is new, it rained again and this is Luanda. Did you know that Luanda only receives about 12 inches of rain a year. And, it usually comes in 4-5 rains ... in a 2-3 month period. So ... get a mental pic ... dry, dry, dry ... dust, dust, dust ... then finally ... mud, mud, mud .... great big "mud drifts" everywhere ... time to get the snow plows out ... oops I mean mud plows.
Bet you guys are bored with my blogging. I'm learning, slowly. Step-by-step as I get comfortable with this I'll add more details.
I will say this - - I love my family very much. I am proud of each of my sons - Josh, Chris, Paul. Decy, my wife, is the most wonderful woman in the world (I don't deserve her). Tasya and Chely, my daughters are great girls. They are going to be men-killers ... I'm already having problems with the dogs sniffing around Chely - - I have to protect and guide her, but I don't think she appreciates that.
I could write about other family members ... but I will save that for later ... except for Grandma Suzy ... my mother. A great woman with a wonderful story ... a true trooper in life.
Gotta go ...
April 20 2006
TGIF. What a week! Have any of you been to Africa? Particularly, Angola? It is very much a challenge here in Luanda. Infrastructure, although much improving, is a mess.
Consider, what if you took New York City, froze all spending on infrastructure, subjected it to a 30-yr civil war, then quadrupled the population. Things were tough here when I arrived in 2002, when the war was still going on. Wars over now ... rebuilding is beginning. BUT, (a) rebuilding is way behind, and (b) there is immense pent up demand for goods and services. Cars, cars, cars ... traffick, traffick, traffick. Commuting is a nightmare ... often taking 1-1.5 hours to complete a 6 mile commute. Two weeks ago it rained here (wow) ... took me 5 1/2 hours to get home from work (ugh).
Enough about commuting and roads. Why am I here? Good question. Short answer: Three sons in college. Yep - MONEY !!!
And, speaking of money. I better post this and get my tail to work.
Later ... gator.
April 20 2006
This is my first blog entry. I'm just an old fart living in a far away place (Angola, Africa), but that is another story for another day.
I created the ID so that I could easily see my son's blog site ... and comment on the things that are going on in his life. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. If I make some mistakes along the way, please forgive me.
I'm going to stop here, with the first entry. Why? Because, I am not yet sure how to post. So, I'll see if this sticks and then will try again another time with something more meaningful.