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Showing posts from June, 2012

qing wen (ramblings on questions)

"Qing wen" is a polite way to begin questions in Chinese, basically meaning, "May I please ask a question?"

I want to become better at asking questions.  I am remarkably bad at it, and I think that it is time to begin consciously working on it.  My younger brother Ib asks questions about everything.  He is a constant source of why and what if and how come and so forth.  So I'm trying...

Riding Greyhound across the US gave me some fun opportunities to ask questions.  One of the people who I sat next to on the way from Indy to Dallas had worked as a Navy cryptologist.  "You probably don't even know what a cryptologist is," he grunted. 

We had a great conversation.  I kept trying to think of more questions to ask him every time his stories seemed to be winding down (after all, the man knew Spanish and Russian, I think; he wanted to own a restaurant, and was on his way to hopefully get a job with a trucking company, and it was more interesting than stari…

lessons from an older brother

It was a long bus ride from Pittsburgh to Indy, especially when it started at 2 in the morning.  By the time I was seeing the city, it was about 10, and I was more than ready to get off of the bus.  So I made my way into the bus station.  I was looking for a bathroom and dragging my suitcase behind me, trying to remember if I had crossed a time zone or not.
And then I heard my name.  I turned around, because who else in this place that I've never been before would know my name except Tim, who was coming to meet me?  I hadn't seen him in six months, and the last time was in the airport in Xiamen.  He took my suitcase out to the car while I found the bathroom (and after I had smashed my face into his shoulder; apparently trying to hug someone and hand them luggage and speak in two languages at once and not cry does not really work) and then he took me home.  
I was there for only a few days before I caught another bus for Texas, but it was plenty of time to think -- especially as …