The End is Near

Our Livestock

Our Livestock

This is the thing I say every year.

As the calendar year winds down to a final push, in which we must all run out to find NEXT YEAR’S calendar, we stop to take stock of our lives.

Our livestock. Continue reading

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Balkan Time(s)

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 12.16.02Time is a funny thing.

We usually think we don’t have enough of it, as if it would suddenly run out. And sometimes time seems to stand still. We set ourselves appointments in time, deadlines in time, and sometimes allow ourselves a timeout.

The whole world has agreed to this arbitrary standard, as a means of segmenting our finite human sojourn on this planet. We have divided it up into a certain amount of months, weeks, days, and hours and we agree to allow it to reign supreme over all our activities. Time is a cruel master – it never bends to our needs and we are forever chasing after it.

But then you arrive in the Balkans. Continue reading

4 a.m.

traffic-jing-an-si-shanghaiIn many ways, we are at the height of our cleverness at 4 a.m..

So many brilliant ideas occur to us at four in the morning but as a rule they are gone by the time the alarm goes off a few hours later.

Not so today.

While my body and mind are still responding to Chinese time cues, making me think four a.m. is a darn good time to get up and start the day, I happen to be awake and aware of the pre-down cleverness which most of us sleep through.

My first brilliant idea was to write a column called “4 a.m..”  This should have been taken as a bad omen.

Continue reading