Sometimes you just have to write…

On losing things

One day, in a strange city, my husband took out his wallet in a telephone booth to find a number he had scrawled on a bit of paper and stuck … Continue reading

August 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

Flying Ryanair … again

Years ago, I wrote an admiring post about Ryanair. Please read it before continuing with this post. I’ll wait… Finished? Okay. Last week I flew Ryanair again, and it struck … Continue reading

July 28, 2013 · Leave a comment

E is for Education (or, how to improve the quality of any educational system in the world in three easy steps)

  Here is another “modest proposal” to add to the one about teenage boys that I wrote a while back. Everyone, in just about every country in the world, thinks … Continue reading

April 5, 2013 · 5 Comments

Big Stuff #2

  If you haven’t read Big Stuff #1 yet, it’s here. I wrote in the last post that there was Big Stuff happening in my life that I hadn’t written … Continue reading

March 28, 2013 · 4 Comments

Chinese Business Opportunities

Here are three hot business opportunities for anyone entrepreneurial enough to take them. I’m not taking them because I’m an idea person, not an entrepreneur. Beds: More and more Western tourists … Continue reading

August 20, 2010 · 1 Comment

Conspicuous Consumption

    the middle section of the Forbidden City In my last entry, I mentioned how it seemed to me that the Chinese have wholeheartedly embraced conspicuous consumption. Visiting the … Continue reading

August 3, 2010 · Leave a comment

Impressions of Beijing

I read quite a bit in guidebooks about Beijing before we came here. Much of what we read was true, but a lot of what I’ve seen (and it’s only … Continue reading

August 1, 2010 · 1 Comment

Explaining the health care debate

Every time I try to explain the health care debate to Dutch people I am faced with the same wrinkled-brow, gaping-mouth, puzzled expression that the Japanese president’s wife, Miyuki Hatoyama, … Continue reading

September 25, 2009 · Leave a comment

Twa Pottery

Kirundo, Burundi, August 9 On Friday we were taken to visit a potter, with one of the English teachers, named Claude, as our guide. On the ride there, which turned … Continue reading

August 9, 2009 · Leave a comment

Feeling My Age

Kirundo, Burundi, July 31 I’m 47 years old, and the last time I was in sub-Saharan Africa I was about 26. I’ve realized here what a difference that makes. It’s … Continue reading

July 31, 2009 · Leave a comment