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March 2019


Yikes! Is it really the 14th of March??? For all you historians out there, tomorrow is the Ides of March (but I guess you already knew that). SO...for you non-historians, the date marks the first full moon of the Roman new year, which began in March and was only 10 months long until good ole' Julius Caesar changed all that by adding 10 days to the calendar, it also came to mark the date of Julius' assassination. But that has nothing to do with why I have neglected my blog. It's not that I have been lazy, really it's not. It is merely a reflection of how busy I've been. Well, what have I been up to?you may ask. Let's start with the latest. I am no longer a single country international traveler! I just returned to Hà Nội from Taipei, Taiwan, where I attended a 4-day East Asia and the Pacific regional workshop hosted by the Fulbright Taiwan team. What an absolutely amazing event!! Just under 200 English Teaching Assistants, 27 Student Researchers, 1 Distinguished Teacher, 4 Foundation for Scholarly Exchange Teacher of English as a Foreign Language Trainers, and 7 Senior Scholars (I was one of the seven) came together in Taipei (a city of almost 4 million) to exchange stories, learn new skills, listen to panel discussions on a variety of topics and enjoy Taipei's wonderful people and culture! In addition to being a member of an hour and 15 minute long, 4 member panel discussion on cultural differences and parallels, I made many new friends and shared many personal Fulbright highlights. On one of the early evenings, I, and six of my new Mongolian Fulbright friends, took the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train system to Elephant Mountain I'm here to tell you that it is a real thigh burner; for sure!! The photo below is from about 3/4ths of the way up. I'll end by saying, Taiwanese food is good, and I prefer Vietnamese food. That said, nothing can beat Stinky Tofu and Black Tea

Photo of city

Today's Topic. Traffic. On my way back from the Nội Bài International Airport in Hà Nội, I found myself reflecting on my first trip from into town and how I have acclimated to the traffic of this great city. Instead of being the white knuckle experience of my first trip, where I seriously wondered if I would make to my hotel alive, I found myself wanting to yell at the Grab driver (think Uber), "Hey! what's the matter with you? There's an opening two lanes over, between those two motor bikes, zip over there and force those motorbikes out of the way before someone else gets that spot and we lose our chance to get ahead of this guy in front of us!" Ain't it funny how perspectives can change?

(pg. 2)