week 3 week 3 week 3 week 3...

Some notes from yesterday morning downtown:

Friday morning in downtown Manama at Cafe Lilou waiting for some friends to arrive for our "Ladies who Brunch" brunch where we get to munch yummy food, yet prolly not drink adult libations... I'm not sure yet actually.  This is our second brunch session and I'm really enjoying getting out and about around the city and it's various nooks and crannies.
There is a lot to explore on Bahrain actually. Is such a small island, yet so many little neighborhoods and villages to explore. My trusty Sophie (GPS) gets me everywhere I need to go, yet there is so much construction around downtown that sometimes Sophie steers me awry... I went over a bridge this morning to another island and it was 7 km. before I could turn round...

This afternoon I plan on doing a reconnaissance survey to all the potential gyms/clubs I want to join.  I received some unexpected funds from my Fellowship for " settling in costs" and I plan to used them appropriately... Of course, my initial concern is to have. 2-in-1 gym + beach membership. I've noticed in my short time here (3 weeks last night!) that beaches are few and far between... I have a total of 3 choices for my 2-in-1 scheme to pan out, and 2 are downtown Manama- which is about 10 km from my apartment which, of course isn't far for someone from Hawaii to drive for some quality entertainment... Additionally, petrol is so cheap here. It takes about 4BD (Bahraini Dinar) to fill my tank- which is about 10 USD.

Saturday morning in bed.
Yesterday was busy.  I need my robot to bring me a cuppa joe right now. Hung with the Fulbright Crew last night.  Now that we're turning into Mall Rats, we went to the mall... Bahrain City Center to be exact. We went with the intentions of going bowling and catching a movie.  Now, all the other Mall Rats were out in force last night.  Driving there was madness.  Loads of cars with Saudi tags. We finally arrived and went to get our movie tickets so we could cruise around for a few hours first. The line was insanely long so... we aborted that mission to go eat.  We headed to a place called "Fuddruckers" which is, apparently, huge in the US... I've never heard of it, but they got some good burgers going on there for sure.

After we were all experiencing food paralysis, we thought about bowling to relieve some of the heaviness weighing us down.  It was about 10:30 and the place was packed so we had to abort this idea as well.  We dutifully headed to the air hockey station where we got our aggressions out.  Not long after we started though, it was all over.  Rather anticlimactic with game over so soon (I did make high scorer list though :), we thought about checking on the movie situation again.

Off we trotted back to the theatre and got some midnite tickets for "Runner Runner". With an hour to kill we agreed on heading to the sports store as we are all endorphin junkies (not sure about the newest Fulbrighter to debut in-country though as she was likely headed for jet-lag syndrome having just landed in country the previous evening).  After 45 minutes of cruising around in the store as if we had it all to ourselves, I walked out with:

a yoga mat
a weighted medicine ball
a swimming cap

We did have a ball in the store and L-netta even got on the inversion machine  (mind you this is at 11:45 pm and after eating HUGE food at Fuddruckers)... We trotted out and to the theatre to get our Ben Affleck/ J. Timberlake action par-tay on. Of course it's freezing in the movie theatre and I was prepared, but the newest addition to the crew wasn't ready for it. As well, her eyeballs were starting to roll to the back of her head as the jetlag was settling in to invade her body for a few days.  We got through it just fine, and the movie was pretty entertaining.  The drive home went much quicker and it was right about 3 AM that we arrived back at the ranch.

So, another great week went down last week.  No complaints here.  The weather is cooling down.  The air conditioner is getting ready to go on holiday... as well as myself actually.

Eid holidays are coming up.  This means a week of travel.  I'm thinking Oman. I'm thinking camping. I'm thinking mountain hikes. I'm thinking gorgeous beach sunsets.  I'm thinking medina wandering. I'm thinking FABRIC.  You all know how I love me some luxurious fabric...

On the subject of fabric, I hear the tailors here are awesome as well.  Back in Gaziantep, Settar took Solo_ojo and myself to an awesome tailor downtown by the kale.  Terzi Mehmet!  Mehmet made me quite a few things: pants, skirts, jackets... There is nothing more thrilling, when on a shop/hunt expedition, than to find a tailor and make appointments for fittings during each step of the process. The drinking of Turkish coffee or tea, the chit-chat, the important details that you don't know are being understood because your tailor can't speak English, and you don't speak Turkish very well... Yes, it is the THRILL of the hunt indeed.  Every trip to the tailor is like an unraveling of a unique present to yourself.

So in remembering this thrill, I bought a cool pair of Thai Silk palazzo pants on Maui before I left and I absolutely love them for over here.  Long, wide-leg, light-weight fabric that breathes, and the movement the fabric produces when I walk... well I just like the entire package.  So, on my trip into the medina, or souk here, I'm going to check out some fabric shops and tailors.

Well, my robot never showed up this morning. Must be some technical difficulties... so I got my arse outta bed and made my own cuppa joe.  It's damn good.

Today is day 2 of finding a gym/spa/club.  Yesterday didn't pan out too well.  The thing is, I want the entire package: beach/lap pool/gym/cafe/steam room, etc.  Proximity is important as well.  We'll see what today brings.  I might try to run with the Bahrain Hash House Harriers this evening. They are doing a run in Juffair.  I can't imagine running there as it seems so congested.  I know I don't feel like drinking a beer afterwards as I have loads of lesson planning to do so... might not happen...

That's all folks. I've got nothing.  Typing this even bored me, but I'll still post it just to make you all read through the normal-ness that I experienced this week in Bahrain! 


"X" marks the spot

Last night was "X". I didn't even know it was coming earlier in the day. After classes let out (Thursday is my heavy day with 3 classes), I finished up some other things and then headed out and back to base camp (how Sophie (my GPS) finds my dwelling).  I only had about an hour to chill before heading out on our weekly Riffa run with the Bahraini Road Runners Club.  I made a smoothie (yes I brought Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Super Blue-Green Algae, etc from Hawai`i with me) thinking that 1.5 hours was enough time to digest...

Well not necessarily.  Nothing major, but I could feel it moving through my system while running.  I'm still getting used to running in the heat so... At any rate, it was a good run.  Feels so satisfying after crossing the finish line and receiving my card and hanging out afterwards chatting with everybody soaking wet.  As we finished the run, the sun was setting into the horizon in a magnificent display. Something about that moment stopped me and made me feel really comfortable in my new environment. Eventually we all scatter and so off our trio of musketeers went (Lynette and John, the Fulbrighters, were with me). Sophie was acting up and brought us through a maze of roads, which was highly amusing.  Upon reaching base camp, I realized that I had Sophie programmed to 'shortest route' instead of 'fastest route', or vice versa...

Anyway, at home I just lazed about and though I would eventually get motivated to do some lesson planning and get it out of the way for the weekend.  Shower, dinner and ready to go?  Nope.  Couch and air con... Yep I was headed for my "crash and burn" night.  Now I remember these fondly back on Maui.  They happened every so often.  I always enjoy them actually.  My body just saying, chill the f*ck out. I passed out around 9:30 pm on the couch and woke up at 10:45 and trotted off to bed.  9.5 hours later here I am, in bed with my chilled coffee, feeling relaxed and gooey. Damn that was a quality sleep.  Feeling like a million Bahraini Dinar now (which would be close to 3 mil USD)!

Now, there was a few things I didn't take care of last night though... like going to the phone store and getting my phone credits... Ugh.  That must happen later this morning as I've friends in town from other kingdoms nearby.  

This morning marks week 2 for me here in the Kingdom of Bahrain.  So far so great.  I've managed to get it all together and make a home that already feels homey. I have a bedroom that is cave-like and never sees the light of day- which I so adore.  Makes me feel like I'm back in the jungles of Haiku. I also got all my paperwork finalized- meaning my car got leased! Yep I have wheels.  This is a great, unexpected, part of the Fellowship details I must have overlooked earlier! Anyway, it feels great to be mobile.  I haven't had a car for the past 3 years in Turkey and Tunisia so this is quite liberating.

The 3 Musketeers attended a cool function at the Crowne Plaza Hotel this week. We met up with all the local Fulbrighters that just came back from their missions in America, etc. It was amazing to talk to so many bright young minds ready to conquer the world with their smart ideas.  I'll be working with some in the future. So, it was a great place to meet-up, connect and exchange ideas and think about the future.  I had quite a few conversations about the historical and archaeological heritage of Bahrain, known as the ancient "Dilmun" and "Tylos", with some scholars and artists there.  I realized from conversation that I really did do some in depth research about Bahrain so was pleasantly surprised that I had contributions to add to the conversation.You know I love me some history talk- especially ancient history! There is also a budding art movement here as well I found out.  All in all, a very successful evening indeed.

As well, I've another swank function coming up this week too!  I like that my social calendar is filling up.  Makes me feel more settled into this place. I actually had to turn down an invite to go hiking this morning- due to my 'crash and burn' episode, which I am enjoying immensely.

Another highlight of this past week was finding out that there are no classes on Tuesdays so we can choose to come into work and work, or work from home- which is difficult I am finding out...

That about wraps up this past week for me.   This weekend is full of visiting with friends, finishing up the very last bit of residency paperwork, and attend the Youth Peace Conference.  This means little time for lesson planning except for the late nights... Speaking of which, it was announced that I became coordinator for the class I am teaching, so... a full plate this semester indeed. Good thing I had my "crash and burn" episode last night because now I'm off and running again...


learning the layout of the land...

Saturday morning here in my desert kingdom.  This is, of course, our Sunday as it works out in the Gulf Coast Countries (GCC). I'm in bed drinking my coffee and pondering my first week of work. 

Now, a short note.  It is already quite hot.  I'm not sure of the temperature right now, but surely it has already hit 90º and it is 8:30 am. It's much too late for me to go for a run, but not for a swim, so that is the idea after I pump out this episode… heh heh.  Not that my life here dictates any drama to be had, but…

And a short note about the coffee trip here.  I'm becoming accustomed to making my coffee the night before and refrigerating it so it is cold when I step out the door to go to work.  This is a new endeavor, but due to the extreme weather, I find this working for me.  Today, on the other hand, I am having my coffee piping hot- just like old times…

Because I am still without a car (I need to have my CPR card 1st- this is like a SSN), my work cannot lease a car for me), I either ride into work with the Fulbrighter that lives downstairs, or my driver picks me up.  Now, my driver never seems to make it on time exactly, and then we go downtown into Manama to pick up 2 other professors temporarily staying at a hotel while they settle in.  So my preferred method of transport is to go w/Lynette.

My work week went by fast.  I/we all finally received our class schedules late Thursday afternoon- right before the weekend. We all attended a conference at the Gulf Hotel downtown Manama Thursday afternoon so no one was at the university to print out schedules, etc.  I imagine that Sunday morning at the various printing rooms at the uni are going to be chaos!  Anyway, while Lynette and myself were walking into the conference area of the hotel, we walked past the Sherlock Holmes Pub and Restaurant… Now, I've heard great things from a few dodgy contacts (I mean that lovingly of course, and I am talking about all you Kahoolawe gentlemen that I've worked with in my past life as an archaeologist), so I feel like I hit the jackpot with this discovery.

But I digress… work was pretty hectic this past week- as it would be for anyone at a new job in a new country.  Miss Sameera, Mr. Majhmoud and Nasr especially have been lifesavers. The week was full of various workshops and missing various workshops because I needed help from professors that led various workshops that I was not able to attend earlier due to attending other various workshops… Phew… But when it was all said and done, I think I pretty well navigated around the place and figured things out to a sophomoric degree.  My office overlooks some greenery! The air conditioning is freezing- apparently a problem throughout the uni, but if I keep my door open, it seems to be okay.  There has been some talk about obtaining space heaters- which is amusing considering we live in a hot box!!! Alas… life in my desert kingdom.  I think I am warming up to it rather quickly honestly.

Yesterday my friend Lynn showed Lynette and myself around Manama City.  He had his big, bad jeep (that was currently sparkling clean- unlike after our escapades last weekend that left a big, bad mud puddle). We went to the fish market, the vegetable market, etc.  What a delightful sight to see!  It reminded me of my time spent in Tunis at the market downtown. We loaded up with fruit and vegetables and then headed into… City Center Mall.  Now, this is a mega mallopolis if you will.  We were there the previous evening to catch a movie- 2 Guns, with Mr. Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg which, BTW, was pretty entertaining.  I didn't get to see the true 'girth' of the mall that evening though. 

So, my main mission was to obtain a GPS unit so I can navigate my way around Bahrain fairly effectively (actually all the GCC and Levant countries as that is the maps application that came with the unit). After much research (both beforehand and inside the store), I made my final decision.  It was exciting.  I've never needed a GPS unit to get around before… Apparently I have 3 British English speaking voices to choose from. I am hoping one will sound like a Mr. Jeeves.  Anyway, with constant traffic and road blocks, etc and no-no areas, I know that I will need it, so that is that. I walked out of the store with a blender as well so after this posting I will move on from coffee to a smoothie before breakfast…


In other mildly interesting events of the week, I completed my first 'race' with the Bahrain Road Runners Club!  It was like running into a furnace, but I completed it and it was a great time.  The BRR is a great group of people who dedicate their time to this endeavor and made me feel really welcomed. Hisham will have my official 'card' ready for me next week- which I can use for discounts at the Bahrain Organic Foods Cafe/Store in Al Seef Mall.  This will be a big help as the products there are fairly expensive- yet they are there which is a blessing! It isn't exactly Mana Foods, but honestly it is pretty damn close.  Instead of hippies, there are expats and elegant women gliding around there in their abayas and sunglasses perched perfectly atop their hijabs.  So I feel kinda at home is the point of this… *wink*

My nesting at home has been fun as well.  The apartment is so big that I have designated areas that are actually designated, separate areas.  Lynn mentioned that the apartment complex reminded him of an Italian villa of sorts- which it kinda does- all whitewashed with loads of colonnades and arched way angles.  The big, glistening swimming pool is always eerily quiet- except when I'm there trying to learn to develop a decent stroke… Unfortunately I will not make it in time for the Aquathon coming up next month…

One thing about the apartment- everything is there and it does what it is supposed to do.  I set up my gas finally, with the help of Mohadeen- the apartment guy.  The (2) large bottles of gas were already outside on my back porch and voila! BAM. Poof my work is done.  As well with the washer in the kitchen.  I fooled around with switches for about 5 minutes after it didn't automatically turn on, and BAM! All lights are green so GO!

The only thing that isn't there, which is amusing, is that there are no plugs in the bathrooms… yes, that is right- I have TWO bathrooms… or hammams as they call them there.  Funny story there.  Hammams, where I've been living the past 3 years) are places to go where you have steam baths of varying degrees. Usually there is a HOT room, a warm room, and a cooling room.  Loads of running water and a central HOT stone where you can get massaged, or just relax, etc.  So, I asked a female coworker where the hammams were 'here' (meaning in Bahrain), and she looked perplexed.  After a few strange exchanges, she finally laughed and said that 'hammam' is the word for bathroom (as in toilet).  So she must have been thinking that I haven't gone to the bathroom for a few days!!!

Today a coworker is taking us out to lunch in an area of the city called Sahr (?) I believe.  The only other thing on my agenda is to just lesson plan the day away.  I pumped out 2 Power Points yesterday- or updated them from what I had been using for the past 2 years in Turkey. 

I think that this about wraps up this communique for the week here in my desert kingdom which, legend has it, could be the locale of the biblical Garden of Eden.  More on that later so I will leave you with that cliffhanger (note to self: conduct more in-depth research on that last claim so I can discuss it properly next time).

smoothie time...


Welcome to Bahrain!! Desert communique #1

Saturday morning,

I think I'm pretty predictable in terms of my blog posts.  Even though the time zone keeps changing for me, I am pretty much a creature of habit so- onward. I am sitting on the couch drinking my french press coffee!!! Yes, I'm back into action with the new french press that I bought in Marquette Michigan this summer during my Amerika summer 2013 Odyssey.  It makes me happy...

The new addition to this equation is that I have never had to write a blog while under the intoxication of... air conditioning.  Even in SE Turkey in the heat of summer I didn't NEED air con... So, this will take some getting used to. More on that later. Now let me recap my adventures yesterday.

This is my 2nd morning in Bahrain.  Yesterday Lynette, the Fulbright scholar, and I  went shopping!  What a better thing to do when you move to a foreign place than nest, and buy things to make your nesting more comfortable! She has already been here a week so has things down.  We hopped in her car and voom voom off we went to Lulu Hipermarket or something like that.

I have to say right off the bat that things are cheap here- at least when comparing to things in Turkey... Gasoline, groceries, alcohol, health foods, etc.  As well, people speak English here, and quite well. No one is staring at me like I am 'out of place.' It is quite typical a scene here for the Gulf peeps to see foreigners.

I had made plans previously yesterday morning to spend the afternoon with another friend, Lynn.  So as Lynette and I pulled up into the parking lot at the apartment after a successful shopping endeavor, Lynn was pulling up in his rig- a totally tricked out 4x4 jeep just made for this terrain.  For the next 5 hours we cruised the island- many times off road.  I'm talking off off-road... What a hoot.  He is a big time geo-cache fanatic (listen up Katie-girl!!!) so we stopped off for some sign-ins, as well as setting up a new cache along some beach.

NOTE: just re-upped my coffee!!! Oh how I adore this routine. Of course, I should have taken advantage of my jetlag and went running when I was up at 6 am, but I didn't... Alas... I even had an offer to go running today with the Bahrain Roadrunners Club, but I just don't think I'm ready to deal with it on day 2 in the desert.

But I digress... So, we nearly circumnavigated all of Manama Island yesterday. BTW, Bahrain is made up of approximately 33 islands with Manama Island being the largest, as well as where the capital, Manama, is located.  We hit up local fishing villages, went to the southern tip where this huge resort-style housing project is that is made up of a cluster of man-made island luxury villas. We went to/through the interior sand pile. We saw this famous "Tree of Life" which is interesting because in Hawaii we call this a Kiawe Tree and we generally don't like them- mostly because of the nasty thorns on them.  These here don't have thorns.  But it is so called the Tree of Life because it is in the middle of the desert with no other plant life to really speak about.  Now, science tells us that Kiawe trees (also where Mesquite wood comes from and makes for a roaring hot BBQ) have root systems that dig deep.  So, to me, the mystery isn't very mysterious.  But at the very least, it is a tourist attraction in its own right. This certainly made me smile though.

We also went to a few beaches.  You all know me- my heart was going 'pitter-patter pitter-patter' and then I saw the beaches.  Not exactly what I'm used to, but it was thrilling to be hanging at the Arabian Gulf. 

We went to some area where I can't remember the name of the city (selective amnesia) and it was interesting to say the least.  Very colorful scenes I took in. Lynn was an awesome tour guide and I have to say, I was laid out the red carpet treatment. My kinda red carpet- the offbeat kind. 

When I get deposited back to my apartment, which is quite cute BTW, I was already feeling the jet lag start to seep in.  I didn't think I was really going to get hit up with it, but... It could just be that I was tired and dehydrated... At one point we got out of the jeep (he has this remote control that turns the jeep on as we're walking back to get the air con going before entering- tricky), and I was just a ball of sweat.  We were looking for a micro (Geo)cache that was no longer there. So we put up another one.  All in all, I think we hit up 4 geocaches yesterday.  Okay, I know I am moving all around here with this written commentary... So just to keep up with this labyrinth of madness that is my mind, I'll digress even more...

I arrived here on Thursday night at about 8pm.  The university had their man pick me up, get me through customs effortlessly- BAM , set me up with a sim card- BAM, and outta there we were.  Ali was awesome.  As we drove around, we had already solved the world's problems.  He dropped me off at my apartment, that was already prepped with food, bedding, and air con on full blast- BAM.
I mean, the entire thing was first class.  I didn't exactly have this experience at my last few places. I mean, they tried, but the first few days were rough.  So this experience already had me in awe. (I have to say though that my Turkish Buddy in Gaziantep, Mihrican, was totally awesome in helping me move myself around when I first arrived there.)

About an hour later, as I was happily unpacking, Lynette knocked on my door (I've already introduced you guys to her).  It felt so normal- already having someone visit me. We ended up going for a late night walk (it was already 11pm) at the nearby park with a running track/work-out area. 1 lap is 1 km so we went through a few rounds. What I noticed first off was that there were a few other females out as well walking/working out.  One girl was walking alone in full abaya/hijab and looked totally at ease. Another girl was sitting on the ground using a bench to do sit-ups.  I was amazed.  At the other end was a few groups of guys sitting on the benches and talking.  A couple guys also started to run on the track.  Anyway, it was a relief to see that this is a typical thing to do and there is no need to feel out of place. Afterwards, I started nesting again and was up until about 4:30 am... I knew I was in trouble when I (faintly) heard the 4am call to prayer.  It was time to have my first sleep.  Incidentally, the bed is HUGE.  It is prolly a California King size mattress.  I mean, you get lost sleeping.  I can prolly roll over 3x and still not fall off the bed... This made me laugh when I saw it as in Gaziantep we were provided with twin-size beds... Haha.  This point does not go unnoticed...

So last night after a full day of adventures- both shopping and sightseeing- I was starting to get tired.  Here it starts getting dark around 6pm.  I think it is due to the haze.  I'm not sure though.  I'll research it.  Lynette and I were going to grab some chow, but I pooped out.  I was out by 9pm, and then up at 3:30 am... At least I didn't get outta bed until 6:30 am... It's now 7:30 am Saturday morning- our Sunday.  I start work tomorrow... I don't believe classes start until the 25th or so though.

Speaking of which, work, I'm quite happy to be getting back to it.  This is the first time I've taken full advantage of 3 full months off work.  Gosh it feels great.  I mean, summer was AWESOME this year.  I traveled all around Turkey first, then flew back to Hawaii and went island-hopping all summer, went on a cross-country Amerika semi-truck odyssey.  Visited family in the UP and went out sightseeing with them.  Hit up the east coast and DC, and then some rest time back on Maui again. 

Now it's time to get down to work, but first there is this last day of freedom!  Lynette and I are going to go out and explore the island today.  Not sure what that entails, but I'm hoping to go to one of my new co-worker's garage and pick up stuff that the last Fellow left for me (I love me some swag!) as well as head to the Organic Health Food Cafe/store by the... Seef Mall I believe.  Those people have been so great with their Facebook page.  This entire 3 months I have FB'd them questions about products that they carry, etc.  I definitely want to meet them because... just because!

I should explain about my apartment a bit.  First, it's huge.  It's a 2 BD/2 BA with a huge living room, dining room table (with a hutch) and separate office area.  The kitchen is fully equipped and there is air con in every room but the bathrooms.  Fans are everywhere (duh), and I have both a front and back lanai ('porch' in Hawaiian).  I have a washer in the kitchen! There is enough room to have a little garden (I brought seeds) and meditation area.  The outside views are defined by white-washed buildings with stairs going up to rooftop patios.  I haven't seen any neighbors yet, but I'm thinking that is due to the weather. There is apparently a large pool here at the complex, but I have yet to explore the area.  Today's wishlist is just to find Mr. Raj and have him hook up my gas so I can start cooking, as well as, as I previously explained, go to a co-worker's garage and pick up house/work items that the previous Fellow left. 

The weather has changed from yesterday to today, I think.  This am there are clouds and it is windy.  Does this mean that a dust storm is nearing?  Eek! Okay, pictures to follow.  I'm too lazy to get it all hooked up/downloaded, etc.  As it is, I'm scarfing my neighbor's wifi until I get mine set up. Incidentally, that is why this communique is coming from my living room couch and not my bed- the wifi doesn't reach in there!

over and out,

I must add, again, that this is not spell-checked.  It is these very 'imperfections' that make this commentary all the more rich...


Da Kine Red Wine up here in cowboy country

So I'm in one of those moods. I'll lay it out for you: last day in Amerika. Red wine, Hot Fuzz video (no it's not porn), and da kine, beautiful evening. I was at the beach today, with all others celebrating a lack of labor today. I was laboring away at finishing my book. With only 2 chapters left, it has no space for my limited space (3 70lb suitcases... ahem).

I believe I mentioned it  in my last post.  Well, I was just going to skip it due to lack of motivation mostly, but I just read a 'tweet' about Genghis Khan:
"Genghis Khan exempted the poor from taxes, encouraged literacy and established free religion, which is why many joined his empire"  tweeted by (@UberFacts)

I mention this because the book I just finished reading, Indian Givers: How Native Americans Transformed the World,  by Jack Weatherford was so interesting that I checked out what else the author had written. Of the half dozen or so, two stuck out:

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
The Secret History of the Mongol Queens

The book I read is listed as 'History: Social Science, Literary Criticism- Native American.' I really, really like this genre. As well, Dr. Weatherford is the DeWitt Wallace Chair of Anthropology at Macalester College in Minnesota, as well as a position in a Mongolian uni. I don't know about you guys, but a vague memory from school reminds me that I learned that he was a sort of heathen savage...

As for the Mongol queens, who doesn't love a dramatic storyline following the women who walk with great leaders. Sounds like lots of sex, betrayal, hamams, frolicking and folly. I can roll with that as well. I wanna know why Genghis Khan said, "Let us reward our female offspring."

But back to my book, there are a few highlights that I want to make note of.  I also wanted to write a blog post tonight so I'm killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Bear with me, or not...

*Weatherford mentions "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" in his book.  I loved that book.  I gave it to L-Fezz. She loved that book.  I need to check and see if Mr. Perkins has written something recent.  

*Clio was the muse of history.  She was the daughter of Zeus, or sometimes Uranus, & Mnemosyne- where we get 'mnemonic' from if my memory serves me correct...So as the story goes, Zeus slept with her for 9 consecutive days and they had 9 'muses'. As I like to think of myself as a history buff, I like this.  Somehow I will weave 'Clio' into my fabric and come up with something delicious.

*Now, Native Americans were the true pathfinders of America as far as I'm concerned.  This book looks at a range of ways that this has played out in American, and sometimes European history. From silver and capitalism (the mines of Potosi) to plant food/medicine to architecture and urban planning, this book has it all.  Each chapter is dedicated to another endeavor that helped to make America great (that was then, this is now..), and of course, there is hardly a mention of them in any of the legacies.

I am highly suggesting this book. It reads quite nicely.  Not academic in that sense that it puts one to sleep. It's not historical fiction (another genre that I deeply enjoy), and it's not fluff. It's about how so much of what we see every day in America has a lasting legacy going back to the original inhabitants of the Americas.

I bought the book up in Sault Ste. Marie on the Michigan/Canadian border, but I'm sure it's everywhere. I know that I saw both the Genghis & Mongol queens books at bookstores near the front displayed at the airport so they must be rather new I'm thinking- I could be wrong on that. At any rate, I have $200 in iTunes giftcards (Thanks Georgetown Apple Store) so... if I feel like I want an electronic book (which I don't), I would be inclined to purchase it this way. But, alas, I like the texture of an old-fashion book.  I love turning the pages, writing notes and putting weird postcards to mark my page.  I suppose almost all this could be accomplished with an electronic reader, but... but... but...

So it seems that Hot Fuzz has been playing and I have no idea what is happening in the film.  It's time to put the electronics down and pay attention. Be kind, rewind...