Monthly Archives: November 2010

Blacksmith Street, Hanoi

The New York Times features a well-written article by Seth Mydans about Nguyen Phuong Hung, the last blacksmith on Blacksmith Street. “Once I am gone the street will have no meaning anymore,” he said. “Blacksmith Street will be only a name.” That has … Continue reading

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Delegating My Visa Headaches

On Friday I went to Visa Services Northwest in the Melbourne Tower Building downtown. The hassle of obtaining visas on my own for China, Vietnam and Russia was too much. Each requires you to send your original passport to a consulate or … Continue reading

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Hammer and Sickle and Soccer

If soccer is inherently socialistic, why are socialist countries so bad at it? Continue reading

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What A Visa Application Reveals

I am applying for tourist visas for the first time, and thought about what the process discloses about the host country. The visa application form for Vietnam is straightforward: name, birthdate, address, employer, purpose of visit, dates of entry and … Continue reading

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Finding a Ship

The Baltimore is a container ship constructed at Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea, and christened in 1995. It is German-owned with European officers and Filipino crew. The ship is chartered by Hanjin, the Korean shipping giant. It can carry … Continue reading

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I need a small bag, new shoes, clothing that can be washed in a sink, if necessary, and quickly dried. It’s easy to get carried away as there are no end of websites that offer advice. “Pack light” is the mantra. … Continue reading

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