Closeup of a pig stufftie

...Aaaaand We’re Back

Published 2007-01-08

OK, so it's been, what, two weeks now? I have excuses.

The day after Christmas stopped working. In China. Everyone else on Earth can see it. After a little digging I'm 99% certain the site has been placed on the official list of banned websites. No, I don't know why and no, there isn't anything I can do about it. Government action in China is like the weather: uncaring and unpredictable.

That night we had the earthquake. OK, Taiwan had the earthquake but we felt it here. Jenny and I were having dinner with friends and talking about local wines when our host shouted "Earthquake!" Everyone thought this was a brand of Chinese wine (and it would probably be an accurate brand name) but then we noticed the Swaying. The room and everything in it moved in broad, slow circles. It was gentle and kind of exciting. About two minutes later we got an aftershock: stronger and nastier, with much rattling of plates and windows.

The quake did no lasting damage in Xiamen but plenty of damage to the seabed just south of Taiwan where, coincidentally, someone keeps all the major communications cables connecting Asia to everywhere else. Taiwan, Korea, southern Japan, and China all had major outages. So even if the gummint let me see Axoplasm, I couldn't have updated it anyway. It's taken a couple of weeks but we have some (most?) of our connectivity back, although it's still broken in many baffling ways. Upstream traffic, for example, is still bad: thus can't upload photos to Flickr.

On New Year Eve day I caught an intestinal bug. Life just keeps getting funner! Ironically, the only restaurants we ate at that day were spendy Western places. Other than some minor Montezuma's revenge-type stuff back in August we've been blessedly free of G-I distress. But this thing I had this was bad. I'll try not to be graphic but what was coming out looked a lot like what was going in. That ain't right. On the third day I went to a nearby Western clinic (with an English-speaking doctor) who basically said, yep, you ate something bad.

Luckily my plumbing was groovy by last Wednesday, when Jenny's sister Michelle flew in from Portland for a visit. We spent the end of our vacation in Hong Kong, about which I'll write in the next post.