Thursday, June 13, 2013


Let me begin by first saying that I love the USA.  I consider it my second home (where my first home is, I don't know!).

However, I think some of the policies & laws are made by some of the least intelligent & close-minded people in the world.  And one reason has to a bit do with the litigiousness of its society.  Look at the infamous McDonald's coffee cup  lawsuit, for heaven's sake.   Because of that, disposable coffee cups in the USA have warnings that the contents are hot.  Duh.  Knee jerk reactions to the extreme is what I call it.  These policies cater to the lowest common denominator.  To me, much of it is illogical & a waste of precious resources.

And don't get me started on TSA.  After 9/11, some of its policies border on ludicrous.  I know terrorism is out there & one has to be careful, blah blah blah.  But anyone who has to go through airport security in the USA knows what I am talking about.  Restrictions on what can be carried on, or checked in; removing shoes & belts & bracelets (I saw with my own eyes how an Indian lady with two young kids in tow was made to remove all her bracelets before going through the metal she was going to have explosives implanted into her bracelets???  Gimme a break).  Questions from the immigration officers to legitimate visitors & legal residents sometimes border on the intrusive & oftentimes makes one feel like a criminal instead of someone who is making a visit home.  As I said - knee jerk reactions to the extreme.  I bet that now, because of the Boston bombing, students going back to the US for studies will face an additional barrage of questions from the TSA officers when they go through the immigration counters.

And now the recent whistleblower case in which it was revealed that the US government has been secretly accessing internet data of private citizens shows the extent to which this "fight against terror" has reached.  If I wanted my privacy to be invaded, I would have stayed in Singapore (*GRIN*).

It is sad that it as come to this.  They need someone with common sense & can see the bigger picture to revise the laws & policies.  Perhaps someone with an international background (maybe a third culture person?)  Maybe that way, the US can become the great nation that it once was.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Impressions from China - Back in the Jing

Today marks the one year anniversary of my arrival in Hong Kong from Beijing.  I was back in Beijing last week, visiting old friends & attending graduation of some of their kids.  It was bittersweet to be back. As I've said before, the worse part of this lifestyle is leaving behind good friends.

Much was the same, and yet different.  The pollution was still there, although I was lucky enough to have a couple of blue sky days.  The traffic was the same (i.e. horrendous).  The village which used to sit next to the boys' school is gone - demolished to make way for even more residential complexes, to be sold at probably exorbitant prices.

I was glad that my spoken Mandarin did not deteriorate too much, and I was still able to communicate with the locals competently.

One thing which I definitely miss are the reasonably priced TCM massages. Needless to say, I made sure that I got my fill while there!