Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit and Immigration: a Non-European View

For the non-European student in a UK school, visa has always been somewhat of a bureaucratic hurdle.  Getting the student visa to start is already an issue, but what is worse is that by the time the student is ready to graduate with a prestigious degree from a elite British school, getting a work visa to stay and work is next to impossible.  By the time the author finished his Master's degree at the LSE in 2012, foreign students are no longer even entitled to the one-year post-graduate visa, instead facing the prospect of getting kicked out of the country immediately after getting the diploma.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Specter of Socialist Bureaucracy

More than a year ago, when the author was still a high-flying businessman for one of Southeast Asia's most hyped-up e-commerce startups, he made frequent business trips to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from his homebase in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  At the immigration check area in the Ho Chi Minh City airport, there was always a familiar sight.  In an area with a couple of dozen booths for passport stamping, only two or three are staffed with grim-faced immigration officers in uniform, doing their inspections at a leisurely pace while the line for entry in front of the booths get longer and longer as more passengers arrive.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

African Residency at One-Year Mark: a Summary

Today, it is precisely one year since the author first stepped off the plane in the little town of Iringa, Tanzania for his interview at the organization where he currently works.  The sentiment at that time has been one of surprise, not simply for a land that he has never stepped into as a full-time resident, but also one of superficial conviction that the land is plagued by some sort of social disease, one that has and continue to retard real economic developments that can pull people out of endless poverty.  The thought at that time was one of genuine excitement, a realization that something can be done to change people's lives.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

以端午節憶亞洲之節日情節

在東非,今天不過是有一個普通的星期四,大家照常工作,照常生活。可惜著者的臉書可是從早到晚充滿了來自亞洲各地的“節日快報“。哪裏有龍舟賽啦,哪裏的粽子比較好啦,哪裏的連假塞車啦,哪裏成爲旅游熱點啦...實在是無法讓人安心工作。雖説著者也算是剛剛度假完畢回來上班,但是看到世界另一端新聞上、朋友圈裏的歡樂,難免感覺異常的孤獨寂寞冷。在此情況下,回憶一下亞洲各地特殊的節日情節,在祝各位讀者端午節快樂的同時,也希望對自己有一定的”劃梅止渴”作用。

Saturday, June 4, 2016

June 4, Racism, and a Chinese Allusion to State Violence in Africa

This blog has been quite persistent in posts remembering the June 4 pro-democracy protests in China every year, and this year is no different.  It is only unfortunate that with each passing year, the memories of the events fade, with a younger generation, both in China and abroad, too preoccupied with contemporary issues to be mindful of the sacrifices made by idealists of 20-odd years ago (as they continue to do so, quietly, today).  It is not surprising that this is the case considering China of today is a much more different place, with a twisted civic society that imbue new, darker issues.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Looking Forward to the "Someday"

As a crazy traveler himself, the author is quite fond of trading travel stories with fellow travelers met anywhere, for short-term or long-term.  Talking about travel stories is especially exciting when the person or people being spoken to has been to the same destinations as the author.  But asking them about their impressions of the same places, the author can gain whole new perspectives that he did not acquire firsthand during his own travels to those places, while giving himself another, second opportunities to savor the beauty and greatness of those destinations, days, months, and even years after the actual travels happened.