Friday, July 21, 2017

The CCP's Handling of Liu Xiaobo as a Public Relations Disaster

A few days ago, Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo passed away in China, after lack of in-game treatment for cancer that developed unchecked during years of house arrest.  The fact that Liu was gravely ill was not unannounced by the CCP (and thus not known to the international community) until treatment would have been too late.  In supposedly compromising moves at the last minute, the CCP invited foreign doctors to go to China to help with treatment of Liu, an act that was seen as more symbolic than practical.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How Important is Punctuality to Business?

Foz do Iguacu, Brazil.  I have been spending the last two and a half hours waiting for the bus heading across the border to Argentina.  The customers waiting at the bus stand are getting rumpled by the minute, as buses bound for other destinations pass through one by one.  Finally, the right bus arrives, but the customers are not relieved.  The bus opens, and the long luxury bus is crammed full to the aisles with passengers that the bus probably spent way too much time collecting elsewhere.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Why Using Credit Cards in Foreign Lands are Dangerous

Before I embarked on this long trip through South America, I had the fortune to be approved for a traveler's credit card that charges no foreign transaction fee anywhere in the world.  Considering that foreign banks generally charge administrative fees for ATM usage, this traveler's credit card has now become by far the cheapest way for me to access money.  Hence, more than anytime I have in the past, I have been swiping credit card anywhere that the option is available.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

How Public Displays of Affection Demonstrate Cultural Liberalism

If there is anything that surprised me about Chilean culture, it is the sheer openness with which locals show romantic affection to one another in public places.  In subway cars, shops, plazas, and especially bus/train stations, couples casually French kiss, with not a care in the world that there are hundreds of people around that are baring witnessed to their romantic displays.  They just pick a spot, hold hands, face each other, and start making out, loudly and at length.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Where is the Boundary between Graffiti and Art?

Valparaiso, Chile is known unofficially as the mural capital of Chile.  Pieces of art spray painted on walls grace every other building in the colorful hills hugging the Pacific Ocean.  Tourists trek through the hills looking for the most beautiful pieces, snapping pictures on literally every other street in the city's hilly neighborhoods.  Along with the architecture and the natural settings, the murals contributed to Valparaiso being granted UNESCO heritage status.