I was, of course, delighted when Barack Obama announced the sudden and dramatic imprvement of relations between the United States and Cuba.
As for pretty much everyone else, the news seemed to me to come out of the blue; I hadn’t been aware that Obama had previously been interested in Cuba. Indeed, I’m not really aware of any previous statements from him about the issue.
Reading through the news reports, I see a curious absence: any suggestion of an answer to the most obvious questions – Why? Why now, after so many decades? Why now, when Obama has so many other pressing issues before he leaves office?. Even more interesting, there’s no indication that anyone in the mainstream media has pursued these questions with any great effort.
Last week was back to work after my holidays, never a pleasant experience.
What with one thing and another, I haven’t had time to do much exploring. The weather has turned very warm, and most business buildings have now turned their air-conditioning on.
Stepping out from a frosty air-con environment to feel hot sun and hot air is an experience that suddenly took me back a few years, to when I was delivering training at Nokia in Singapore – though St Petersburg’s air doesn’t have a ‘defining feature’ like the mingled smells of vegetation, incense, and food that I associate with Singapore, or the acrid tang of charcoal that will forever be for me the smell the Wudaokou chuan’r environment in Beijing.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
Another delayed post, this time due to having visitors. It’s been great to have been exploring St. Petersburg for a few days, and getting to see some areas and sights that were new to me. It’s been a week in which I learned a lot of things that astonished me, some of which inspire me, and others which appall me.