April 9: Paul
McDonough, San Diego
Well, I don't
particularly like the idea of following Sava's
well written and meaty article with the usual old-classmates
drivel, but what can I do really? Perhaps a little vignette
at least ...
I recently finished
a short term job working for a bank in Stockholm, and perhaps
inevitably, I stumbled across Joachim Alpen. Quite literally,
on a street corner. After I wrested the bottle from his hand,
tearing the paper bag in the process, got a few cups of coffee
in him and packed him off for a shave and shower, he 'fessed
up that he's playing hooky from the Swedish Foreign Service
and slumming it at some bank swapping East European currencies
about. Rumors of his clientele including such august names
as Yeltsin, Sachs, and Soros may or may not be true.
As for myself,
I have forsaken the life of the wandering computer geek to
become an entirely stationary computer geek. I now work for
a little start-up company in San Diego, and spend most of
my time sitting in the kitchen or out by the pool, pretending
to work and hoping that they never get their act together
enough to provide office space. Perhaps one day I can parlay
this into something more socially relevant, but after rousting
no interest from anyone other than "Alphabet Agencies" at
the SAIS career center, I have my doubts.
To any ex-SAISers
who happen along this way, drop me a line and I'll be happy
to guide you through the wonders of Oceanside and greater
San Diego County.
||April 1: Stefan
Geens, New York
Thank you once again
for the inordinate patience you have shown in anticipating the next
installment of the Sighs alumni saga. A few points come to mind
immediately: Yes, the server on which this site resides has been
down too often and for too long, but the people responsible know
they have to do better or they will contend with our considerable
financial muscle as we maneuver to take the site elsewhere.
Also, this is the first
update in nearly 4 weeks, despite some timely contributions... What
can I say--I have a life, it was my birthday, it's springtime and
I find myself playing scrabble in the dappled late afternoon New
York sunshine, gin and tonic by my side and a newly acquired knowledge
of the 95 two-letter words of the English language. Did you know
aa is a type of Hawaiian lava? And an ai is a three-toed sloth,
not unlike those that Eurof Uppington used to impersonate.
The Bolognesi among you
should have received an information package for the 5-year reunion
at the Bologna center May 7-9. While I have been certain for the
past 5 years I would attend, I find myself bizzarely nixed from
doing so by the conflation of a previous engagement and those financial
straits only true New Yorkers get to experience: The temptations
of the exotic restaurants can alas only be indulged at the expense
of all savings.
Nevertheless, Sighs is
amenable to the hosting of a virtual bulletin board tor those who
want to advertise they are going and who wonder which other alumni
might want to share a dinner at Da Fabio, organize a night out at
Bambi bar, or want to resume where they left off the sexual peccadilloes
that were so much in evidence a mere 5 years ago.
In any case, somebody
must volunteer to take many pictures and send them here, so that
the festivities can be enjoyed by all, if virtually--perhaps a scanner
at the Bologna center, some 1-hour development, and an email account
can bring some near-live enjoyment for the Bologna diaspora.
April 7: Sava
Tatic, Prague, Czech Republic
Paul McDonough suggested
that you may be interested in posting this at sighs.com. This is
something I wrote the other day and sent it around to friends. I've
also pitched it to a couple of papers, but I'm still waiting for
a response. Anyway, I hope people will have the patience to go through
it. Here it is with the original intro. And please include my new
e-mail address to the mail room.
Thanks in advance.
- - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - -
The whole exercise comes
partly because of my frustration with the NATO PR mill which seems
to grind everything into a soppy stop-the-genocide mesh. And, unfortunately,
the mesh has been successfully permeating the mainstream Western
media. And I'm not talking CNN here, which appears to be in bed
with the State Department in more ways than one. What has struck
me so far is the scarcity of critical voices, of people who would
pause to question the belligerent strategy of the trigger-happy
doves, (i.e. all those peaceniks turned interventionists, from Bill
to Tony to the Guardian) vis-a-vis a Balkan lunatic who is essentially
looking for an opportunity to go out with a bang surrounded by vestiges
of legitimacy. This is just covering a few fundamental issues of
how the crisis has been mismanaged. More should be said about the
conflict itself, the Serbian and the Albanian tragedies, and about
what kind of outcome we should hope for. But that's for other articles
(and I hope someone else will beat me to it).
March 12: Julia
Aledort, New York
Thanks to a note from
Cigdem, I spent about three hours the other day going though all
existing issues of virtual- SIGHS since its inception. I'm amazed
at the great things taking place out there! And I feel like a recluse,
not having written in before (I think I've tried to submit new in
the past), or even visited the site since 1997 when I couldn't get
enough of Jancsi and Sophia's wedding photos!
If Stefan posted the
pictures I sent, then you can see evidence that Mario and I (after
nearly 7 years together) decided to marry in December in Washington,
DC (at the Women's National Democratic Club). It was pretty mellow,
and I'm just so grateful that my time at SAIS produced friends without
whom I could not imagine taking that step into married wonder. All
I can say is so far, so good.
JULIA'S WEDDING PHOTOS
March 15: Jon
Sinclair, Varanasi, India
Holi is a holiday marking
the end of winter and is the most exuberant festival in the Indian
calendar where everyone goes around spraying each other with coloured
water and paint and having great fun. Nowhere is this more exuberant
than in Varanasi. Here the mayhem goes on for the whole morning
until a moratorium is called at 1pm when everyone descends for the
Ganges to clean off. The river runs with colours (not immediately
clear from the photo I grant you), while people head home to put
on smart, new, usually white, clothes. Then they parade around town
greeting each other as old friends and everyone has a wonderful
time. At least, that is the plan.
COLOURFUL TALE CONTINUES...