Friday, March 5, 2010

Reading, Writing and Trading

As a short follow up to my last post, I have almost been able to make the bread correctly, I can't quite get it to full with air like it's supposed to, but I get it close and it tastes good enough to eat. I still have no idea how to get meat, and I think about all I would trust to order is the chicken, but I haven't had the time or inclination to ask a butcher here yet. Kim also has noted I should update on the post before that, and all I have to say is the antibiotics did their work and I'm fine.

So with that out of the way we can move on to todays topic which is what the hell are we doing. Kim seems to have maintained a fair amount of her work and has been busy with much of the same real estate marketing, web design, flyers and whatever else she has been doing for the last few years. I didn't bring my work with me, so I have had to try and find something new. At first it looked like it might be getting involved with trekking, but that is looking like it really isn't the way to go. The whole teaching thing looks like kind of a bust too as the pay is just dismal. The only apparent reason to possibly pursue that in the future would be if other visa options look to dry up.

So what have I been doing? Well aside from working to get ourselves settled, find our lost luggage, get the apartment and everything that went inside of it, running around the mountains for a week and being bed ridden for another half week, I have been reading writing and looking into trading. So the reading part first I guess. I've been on a big kick of reading Buddhist and Stoic philosophers as of late. Just before leaving I read Marcus Aurelius' Meditations and Steven Asma's The God's Drink Whiskey (about Buddhism in South East Asia). I've followed these up with reading a couple other somewhat forgettable books on Buddhism as well as Epictetus' Enchiridion and Discourses Book one and two. Although I am not about to become a convert to either camp, Buddhism isn't nearly as silly as I once thought it was, and some of the God and Nature overtones aside, I really am impressed with the stoics. The other book that I have gone back and reread is Consciousness Explained by Dennett. This was one of my all time favorites and the last time I read it was the leading cause for me dropping out of Orono. Explaining this might require a post all its own, let's just say there was a professor who literally should have been in an elderly home, not teaching, there are mental patients who could have given more accurate appraisals of this books chapters. Anyway it's good to read the book again, so moving on.

So writing. I've always been in the habit of writing, some blogs, some stupid long e-mails about MMOs we might have been playing, stuff for games, and at times even stuff for work. I've written a good amount of political analysis (how many people do you know who picked Sarah Palin before McCain announced it?) and at times even attempted short stories or whatever. At least for the last few weeks I've been organizing some of my thoughts on philosophy and religion, an old topic for me that I had in many ways long ago abandoned. Prior to my departure for Kathmandu I had read a bunch of books on the Greeks in Bactria (the Stans) and India. This got me interested in the exchange of thought between the east and west, and in particularly the stoics and Buddhists. That lead to my reading list in the last paragraph and caused me to want to kind of revisit the topic again. We'll see if it leads to anything.

All of this is great, but it isn't making me any money, or getting me a visa. So my other project is creating a company here in Kathmandu as well as registering it as a legal entity in the US. What I would like to do is export goods from here wholesale so people back in the US can sell them. I'll be putting a catalog together at some point in the near future. The idea is to sell the products and the marketing materials so people back in the US are informed about what they are selling, where it came from and even who made it. We'd like to provide pictures, pamphlets and in depth descriptions of the products. We also want to approach it with a fair trade angle donating some proceeds to good NGO's like Girl's Education Nepal. The wheels have started turning on this and I'll provide updates as it becomes more concrete.

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