Food and Miscellany

I speak Globish

Written by on April 1, 2010 in Food and Miscellany, Notes By The Way with 5 Comments

I’ve been living abroad for years, and now I naturally simplify my spoken English to accomodate whoever may be listening. I filter out complex grammatical structures and choose simple words. Sometimes when I want to say something too complicated to express in simplified language, I stop as if lacking the language. Or I switch to Japanese. The same thing  happens in writing if I know the audience are not native English speakers. The difference is more pronounced in Cambodia. The language of Cambodia, Khmer, doesn’t have verb tenses. When speaking to shopkeepers and tuk-tuk drivers, they understand better if I keep all verbs in the present tense. This naturally spills out in more and more conversations in Cambodia.

On my last trip, I discovered it took a conscious effort to speak like a native English speaker. Rather, simplified English is becoming my default.

Now I have a word for what I do: globish (global English). Do you speak it?

Globish is a “decaffeinated English” that is increasingly becoming a widely used international language. (h/t Kottke)

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The Butterfly Circus, a short movie with big hope

Written by on January 24, 2010 in Food and Miscellany, Notes By The Way with 2 Comments

If you can set aside 20 minutes and watch this movie, I think you’ll be grateful you did. It’s better than lots of films I’ve paid to see in the past. You can learn more about the project and see it in HD if you click here.

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Spit on the next person drinking bottled water

Written by on December 17, 2009 in Food and Miscellany, Notes By The Way with 2 Comments

I’m just kidding, but reading this may change your response to ubiquitous sightings of bottled water.


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Japanese restaurant offers dishes with influenza fighting power

Written by on November 9, 2009 in Food and Miscellany, Notes By The Way with 3 Comments

One of the funny things I notice about businesses in Japan is how they take advantage of special occasions to sell products. If there’s anyone famous in the world, you can bet a bakery is making a cream puff or something else in his or her honor. Obscure holidays are pulled from the abyss with great fanfare with stories on the news telling where to buy related stuff. Of course, the H1N1 virus has been a bonanza for health oriented businesses, but it’s been a real punch in the gut for countless industries that depend on people going out and having a good time. We went to an amusement park yesterday with no lines. Then we ate at a restaurant that is trying to make the best of a bad situation. The restaurant is called Popo la Mama, a family oriented pizza and pasta place. (I always eat the Red Carbonara, in case you wanted to know.) But now they have a SPECIAL menu featuring food that will help you fight the flu virus. I couldn’t resist taking a picture.

It says: Influenza fighting power! (Then below) Maitake mushroom contain beta-glucan which will activate your immune system to resist

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CIGNA Health Insurance Nightmare

Written by on August 16, 2009 in Food and Miscellany, Notes By The Way with 3 Comments

Read about one man’s struggle to care for his wife and hold his family together. I heard about this from a trusted source. I read the story and wanted to pass it on. If enough people read and do the same (and leave a small donations), it could make a difference.

You can help by posting links on your blog, in Facebook, etc. If enough people get involved, then even small donations will add up. I gave a few dollars with this hope in mind.


Steve, Marian, and the kids

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The link between creativity and living abroad

Written by on May 20, 2009 in Food and Miscellany, Notes By The Way with 0 Comments

The Economist summarizesstudy about living abroad and creativity. Creative people like to move a lot, so you naturally find many creative people living abroad. But according tot he study, it’s not just that such people choose to live abroad; the experience of living in other cultures shapes their creativity.

I’m not proud of how many times I’ve moved in the last twenty years since graduating from college. It makes me worry sometimes actually. Looking back, it didn’t start twenty years ago. I moved for the first time almost 42 years ago, one month after I was born. In my first three and a half years I moved four times and spent three years in Japan. After returning to the USA, I lived in a small town in Arizona, then in the deep south, and then in Albuquerque, New Mexico. What a study in contrasts! I was constantly adjusting during all my formative years, so perhaps it’s no surprise that I’m still doing that. You can’t get away from who you are, and in the end I wouldn’t want to. For better (or worse sometimes) I’m creative, always drawn to something new, and constantly resisting being fit into …

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