Friday, January 31, 2003
German building, British made
- Mark Knopfler is a hell of a storyteller. He proves this one more time in his latest solo song "Why Aye Man". The song's upbeat folklore-rock sound leads to a story of Geordie (see notes) boys who had trouble "staying afloat" financially during the "Maggie" (Margaret Thatcher) era. They leave the Geordie land for Germany to work as construction workers, or "economic refugees" as Mark Knopfler refers to as, probably, an overstatement. They work hard at day and "drink the old town dry" at night to keep the spirit levels high.
They miss what they left behind, but they cannot simply pass on Deutschmarks they earn. Judging from the song, this must be the origion of the expression "German building, British made".
- Speaking of Germany, I am getting the impression from the German press that the country is in a big economical slowdown and I don't think Germany's media is as hyped-up and politicized as their North American counterparts, or is it?
The education system is crumbling, health care is cash starving, and many people, especially talented ones, are demoralized. There are already talks of brain drain in the country, and other more prosperous European countries, Australia, and New Zealand are among the top destinations. One should live there to verify all this.
Notes: Geordie is a native of North East of England (major city: Newcastle). It is also referred to the dialect spoken in that region of England. There are a few on-line Geordie dictionaries where you can type in Standard English and translate it into Geordie. These translators may come handy if you have a friend from North East of England and you want to pleasantly suprise him.
Thursday, January 30, 2003
So I decided to write. My quest to find a hobby for which I feel passionate is over ... at least for now until I either get bored or find something more interesting.
Writing in a language rather than your mother tongue is like writing a piece of software in a new programming language where the syntaxes, styles, and objectives are all barrier or foggy to you. But in the mean time it could be challenging. That's how you may feel rewarded by accomplishing it. Like programming again, you have to warm yourself up with small pieces and work your way up by occasionally shaking up your old products and putting them into bigger written products.
In the programming textbooks, there is a small sample piece of code whereby novice programmers declare their existence by implementing and running it. It simply prints out 'Hello World' on screen. So there it is my first and small step in this endeavour: Hello World.