Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

A Lot of Bull

Humor interests me – why do we find some things funny? In the US, we have an entire genre of jokes that have to do with big city/educated/city living people who get taken advantage of by the “ole country boy.” I always find them funny. And, I wonder if these jokes are funny in every culture? Here is one from jokes to go.

A big-city lawyer was representing the railroad in a lawsuit filed
by an old rancher. The rancher’s prize bull was missing from
the section through which the railroad passed. The rancher only
wanted to be paid the fair value of the bull.

The case was scheduled to be tried before the justice of the
peace in the back room of the general store. The city-slicker
attorney for the railroad immediately cornered the rancher and
tried to get him to settle out of court.

He did his best selling job, and finally the rancher agreed to
take half of what he was asking.

After the rancher had signed the release and took the check,
the young lawyer couldn’t resist gloating a little over his
success, telling the rancher, “You are really a country hick, old
man, but I put one over on you in there. I couldn’t have won the
case. The engineer was asleep and the fireman was in the
caboose when the train went through your ranch that morning. I
didn’t have one witness to put on the stand. I bluffed you!”

The old rancher replied, “Well, I’ll tell you young feller, I was a
little worried about winning that case myself, because that
durned bull came home this morning.”

April 21, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cross Cultural, Humor, Joke, Random Musings | Leave a comment

India’s dangerous secret sex lives

In a BBC article by Linda Pressly, we learn that India has the largest HIV case-load in the world with an estimated 5.7 million people living with the virus. And that women are at highest risk of getting the HIV virus – from their husbands.

More people are living with HIV in India than anywhere else but activists in Gujarat say that until sexual diversity is accepted, prevention may be impossible.

In India’s conservative society sex lives are kept very secret

“Just as other people live their lives, my husband and I maintain our normal family life, even though he has boyfriends.”

Gita was relating some of the most intimate details of her marriage.

“We look after each other, so that’s why I don’t have a problem with his homosexuality,” she said.

“At first I was shocked because I didn’t know anything about it. But I discovered that homosexuality is completely natural in some people, so I’m OK with it.

“I never thought it would create any problems for me.”

Gita’s husband Vijay, has been having sexual relationships with men ever since they got married.

You can read the rest of this fascinating article here.

April 21, 2007 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, Family Issues, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Marriage, Mating Behavior, Relationships, Social Issues, Women's Issues | 4 Comments

Uighur People

I had never heard of the Uighur people until I read The Kite Runner, a steady best-seller by Khaled Hosseini (available from for $8.40 plus shipping) about Afghanistan, his Afghani childhood, his best friend – a Uighur – and the changes wrought in Afghanistan with the revolution.

(Edit: True Faith accurately points out that the best friend was Hazara, not Uigher)

This article is from BBC News April 12th, about the steady campaign against the Uighur in China.

China ‘crushing Muslim Uighurs’

China has been accused by two US-based human rights groups of conducting a “crushing campaign of religious repression” against Muslim Uighurs. It is being done in the name of anti-separatism and counter-terrorism, says a joint report by Human Rights Watch and Human Rights in China.

It is said to be taking place in the western Xinjiang region, where more than half the population is Uighur.

China has denied that it suppresses Islam in Xinjiang.

It says it only wants to stop the forces of separatism, terrorism and religious extremism in the region, which Uighur separatists call East Turkestan.

Detentions and executions

The report accuses China of “opportunistically using the post-11 September environment to make the outrageous claim that individuals disseminating peaceful religious and cultural messages in Xinjiang are terrorists who have simply changed tactics”.

The authors of the report say it is based on previously undisclosed Communist Party and Chinese government documents, local regulations, press reports and local interviews.

The report says the systematic repression of religion in Xinjiang was continuing as “a matter of considered state policy”.

Such repression ranges from vetting imams and closing mosques to executions and the detention of thousands of people every year, it claims.

“Religious regulation in Xinjiang is so pervasive that it creates a legal net that can catch just about anyone the authorities want to target,” said Sharon Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China.

The report also reveals that almost half the detainees in Xinjiang’s re-education camps are there for engaging in illegal religious activities.

Uighurs make up about eight million of the 19 million people in Xinjiang.

Many of them favour greater autonomy, and China views separatist sentiments as a threat to the state.

April 21, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Cross Cultural, Political Issues, Social Issues, Spiritual, Statistics, Uncategorized | 7 Comments