As I was writing the title for this blog entry, I had a thought. There was no snow on Christ’s birth day. There is never any snow in Bethlehem (if that really is where he was born) because the temperature in that part of Israel is always too high for snow. Anyone who tries to say differently is either delusional or flat out lying. I was there. Yes, I was there that evening and believe me, there was crisp air at a mean temperature of 18C, but no snow, no sleigh bells, no bells (not invented yet), and no friendly kings riding in on smelly camels bearing the kings and some gifts. Nobody in America was singing because there wasn’t any America. The land existed but nobody had thought up a name and Sakaguewa was just a dream in the floating cell that eventually became Lewis or Clark. There also was no place named Palestine and no people called Palestinians. The Phillistines, represented by a slain and beheaded hairy tall guy named Goliath, would fall by the way and cease to exist–never owning land and never to be heard of again until some shmuck who couldn’t spell gave some camel cleaners the name of palestinians.
But that is all unimportant at this moment in time. This is the 29th of January, two thousand and fourteen years after some wandering Jews got shunted to the barn along with all the appropriate animals, there to give birth to a kid who became a Rabbi of little note other than his ability to coin a phrase (“Turn the other cheek”, which some say alluded to his affection for the guys he hung out with) and his ability to create great illusions and sleight of hand (Notice that few dare mention JC’s great card tricks–mostly because in those days decks only contained 7 cards so it was rather easy to trick or guess or hide the watchers who never ever even saw a card before Jesus hollered, “Watch THIS people!” and walked out on the calm waters of Lake Tiberias, then known as Yam Kinneret) This moment is important because on the day after tomorrow the Chinese Lunar New Year begins, and the Vietnamese who follow along but call it TET, mostly because “Chinese Lunar New Year” takes so long to say and the Vietnamese want to begin eating before the damn Chinese come and wipe out all the food.
I was inspired to write about this subject when I was standing on our terrace listening to that which only comes once a year in Vietnam–SILENCE. It is really nice. NO NOISE. Just quiet. No motor bikes, scooters, cars, trucks or busses belching noxious fumes and making too damn much sound. Right now I sit in our computer room where the white noise of the air conditioner (sorry North American dwellers, the temp is around 74F and I want cool comfort) subdues all other noises, and even my wife is quietly playing with her pictures or some computer game with the sound muted. The problem is that I have a new diabetes medicine and it knocks me out. I just want to close my rheumy eyes and sleep.
TET, and you, dear reader, will have to wait. I am a victim of Glucobay, or Acarbose, 50 mg.