1. Leave me a comment, and I will send you some questions.
2. Update your blog with the answers to the questions and link back to this post.
3. Include the rules in your post.
Here are Charlotte’s questions and my answers:
1. You have lived in many places. Which is your favourite and why?
Outside of the US I’d have to say Japan. Japan is safe, modern yet very traditional, hospitable to visitors and has amazing culture and history as well as fantastic food. The spoken language is also surprisingly simple if you just want to develop basic communication skills.
I ended up living in Japan for two years almost by coincidence. During college I majored in International Affairs and was in a bit of a quandary about who would pay me fabulous sums to ply my trade. I had spent a semester in Russia with a group of classmates, most of whom I hated by the end of that trip because they were big fat losers who hung out at the foreign exchange store flashing their dollars and spent their free time making pizza and snarfing m&ms. One exception was a wonderful Japanese girl, who remains as close a friend today as one can be, given that we both have kids and live on separate continents. She invited me to come live with her family after graduation and while I was out walking the campus grounds and pondering this possibility I found an application for the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program on the ground. I smoothed out the wrinkles, whited out the footprints, filled it out and off I went!
2. Germans and dressing-up. Discuss.
Germans love to dress up. I think it's because they want a break from the regular uniform of black shoes, tucked in Tommy Hilfiger shirts and belts. They really get into costume parties (the bulkier costumers hide their complete lack of rhythm when they dance) and also get all togged up in Lederhosen for Oktoberfest. Only the Bavarians don’t think of Lederhosen as dressing up.
3. If you were given a whole day to spend by and for yourself, without having to account for anyone's needs, how would you spend it?
I would wake up at 10AM, drink my coffee in peace and quiet while reading a book and nibbling chocolate cookies without sharing them with, or talking to, anyone. I would do this for maybe an hour or two. At some point I might visit the bathroom and no one would yell, 'Mom-meeeeeee!' I wouldn't make breakfast for anybody, pack lunches, or wrestle any struggling little bodies into tights. When I tired of reading, sipping and nibbling I would turn on my computer and catch up on my correspondence with no interruptions. Just for kicks, I might even finish a thought. Then I’d go out to breakfast and shopping with Ralf, who would drive and carry the shopping bags. We would stop for coffee and cake, and return home for some more lounging about in divine silence and reading. Oh, and can I fit a facial in there? Dinner would be cooked for me in a magically clean house, ideally something spicy, and would be eaten in front of a chick flick. The laundry would fold and put itself away. I would not have any business-related calls with anyone in the US. At bedtime the children would miraculously reappear in their beds, teeth brushed and PJs on, and I would kiss them good night many, many times to get my mommy fix after not seeing them all day.
4. You are an avid reader. What was the last book you read, what are you reading now and what is next on the TBR pile?
I’m reading ‘The Careful Use of Compliments’ by Andrew McCall Smith. Sadly, Smith’s Isabel Dalhousie series isn’t nearly as good as his Precious Ramotswe series. The characters are two-dimensional and preoccupied at length with spectacularly uninteresting thoughts. As my next book I’ll probably have to start ‘The Hour I First Believed’ for book club because it's about 1000 pages long (and all of it by the same author who brought us 'She's Come Undone,' so you can imagine how I feel about this) but I’d much rather dive into the latest Ender book from Orson Scott Card.
5. You are happily married. Name your top three fantasy boyfriends.
John Stewart, Colin Ferguson and a tie between Javier Bardem and Tim Robbins