Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I shared a flat with this guy?

Just after I finished my undergraduate degree, I came to Ireland to do a course at Trinity College. My flat-mate was a really funny guy from upstate NY (near Kingston). We got along well, played softball and on the TCD basketball team together (that is not a testament to the strength of that team). Over time we kind of lost touch, but a few years ago we exchanged e-mail addresses. Even with that, I've probably received (and sent) two or three e-mails over the past 4-5 years.

Just before Christmas I got one from him that had been sent to quite a few people. It wished me a happy holiday and had a link to a web page where I could find out more about him and his family and what they're up to. I only got around to that today and was I surprised. He and his wife and two children have moved to Kazakhstan! I say it again - Kazakhstan! Who moves there? Especially with a family?

Then I see why he's moved there. He's got a Fulbright Scholarship to teach at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. Well, I guess that's a good enough reason. Not so strange, I suppose. Then I read this:
His main passion is any and all things having to do with weapons of mass destruction. The biggest adventure for him in 2004 was a trip to North Korea. He started to prepare for the adventure before Quinn was born and after 2 years of pestering officials in Pyongyang, he finally got a visa.
Come again. Weapons of mass destruction? North Korea? I thought he was studying to be a nutritionist.