China looms. Java is quite looking forward to it – and he has his reasons to be sure, but I on the other hand, have nothing much more than a series of meetings that will culminate in decisions that will apply to work in the region, to look forward to. And that can be a terrific bore. The participants themselves are for the most part old acquaintances (some of them in the category of ‘friends’) and a fairly jolly lot, so that’s not all too bad. And then Java generally manages to come up with the stash that’s so important to unwind with after the hectic daily sessions. That, and he also manages to get the IPod with its dock and speakers all set up, so that the evening scenario (beer included, of course) changes very little from ‘back home’. Being one of the more senior members of the group, I usually get a room to myself whilst most of the others get to share with another of the group, which, of course, is essential for the routine.

Before China, however, there are sessions for a smaller group in Bangkok and this will last for five days. Much of the same old shit that unfortunately must be endured in the best interests of our work that helps to benefit huge numbers of folk (particularly children) in Asia (for us), and around the world (for many of our co-workers on other continents). Java loves Bangkok for the ‘sticks’ he hunts up to elevate the sensibilities – and for the food, which I endorse wholeheartedly. The organization usually takes care of the participants in arranging pleasant evenings that usually end up in some niceish restaurant with other suitable ‘entertainment’ thrown in for good measure, and as you are probably aware, there’s no shortage of interesting ways to kill time in this city.

China, on the other hand, is a different kettle of Schezuan prawns, as most of the participants have never been before and apprehensions are varied. The venue is located about an hour’s drive from Beijing and as accommodation has all been sorted out by the hosts, I’m pretty sure it will be up to the high standards that are usually par for the course on trips like this. The rest of it, except for the working sessions, will be largely an unknown quantity. Java is certain that all sorts of possibilities exist to ensure that a good time will be had – and going by past records, he’s usually right about such things. At first I thought his accompanying me would not be such a good idea – given his sometimes outrageous reactions to all manner of catalysts, but when Java makes his mind up, there’s very little I can do about it. Such is the relationship!

And so here I am – up to my eyeballs in presentations, statistics, records of work accomplishments and all sorts of other crap that leaves little time for much else. And then there’s a lot of other stuff to get done as well – like keeping the odd post happening so as not to ‘lose touch’ and posting the odd comment to keep the spirit alive. Java doesn’t help out too much at these endeavours, except to pop up occasionally with some off-the-wall stream that is either too far out to even contemplate getting involved with, or some fine stuff to accompany the choice selection of music he turns on (although he is quick to deny it) to get me off the laptop and to help me drift off for a bit. And I must say, it does help.

He’s back with the makins and has Amy Winehouse (thanks to RD) to set the mood, so it’s time for that break.

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