Monthly Archives: January 2006

I Leave for Korea on Monday

In a Tuk-tuk

Remember when I said that great things await in 2006? Well, try this one on for size:

In less than 48 hours I leave for Korea.

Seoul, to be exact. Gonna visit my brother there for a while, then take an extended Asian sojourn. Taiwan? You better believe it. Southeast Asia? Perhaps. China? Mongolia? Bangladesh? I wouldn’t rule anything out.

For now, all I can say with any degree of certainty is that I arrive in Seoul at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday evening and I come back to the US on June 8th.

I’ll have Web access throughout, as I’ll be working — and, of course, I’ll be updating newley.com with both text and photos. I’m writing this from Beaufort, South Carolina, where I’m visiting my mom and step-dad and brother Colin. Drove down here from DC yesterday. I leave on Monday morning from Savannah; I go through Atlanta and San Francisco on my way to the far east. (Sorry not to have announced this a little earlier, but, well, you know how I roll.)

Stay tuned, friends. I’m gonna have some good stories to tell.

The Globalization of Soccer

To the People:

The Prospect reviews superstar Senegalese footballer Patrick Vieira’s new autobiography and says it “confirms that soccer beats banking as the world’s most globalised industry.” I’d say drugs, but soccer and banking make fine choices, too.

“Vieira was only 19 and already captain of Cannes when, in 1995, he was bundled into a helicopter and flown to AC Milan’s club headquarters to sign a contract on the spot. He had no idea what the sums in Italian lire meant—not very much, it turned out—but signed anyway. His angry agent quickly negotiated a new contract, for about £300,000 a year, or four times as much as he was getting at Cannes. At Milan, Vieira rarely played. Watching the team from the stands, he got to know the Alsatian Frenchman Arsène Wenger, who was a regular spectator despite coaching in Japan at the time. When Wenger joined Arsenal, he persuaded Vieira to be his first signing. In fact, the player arrived weeks before the manager did, and was initially deposited in the reserves.”

By my count that’s a Senegalese guy captaining a French team, taken to Italy to play. He sits while in Italy, gets noticed by a French guy who works in Japan, and together they move on to England. Cool.

Full Prospect review here.

Driving Across the Great White North

A Canadian friend of mine from my time in Taiwan (yep, I’m lookin’ at you, Rob Junior*), once told me he grew up way far north in Saskatchewan.

How far north?

“Well,” Rob said, “my home town is about a 12 hour drive north of Regina**. Well, actually about eight hours — if you’re going in the winter you can drive across the lakes and that saves you some time.”

Drive across the lakes, I thought?

Since then, I’ve been intrigued by the idea. Curious about the practice? Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about ice driving in Canada.

[*Same guy, Rob Junior, formerly lived and taught high school science in Cut Knife, Saskatchewan (2001 pop.: 556), proud home of the world’s largest tomahawk.]

[**Yes, Regina rhymes with what you think it rhymes with.]