I had two wonderful, amazing conversations today. The first was with an Italian on his job experiences in Italy, and European attitudes towards work (packed in with other conversations that I will not relay). The second was with a Korean academe (South Korea) on economic politics in Asia. Talking politics with non-Americans is wonderfully refreshing - they tend to understand my positions better, share them to an extent, and they understand how the world works. I also appreciate it when they correct me when I get facts (as opposed to opinions, where there's so such thing) wrong. There were some things I didn't understand about North Korea and its relation with South Korea that I was set straight on, and Korean investment in Africa was something I was completely unaware of (I knew China was betting on South America - it makes sense in retrospect that other players there are scouting other developing areas to partner with). I like being corrected when the people doing so are actually educated and correct. It's irritating to be "corrected" by people who are actually wrong in their correction and either don't follow the issues involved or have done so with so little insight or time that they don't have the grounds for having a position. Both of these people were quite intelligent and well-read, and so conversation was great.
On the way back, I saw someone kiteblading on Flagstaff Hill. He managed to blade a good ways up the hill, although the wind was poor enough that it took him a lot of patience to wait for good gusts. I should try that sometime -- I think I have rollerblades somewhere.