Friday, June 25, 2010

How Bunkle and I met: in Chinese

I'm interrupting the Mongolian news updates to bring you a little sidebar: how Jesse and I met, but told in Chinese. I butcher our story a little bit, and the Chinese a lot, but it was fun trying to write how we met from the limited amount of Mandarin that I've learned so far this year.

The true story is this: Two years ago, in Hong Kong at the Rugby 7's, while wearing costumes of Snow White and Hugh Hefner, Jesse and I met not once, but several times, randomly in a crowd of 40,000 people. He asked to take me to dinner in New York, and a few months later, he was living in NYC, and now we're getting married.

The Chinese story is this: Two years ago, in Hong Kong for a party, while wearing an oversized red and yellow outfit (kinda like Snow White), I met a handsome man wearing a black hat (a la Hefner's wig). He introduced himself and invited me to a meal of rice (the translation for the word "meal"). Surprised, I asked where we would have dinner, and he said he'd come to NYC to take me to dinner. I agreed, but my friend Joanne and I were tired, so we went home. The next morning, I got up early and showered and ate breakfast (very, very key!) and sent him a text message asking him to lunch that day. I end lamely, with nothing more than "He gave me a call," but I was running out of vocabulary. And mental capacity!

Special thanks to Willow Wray without whom I would not be posting any video at all. It's not often you get someone as dedicated to making things work for you as you are for yourself, but Willow's that person. And she can sing to boot.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Episode 2: What if you...just did it?
From Wall Street to Mongolian TV

"Food Poisoning and Tongue Twisters"

And in the second episode of Mongolia TV news broadcasting, I labor over a tongue twister so twisted that, years later, I still remember exactly what I said: "Doctor Thara Tritarakarn, Director of the Asia-Pacific Anesthesiologist Training Center". Try saying anesthesiology to yourself in the quiet of a dark room. Now try saying it quickly, sprinkled with a lot of unforgiving consonants, and do it in front of a TV camera and a half a dozen foot-tapping-wristwatch-glancing TV producers.

But that's not my favorite part. My favorite part about this episode is that the night before I went on air, I came down with a horrific case of food poisoning. The kind of food poisoning where you consider dying may actually be a relief. I'd eaten cole slaw, yes cole slaw, and I'd eaten a lot of it. Insistent upon filling myself with the roughage I'd had so little of during that summer, I ordered a family-size platter of slaw, and ate the entire thing - myself. A few hours later, stricken with what was probably salmonella, I spent hours heaving into a toilet. Badma, my Mongolian host mother, cured me so that I could go on air the next day. Force-feeding me mug after mug of scalding salty rice water, and thrusting her fists into my back and gut, she spent all night performing an ancient version of the Heimlich on me. By morning, I was completely cured. And fully ten pounds lighter.

Watch the short video for then-breaking news on Mongolian female archers, financial reform in a distressed economy, and an award given to a man who'd honored the 800th anniversary of Genghis Khan's founding of the Great Mongol State.

This video is the second of five. I'm posting these now because I've just finished a book about my wild adventure from Wall Street trading floor to Mongolian TV, and I thought the pictures would go well with the story. So each week, I'll be posting some tidbits about my experience anchoring, and my time living in Mongolia. I'd love it if you supported me, and forwarded this blog to anyone who's thought of throwing in the towel and pursuing a life of passion.