Just you wait - Ну,погоди ! (Nu Pogodi !)

My neighbourhood always has fun stuff waiting to be discovered. Today, I found a shop selling Soviet memorabilia. I bought a badge featuring a character from my favorite Soviet Union childhood cartoon Nu Pogodi. The TV show features a wolf called Volk and he is always plotting to catch and eat a hare Zayats. The hare always outsmarts the wolf, the last scene has Volk crying out Nu Pogodi!! (just you wait). I think the other character on the badge is Mishka - the 1980 Moscow Olympic mascot.

The future, in Jakarta

This time round the Jakarta book club was talking about the future - we had a science fiction themed meet. I am always curious about how people in non-western countries see the future, and keen to discover locally written science fictions. And Jakarta always reminds of that old German movie - metropolis - high rises reaching up to the clouds, rising over humber dwellings. 

Thanks Ollie for the picture.

Talking about "getting lost" in Saigon

It is not easy for Vietnamese to travel as it is always harder for people from developing countries to get visas and the exchange rates are often not your friend. Yet, more and more young Vietnamese traveling and I am lucky to have some of these travelers as my friends.  Thanks to the folks at Triip.me, I got an opportunity to share notes with travel enthusiasts in Saigon, and share the stage with travel writer Rosie Nguyen. 

We will soon have another such meet sometimes in November. Thanks to Triip,me for the photos.

Sharing reading, and books as macro at Cambodian Readcamp

I remember a time when when social media and youtube did not take up so much of our time. We used to have time to read books. 
If you were to explain some feeling to someone, you could refer to a sub-plot or a character from a book. The ideas in a book were like macros. In the listener's mind, if they had read the same book, the idea that you mention will expand and they would understand what you were talking about. In a way, books were like macros of computer programming. 

We set up a small event in Phnom Penh to gather readers. The ideas was to share our favourite books. We had avid readers, writers and local publishers attend the meet. 

Range of books, from history to business etc. were discussed. We also had an interesting discussion on finding time to read (reducing social media time perhaps) and how to discover new reading. 

Cambodia is a place very close to my heart as I often meet and collaborate with young people who are passionate about helping their peers discover ideas. 

3331 Arts Chiyoda, repurposing a school to a community art centre and learning space

When I was a kid, I would always wish that the school would close. I liked the building, but did not care much for most classes other than history and geography. I always wondered why we can't have people from the neighbourhood come into our school and show us stuff they were doing. Here is a school (low student numbers means that many schools close and are re-purposed) that has turned into an art gallery + hackerspace + community learning space + co working area. There is even a community farm on the roof and a green wall outside. It's about 10 minutes walk from Akihabara station.