Wednesday, August 24, 2005

To Apostle John

Dear Apostle John,

"Are things safe right now in Haiti?"
I'm never too sure how to even begin to give an answer to that question. Have I ever been a victim of any form of violence? No. Thank God. But I know many, too many people who have.

Right now everyone here is focused on one single thing: 'Elections'. The UN officials, the head of the Police Forces, officials of the government, journalists and other ordinary people seem to be speaking in one voice saying basically that the violence is less now than it used to be.

I'm probably the only one in Port-au-Prince, who does not agree with that since I don't feel an increase sense of security when I'm out on the streets. People are still being kidnapped, others are being killed -a Canadian citizen was killed recently-, there are still areas deserted by the residents that are ruled by gangs aka 'rats'. I know people who, in the past months, have sent most of their family in other areas and closed their small business because their neighborhood is being taken over by outlaws -the same 'rats'- .

Businesses located downtown Port-au-Prince are either moving or simply closing. There are areas that people avoid at all cost and others that you only go to with extreme caution, and because you have no other choice. There have also been cases of presumed criminals being killed (lynching) by the population. Despite what the official voices had to say about those lynchings it seems the families of those 'criminals' -if they had any- may be the only ones deploring their deaths. On the contrary, you will hear people say how the population is too scared and too passive and how fear and passivity used to help the assassins/kidnappers a lot, now that the population is 'reacting' many believe that the 'rats' may be more hesitant to act openly now.

I know I like to make things look bad when I talk about the situation here but I can't help it because they are bad. Were they worse? Probably, there are fewer shootings on the streets actually they haven't report any recently.

On the other hand I have to say that many Christians have been relentlessly praying for the country; they spent weeks, days, nights, praying again and again and again, all across the country and even from abroad. In fact, many are still praying waiting for the blessing... This reminds me of the fact that in the areas ruled by the 'rats' the churches had to close. There are a few (not many) who seemed to have resumed their activities. At the same time, others are under constant threats by 'rats' asking them for money or saying they will set the church on fire or kidnap the members or the pastor. I know a case of a person who was kidnapped and a 'rat' went to the church where that person is affiliated to ask for money so they could free him....

I live in Port-au-Prince therefore, what I say about the situation concerns only Port-au-Prince, as for the rest of the country, things are different as always.

About my personal safety, well, as I said before, as long as the Lord is my Shepherd... His rod and His staff they comfort me…

Realizing this post had nothing to do with my blog's topic, I've chosen to address it to you in particular.

I appreciate your concern about my country and I also enjoy stoping by at your blog once in a while.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Archive search please

There is one other feature I would like Yahoo! messenger to have. I would like to be able to perform a search on my Message Archive. I've been asked why I go through the archives of my past conversations. What do you think? A message archive is a very useful thing, it helps you frame liars, retrieve interesting links that you were sent but forgot to bookmark or find something to talk about with someone who is sooo glad to see you come back online after a long time but whom you have completely forgotten.

I go through first conversations to "remember" people's asl, and if I'm writing a post one a single person I go through all the conversations I've had with him/her to be sure I have not left any interesting detail out. Many times I "discover" things that were said to me, I was supposed to be having a conversation but I was not paying enough attention to read all the IMs sent to me by one person.

This being said, why would I need the search feature for? Well, there was this time when I wanted to "retrieve" all the different spellings my country's name was giving by my chat friends; mission: nearly impossible. On another day I wanted to "remember" which Moroccan told me he had a friend here in Haiti, unsuccesfully; I remembered the conversation but not who it was I had it with... And finally I wanted to see how many people on my list lived in Mumbai, besides those I remembered of course, that wasn't too hard but I'm not 100% sure I found all of them. I think msn messenger has that feature more or less.

While making sure that there is no way for me to search through the chat archive I "discovered" archives of the conferences I participated in, I had no idea they were kept there.

Maybe I should write Yahoo! and tell them about all the features I would like their messenger to have, who knows, they might find my ideas interesting...

My Yahoo! Messenger has been acting a little strange lately.
I was trying to sign in, it told me it's connecting as usual, and then after a long while it sent me an error message saying that I've been signed out because I've signed in on another computer or device.

The first time it happened I thought someone had hacked my account, probably a stalker -yah right-... But I thought more likely it was just a problem with Yahoo! Then it happened again a few days later.

Now, now, I wouldn't want some guy to use my ID to Chat with my friends and having them asking me later on why I said this or that etc... Or worse, he would go and remove everyone from my address book and my Y! messenger contact list or worse he would change my password and I would no longer be able to use my Yahoo! account!!!
In fact I still think Yahoo! is to blame for this and not some hacker trying to take over my account.

It seems it's not only the Yahoo! Messenger but all Yahoo! that's having an odd behaviour. I am prompt for my password every once in a while when I'm using Yahoo mail. Today when I signed in I was asked to provide additional information on myself like my occupation etc. Later on when I clicked to open an email with an hi5 request from a friend, Yahoo! sent me on a Yahoo! 360°,I had to hit the back button of my browser to go back to the inbox and click on the message again, hopefully, this time it worked.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Did I break Dharmvir's heart?

I hope not. But it sure looked like I did.

I told Dharmvir "I did not want this to become a real relationship". He was really surprised since he told me that I had never said that before. According to him, all I ever said in the past was that it wasn't possible. As awful as it may sound, I'm afraid that I can't refute what he said. I might not have made it clear to him like that before.

At first I did not take him too seriously, I believe you can be intrigued, interested, attracted to someone you have chatted with a few times but I don't believe you can fall in love with her. When I started taking him seriously I probably told him the usual, the same thing I tell anyone who's at the other end of the world and wants to be my boyfriend/husband or anything of the sort and that I suspect might maybe -you never know- be "serious" : we probably will never meet face to face so it wont happen. For me it's another way of saying that I don't even give it a second thought. The problem is, if the person is "really" in love, that unfortunately won't be enough, you know the myth about love being able to surmount all obstacles, Romeo and Juliet -or Tristan and Iseult- also believed in that.

I probably did not insist enough on me not wanting this love relationship. So to him it seemed like I did not think it will ever happen but if it did I probably would have nothing against it... maybe.

All I can say is, after reminding him of the reasons I gave him a few months ago for not even considering ever falling in love with him, all he said was "ok bye" and he was gone...

A few days later he was back online and I asked him whether he was mad and of course his answer was no.

We talked for a while and it was actually interesting. He had his web cam on and he showed me around his computer center, he also had three of his students who were there, two young women and a young man. Dharmvir looked so happy while chatting with me, he was smiling all the time. I did not know I could have that effect on someone at such a distance... And guess what? His smiling and looking all happy had nothing to do with me, well at least not too much, he was chatting with another friend who was telling him jokes. I had overestimated the power of love...

His students were smiling and asking about me, they were so curious, they asked him about me and wanted to see my picture. -Can you guess what he told them about me?- Dharmvir asked me not to break their hearts by refusing but I did not feel comfortable with the idea, so they did not get to see my picture though I have two different pictures on two yahoo profiles, if Dharmvir knew that he could have shown them but I suppose I never told him about those photos.

The talk went on and we came inevitably to the point where Dharmvir was telling me again about his love... He also sent me virtual flowers so I thanked him for the flowers. He asked if the thank you was only for the flowers and my answer was yes. He said bye to me when I ask whether he was leaving is told me I broke his heart and that I always do that...

Dharmvir still loves me.I don't know how he does it...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Mumbaikar friends

I learned about the torrential rains in Mumbai when visiting a blog that I discovered while "chatting" with Sudhamshu (23,Tamil Nadu) at blogexplosion.

For some reason, I decided to go on blogexplosion after many days of absence and I came across Sudhu and his blog and bookmarked it. And there I was, the day after, checking to look around the Professional Pakau only to learn about those rains.

It made me think about how I did not even talk to either Anay or Kayvian earlier that day because I was too busy.

I have quite a few people on my contact list who live in Mumbai. Those I have talked to were not too badly affected. Kayvian hopefully lives near his work place so it wasn't too bad for him, Ivan did spend two days at his office before being able to go home. Anay was not too far away from his home when it started raining heavily and since public transportation was no longer working at that time he did not go far. But his parents were away from home and they had to wait for a few days before they were able to come back. Like Anay told me, everyone in the area has his own story. There were unfortunately many deaths.

I haven't heard from the other Mumbaikars like Dhruv, Amit, Ram, Mike, Nikhil or Prashant and others -, I'm sending a few emails and hoping they are fine....

An Update

Dhruv wrote me back, he is fine, not affected at all it seems. Mike and Ram came online, I did not have time to talk to them but I suppose that if they can come online they are ok. I haven't heard from Amit or Prashant yet.

Second update

Amit wrote me back, he is fine. I talked to Nik came online, he was not at all affected.

Third update
I talked to Mike, he wasn't too much affected.