11-12 - Korean Food I have only three work days left before returning home. I have accomplished very little. Almost nothing, really. The network is faster, but that's about it. The web page has yet to be done. I feel like it's not because I haven't done enough, it's because I haven't said things the right way, or pushed in the right directions in the right time frame. If I just pay for it, it'll be in my name and I'll be responsible for it. And based on trying to purchase something else, I think my card company expects me to not be trying to buy something from an Internet vendor in California. I could accomplish a little more with another week, but this is it -- all the time I have. So I work today, Saturday, with Rivo, to sneak in one more day. Tomorrow, I'll do a tiny bit of work, showing the folks at the deaf school how to use the software and presenting them with the microphone. But for today it's setting up a replacement Linux server, with Rivo doing most of the driving. It's very alien to him, and he's watching me do all this a second time, and it still doesn't seem comfortable for him. He's very good. An excellent PC support person. But Linux is a different paradigm, and Rivo's French is poor and his English is terrible. I don't know if I can find him a book on Linux in Malagasy. (Ok, I know the answer to that -- I cannot.) He's seeing me do it on the same machine. I had hoped to downgrade -- to move the functions off the Dell and onto a slower, less valuable box with as much memory. But the only box available, while a good speed, has crap memory (ancient SIMMs which I don't remember the trade name for, but suffice to say, they're out of date) and the total, after Rivo packs it, is 40 meg. We need about 140 meg. So we stick with the Dell, shuffling drives, and setting it up with two slow old ones, in RAID 1 configuration, because while I can rebuild this in a day, Rivo just can't. These drives are very slow, and I think about what $60 can buy in the States. My frustration mounts. If this were home, I'd reach into my pocket, grab the plastic, and get these people UP AND RUNNING. As is, I can't buy lunch for Rivo, because I am out of Ariaries. Which is a problem, because the banks aren't open on the weekend, and I really am broke. I ask everyone I bump into at SALFA, and quickly, someone volunteers to take me to a money changer. It's a long walk down Cardiac Hill and beyond, and after I have another hundred bucks (a tenth the price of a car, here) in my pocket, we snag a cab back up. No sense walking ourselves to death up that hill! Not when Rivo's waiting, and my guide so generously got me here. I take Rivo to lunch. I try to explain my thinking on outsourcing for the Frankophone world, here, but I'm not sure how much he understood. I resolve to write it up, and will do so tomorrow night. Lunch wasn't bad -- shi-shi, fru-fru French cuisine atmosphere, but they do serve some Malagasy-like food (with French haute cuisine presentation) and it's definitely yummy. Rivo seems to enjoy it. It's expensive. The meal sets me back seven dollars. For both of us. Together. We have gone through another install and set up, so I think there's benefit. We'll see. Gotta get that machine out of the work area and into the rack, sans head. Less X11/Gnome equals more RAM and performance. By the end, Rivo is struggling to leave. I've already said, enough! let's go home, which he jumped at, but there's someone else here who needs cabling. So Rivo dutifully makes a long cable for him and strings it up and out the window to this guy's office. Rivo's allergic to chocolate. Isn't that awful? He likes it, but if he has more than a little, he's a big rash. I'm doing better, irritation-wise. There's a breeze and the smog is lifting. My walk home is sunny and bright. The palace is visible, and the world is good. My throat doesn't burn, my nose is running less. (Knock knock. Who's there? UCLA. UCLA who? UCLA when the smog lifts! -- Exercise for the reader: Make that work for the queen's palace somehow.) Once home, Pat, Honorine and I head over to the Korean restaurant I've found. The owner is actually Korean, or Japanese, or Chinese. Hard to tell. There are simple characters which look like katakana mixed in with a lot of Chinese characters on the menu. No Hangul. The restaurant's really not bad, but there is all of one banchan, and it's entre-based. They don't expect to give you rice and banchans, they expect to give you a plate of food you don't share. Pat is disappointed when the courses she and Honorine have ordered come on top of rice, instead of with rice on the side. I'm surprised myself. Pat and Honorine want to take leftovers home (they're planning ahead) and it's easier to do that if the rice is not mixed in. No such luck. She asks, and is told it cannot be separate -- I think what was really meant was, "it cannot be replaced at no cost with the same beef curry, but with rice separate." There isn't a logical reason why it couldn't come separate, it's just that it's already prepared and on the table. Pat notices a little rice dish heading to another group eating here. "Why do they get their rice separate?" Pat asks. I lean over and around a post to look at the faces of the people at the table. They do indeed have a little metal bowl of rice, as well as a little plate of kimchi and a jigea of some sort. I lean back, confident of my correct answer after only a ten seconds of rudely staring at these people while confusedly figuring out what they'd ordered. "Pat, they get their rice separate because they're Korean."