Saturday, January 10, 2009

Living (or surviving) in a cyber world

It's close to midnight and I am replying to my American friends on the other side of the planet who are just getting to work. I just finished many “hi and how are you and your family” to all my European friends after I got back from a series of meeting in this crazy little city called Thimphu.

Living in a globalised world, I have realized, is tough. First there is no such thing called a working hour. Then there is mobile phone that can catch you everywhere. I hate taking calls when I am in the toilet. In the morning you get to your desk and there are few urgent mails from the Land of Rising Sun who have been up and running for few hours ahead of me and who want an urgent reply to their queries. The Singaporeans, Malaysians and the Thais are up almost together with me because I can see their names turn green on my Gmail account as I fire up my computer. My Indian friends come a little later with their classic “Arey Dorji Bhai? Why no reply to my email?” After few salutations and “got to go and see you later” I sign off and rush off. Reporting a story for my radio, shooting a doco, speaking at a workshop or attending it or just meeting people chews up all my day until five in the evening. After I left my last job everyone was like, “You must be free now, could you sit on this board” or “could you do this for us?”

It is almost six when I get back to my office. Feeling little hungry, I order some food from a canteen below where on their menu it is mentioned “Snakes items” meaning “Snack items”. So much for Bhutanese being good in English. Time to get in touch with the Europeans in addition to the replies and further queries from my Japanese friends. The problem with the Japanese people (I have one permanently at home, my wife) is that one can never clarify something in one go with them. The more you clarify the more they get confused. Ha ha ha. Lost in translation, I guess.

It is close to midnight and I am writing to my American friends and some clarifications to my European friends. Below my office there is one singing joint where someone is trying to sing “pang seshu meto” for the third time. Outside there is a group of young guys shouting and howling and kicking cans and bottles.

Well got to go home now..... It is tough living in this cyber world


  1. Aha! It was lost in translation, eh?
    Didn't realise it was as simple as that!
    Thought it had to do with our deep-thinking habits...
    Oh well, I'd better stop thinking and start ... well ... seeing & hearing!

  2. haha, but i think only few bhutanese has a life like yours. 'Distance' as such has become a relative concept.
    Interesting blog!

  3. hi there
    i have been directed here from OL Tshering Tobgay's Blog (sorry i wont call him Lyonpo . OL is a title too..and he isn't a Minister :-))
    well i have always followed your articles on Bhutan does my wife.and it is great that you BLOG!!!.u are just great.
    commenting on Bhutanese being good in english ..i jsut want to add a few more ..We have Beauty Saloons, Restaurant Cum Bar, Cousin Brothers, Cousin Sisters ..more can be added :-)
    keep blogging

  4. Ha ha ha... that was a nice one. My friend TG loves the word "cum". His often refers to a signboard he saw somewhere in the east - "Sangay General Shop cum Bar cum Scrape Dealer".

    Thanks for your kind words.. I am flattered

  5. dorji san,
    The more you try to explain to a Japanese--the more confused they become...and i just wonder how u would be coping up things with ur permanant representative form Japan at home...(hahaha) light things aside...i like this article for many reasons as it contains a lot of facts but not so much as you would put it for that matter the Bhutanese and the english..i agree but wouldn't agree at the same time.....its a debatable subject...
    cheers for the blog and me too ...was directed by the OL's blog...and cheers to you both ..reading the articles, comments is fun, educative, informative and this is one informal or formal way of keeping ourselves abreast with the things happening around as well.

  6. Now you guys understand why I am always "away from home". Ha ha ha......

    Know what? a friend of mine sent me a new mobile phone after reading this. That is what I call "power of the media." Now I have to figure out how to use it

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  8. As the internet is growing it is increasingly changing how we do our everyday task ,Aha! but must say it is cheapest way to mus be Man with lot of responsibility and Being you must be very difficult,but it seems you are enjoying every bit of your work, can see that from you write up's :). I am rolling on my bed when I read "Snakes Items" . Cheers that you have survived and will survive the Internet: Absolute communication, absolute isolation like ever :) :)

  9. wonderful writing sir, keep on blogging.