Wednesday, August 02, 2006

August 2, 1990

It was 16 years ago today that Saddam Hussein launched his invasion of Kuwait.

I remember the date very well, because it coincided with the date I left on my first real business trip, which was a 4-week trip to China. I'd worked for this company that did import-export* with China all through my senior year in college. After I graduated I took 2 weeks off, then I started full-time. I was just shy of my 22nd birthday.

My itinerary went like this:

- van shuttle from Philadelphia to Newark
- Northwest Airlines from Newark to Detroit
- NWA from Detroit to Seoul
- NWA from Seoul to Hong Kong
- Overnight in Hong Kong
- CAAC flight from Hong Kong to Qingdao
- 3 hour van ride to my final destination, a leather tannery in the town of Rizhao.

I could hardly design a shittier itinerary if I tried, but I was thrilled. I didn't sleep - I was too excited! I was going to China! For my job! How cool is that?

*We were in some weird businesses. We imported normal things like ceramic mugs and clothing, but we also imported hog bristle for brushes, and human hair. Yes, human hair. For wigs. We exported leather tanning chemicals. Hence, I was going to a tannery.


At 5:01 PM, Anonymous sweetone said...

yeah, that is one of the worst itineraries i've ever seen. it's like a itinerary.

though iraq invading kuwait was far from a pivotal event in my life, i also know exactly where i was when it happened. it was the middle of the night and i was sitting on my bedroom floor putting pictures together for my friend who was about to leave for college. we'd just graduated high school and i was feeling sentimental. anyway, i was listening to the radio and suddenly the music was interrupted for this breaking news story. i had never heard of kuwait.

though i listened to the news story, i really didn't get why iraq wanted kuwait or why this mattered to the US (i'm not sure the radio announcer got that either). in retrospect, it's kind of amazing to see how that one event ended up shaping so much of US foreign policy for years to come.

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Kirin said...

love the continued China stories


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