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Thirteen minutes – notes, half-truths and a few incidents

Thirteen minutes“I was born in the Republic of South Africa. I understand two of the languages that are spoken in the Republic of South Africa. One can buy pecan nut pie at the Spar in the Republic of South Africa. You can also buy Afrikaans newspapers there. You do need a car, though, if you want to go from Middelburg to Bronkhorstspruit, or vice versa. You also need a car for other reasons. If a man is 32 years old and he doesn’t have a car, it wouldn’t make a difference that he has lived in Northeast Asia for seven years, nor would it matter that he can speak broken Chinese, or even that he has written a two-in-one book that can prop up a bracket-less anti-glare filter at just the right height against a computer monitor. All that will matter is that he does not have a car – which means he’s not much better than a tramp …” Read more …

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A shorter version of a longer book

A shorter version of a longer book“The story so far: I was born, we moved, then I went to school; then we moved again, and again, and a few more times; then I went to university, then to another university; then I went to Korea, then I went back to South Africa, and then I came to Taiwan. Then I wrote another few hundred pages to add to a few hundred pages I had written in previous years about why I do what I do.

Then, while waiting for a train at a deserted station, it suddenly occurred to me that there is too much material to publish as a single book. Then the next day I went to pay my phone bill and on the way I thought of a title for a shorter book with selected material. Then I sat down behind the computer and wrote this text …” Read more …

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