Friday, September 30, 2011

Taichung News Update: The Construction Mess at the People's Park in Taichung

Well... here we are on the cusp of October and the Taichung People's Park is still closed for business. This amazing strip of city living room stretching from the Science Museum to the Fine Arts Museum has been closed for months, fenced off from the public, while city employees smoke, drink afternoon beer, and push a couple shovels around.
It’s absolutely appalling! What are city officials thinking? The original plan is to build some sky tram walk way through the city to give it a better personality, but in so doing, take the most popular place in the city and close it for ridiculous renovations.
What are they doing? What is taking so long? The other day I was jogging and rounded a corner on Wen Xin Road. There, between a motorcycle shop and an vacant house, 8 city workers were laying asphalt. 8 workers on this little strip of alley no bigger than my kitchen! The People's Park is sprawling... and what? they got ten guys lazily eyeballing landscaping? They're moving around dirt for crying out loud.
I watched for a while last Saturday while my daughters and I threw frisbees around on the little patch of grass reserved for the public. They had a couple of ancient dudes with rocks pounding in twigs used as measuring sticks. Then another guy was carrying about ten thousand bricks one-by-one with his hands and pounding them into this sand pit. What a disaster. Mayor Jason Hu, what is going on here? This is a wasted summer? This kind of city waste and leadership is a sham!
What are local businesses thinking? All the new shops that have opened up along Gongzheng Road are going out of business. This is prime real estate and they are struggling in this economy because this park has been closed half the year. What about the annual Taichung Jazz Festival, will that be canceled now? That's one of the highlights of the year. It has momentum, will it just be cancelled? The construction fiasco of the Taichung People’s Park illustrates everything that is wrong with Taiwan. On Monday a guy digs a hole, on Tuesday another guy fills it with cement, on Wednesday somebody shows up and says, “Why is this hole filled with cement? Come on, let’s dig it up?” On Thursday the cement guy comes back and says, “Who dug up my hole?”
People… let’s get with the program!
My dad is an engineer… we’ve built all kinds of things in my life. You get my dad on the backhoe, get me and my brother and a couple of buddies and a case of Gatorade and we’ll finish this construction in a weekend. Come on Taiwan, get your act together!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Taichung News Update: The Ala Nightclub Fire

Back on March 5th of this year, 2011, a fire performance at the Ala nightclub in downtown Taichung went terribly wrong, causing a blaze that killed nine people. The fire occurred during a routine show at the Ala nightclub, famous for its striptease shows and dancers with live animals.
Witnesses say the ceiling was immediately torched when the performance went array, causing a fireball engulfing the bar in a matter of minutes. The victims, five men and four women, (two married couples) were all found on the second floor and died of asphyxiation. One survivor was quoted as saying the only reason she got out was that she had been watching the staircase looking for a friend and was able to locate it through the smoke.
This fire has caused widespread outcry over the last half year and led to a crackdown on illegal building and fire permits throughout the city. One industry targeted has been the numerous foreign pubs. Landmarks like Pig Pen, Party Animal, FuBar, the Londoner, La Bodega, and Liquid Lounge have either been shut down or been put under suspension and had their liquor licenses revoked.
These buildings, along with the Ala Nightclub, are now condemned and stand in ruin. This story connects to me personally because the Ala Nightclub is directly beneath my apartment and I watched it burn, smoke pouring from the ceiling the night of the fire.
It is another example of poor restrictions on buildings here in Taiwan, and how scapegoats like closing foreign establishment allows government officials to continue to receive bribes and kickbacks while pretending to be ridding the city of its bad elements.
The people who perished here died senslessly in a terrible tragedy that could have been avoided. It is up to local officials to correct corruption among inspectors and establish clear building codes and safety standards for all patrons and employees.

Ala Nightclub Fire Aftermath Video

This video is a companion with photographs posted above with more information about the actual tragedy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What is Hakka?

Hakka is the largest cultural and ethnic group in Taiwan, comprising about 15 to 20 percent of the total population, and as you can see... it's pretty awesome!
Largely descending to the island as immigrants from central China, most of the early inhabitants fled to the mountains to avoid political persecution. Believe me, I grew up with Patrick Swayze and C. Thomas Howell in RED DAWN... and that's where I would go too.
Many people in Taiwan are a mixed Hakka and Hoklo heritage and speak a variant of Taiwanese Hakka, which differs from Chinese completely in pronunciation. Yet when I ask my students about Hakka, they offer no connection to it or pose much of an interest. Most cannot speak it, so when I ask about understanding their grandparents, sadly, they admit they really struggle with it. Hmmm.... I'm sensing another of Hartenstein's great lesson plans!
Hakka beliefs are closely related to the formation of early societies where early villages were protected by a “Lord of the Earth” which including a Bodhisattva, Kings of the Three Mountains, Mat-Zu, the Fisherman’s God, and a couple other old Emperors thrown in to round out the mix.
Deities are a common belief though, especially Mat-Zu, many of my students carry wooden talismans of him around their neck or little "shrinky-dink" sized portraits of him in their enormous pencil cases. (Asian Pencil Cases Rock!)
Hakka temples are pretty cool, ornate and decorative and filled with fun little statues to scare the crap out of you. This particular temple in Taichung City along WenXin Road, is a pretty gaudy example of the over the top exploitation of current Hakka culture in Taiwan. I think the electronic reader board out in front says it all.
To my surprise, Chinese culture barely scratches the surface in Taiwan. The people here have little connection to the mainland and appear shocked when anyone refers to them as “The Republic of China.” Still, there are pieces of art that circulate. You have to look hard to find them, like this wonderful portrait hanging in the temple staircase.
Worshippers enter the building through an open courtyard and front façade, lighting incense and saying incantations. Some purchase prayer lanterns to hang from the ceiling where, for the right price, monks will say vespers for your current problem. It could be a son about to take an entrance exam or a young woman deciding if she should go on a date with a young man or not. I hope it works...
Finally, no Taiwan Hakka temple would be complete without a burning offering pyre where patrons ignite offerings to their ancestors once a month, lighting yellow pieces of “Ghost Money” ablaze and releasing them in these ornate fire places. Anything for the ancestors, I guess. Anyway, I am trying to explore more Hakka and traditional Taiwanese language this year as we prepare for our this year's Shakespeare adaptation, Julius Caesar, which will focus on oral story telling during times of revolution. Believe me readers, I'll keep you posted.

Flickr Pics: Greece and Turkey!

The flickr pics from Greece (Santorini, Oia, Mykonos) and Turkey (Bodrum and Kusadasi) are in, just follow the link to the right. Hope you check them out!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thank God, I'm a Country Boy

“Well life on the farm is kinda laid back
Ain’t much an old country boy like me can’t hack
It’s early to rise, early in the sack
Thank God, I’m a Country Boy.” -Lyrics by John Martin Sommers

The first day of school comes with a sudden bursting rush. Hallways flooded with noisy, howling, screaming, frothing kids. Forgot their books. Mixed up schedules. Late at the bell. The freaks and geeks of teenagedom scurrying in confusion. Where am I and where am I supposed to be? It’s chaos, and can eat a person alive.
“When the work’s all done and the sun’s settin’ low
I pull out my fiddle and I rosin’ up the bow
The kids are asleep so I keep it kinda low...”

Teachers too. Locked out of classrooms. Ran out of chalk. Photocopier jammed. Coffee maker overloads. A sudden change in the curriculum, a last minute shift can make some pedagogs quake in their boots.
“Well I wouldn’t trade my life for diamonds or jewels
I never was one of them money hungry fools
I’d rather have my fiddle and my farmin’ tools…”

No. No, not me. Standing in the doorway trying to hide my smile. I love the first day of school, because that means I am singing.
“Yeah, city folk drivin’ in a black limousine
A lotta sad people thinkin’ that’s mighty keen
Son, let me tell ya now exactly what I mean…”

Well, let’s face it. Most days I am singing to my students one way or another. A Robert Frost poem here a Langston Hughes lyric there. Every year, a song on the first day. As I enter my 18th year, it has become my own little tradition.
“My daddy taught me young how to hunt and how to whittle
He taught me how to work and play a tune on the fiddle
Taught me how to love and how to give just a little…”

I have two 7th grade classes this year. I can’t believe I am teaching children so young. They arrive so wide-eyed and innocent, knowing so little about the world. Yet I see potential in them. We start the year with Aesop’s fables and move into Greek myths: Prometheus and Demeter, Perseus and Medusa. Yes, I’m the right man for the job.
My 9th graders are back as well. Old familiar faces that are like family members now. We can communicate without saying a word. These are the students that made it through our Rock N Roll Romeo and Juliet play last year, now all serious with thoughts toward the National Exam this summer. We will be studying American lit: Poe and Twain, Steinbeck and Hemmingway. My goals are simple, make friendships with each of them that will last a lifetime.
No easy task, huh?
“Well, I got me a fine wife, I got me old fiddle
When the sun’s comin’ up I got cakes on the griddle
Life ain’t nothin’ but a funny, funny riddle…”

So the students come in and I call them to order. I tell them about life on my parent’s farm, about growing up a young boy walking into the fields carrying a book under my arm. My stories are now tried and true. Then I sing, “Thank God, I’m a Country Boy,” by John Martin Sommers, it’s the tune I’ve had in my head while sailing all through the Mediterranean this past summer.
Time for autumn now. School books and heavy looks. Soon will come Benjamin Franklin and James Fennimore Cooper, Shakespeare in the winter, Harlem Renaissance in the spring. The year is shaping up nicely. Inside these classroom walls though, time always stands still.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

hartensteinabroad ep. 45 "A Day at the Vatican."

Hi Everyone,
I hope you have been enjoying our travel videos through Europe. They are actually kind of difficult to create spontaneously on the spot… so forgive me if they are a little dorky. I hope they at least make you laugh and feel like you were along for the ride. Enjoy, and giggle at me as much as you want.

Top Ten Things I learned Backpacking through Europe with my Children

Okay… we’re back in Asia after a few weeks of hiking and sailing around Italy, Turkey, and the Greek Isles and here’s a few parental tips I learned from the trials and errors of a fatherhood full of wanderlust. (The following pictures were taken today on a stroll through our local neighborhood market.)
Number Ten: Projectile Vomit is NOT your Chief Concern

As a traveler, I’ve been spit on, cursed out, kicked out of my shoes, beat-up, mugged, robbed, even had my own students burn an American flag in front of me and a gangster put a cigarette out on my face; but that’s nothing compared to the yuckiness of fatherhood.
Xian once left a slug’s trail of raw sewage seeping out of her diaper all the way from a Nordstrom play area across the carpet of ladies footwear into men’s apparel, (I was escorted from the building).
No surprise here: kids are icky.
They poop, throw tantrums, get bloody noses, eat their boogers, eat their friend’s boogers, throw dog poop, and cry, a lot. And the ways for a kid to get sick are endless. I remember once having the most awesome day with Rebekah, we’d gone for a bike ride then ice cream in the park. I carried her on my shoulders all the way home, after a bath and storytime, she looked at me sort of cock-eyed in her nice clean jammies and said, “Dad, I don’t feel well.”
The next moment a massive Exorcist style geyser of vomit was shooting straight into my face, mouth, eyes, ears, hair, down my shirt, into my socks. I smelled it for days.
What could I do?
The point is, parents have a long list of disease-related fears to keep them from traveling with kids: malaria, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, Dengue, but those are unlikely due to immunizations. When we arrived in Rome the first night, Kinu immediately walked into the bathroom and started washing her face in the bidet. She’d never seen once before, could you blame her? That night she started coughing and the following morning threw-up milk in a café outside the Coliseum. No biggie. She got better after a day slung over my back, and luckily I carried a ziplock of every imaginable over the counter medicine with me from home. It helped… but what helped more is to remember that kids get sick and then they get stronger. It shouldn’t be a deterrent for keeping them from traveling abroad.
Number Nine: Find a Local Punching Bag

Truly, most parents I know are chilled out people. They have to be. They’ve baby proofed their house and boxed up all their possessions. They live like impoverished monks. They give everything to their kids, and they ask for nothing in return.
But ONE thing would be nice.
Every parent should have one person, not an “I told ya so” grandparent, or a “You’re not meeting my needs” mate, not a “You don’t call me anymore” buddy, or a “let me bring this to your attention” neighbor, but rather an inconsequential punching bag, somebody that doesn’t judge or condemn, and that you can absolutely unload on. For me, it’s always been dry-wall in the closet. For those moments at 2 a.m. when the kid is coughing and crying and you’ve been up for 19 straight hours and you’ve just got to slug something.
But who’s got the luxury of a walk-in closet while backpacking through Thailand’s lush jungle. In those moments, don’t be afraid to let strangers know your thoughts. I’ve always been a huge proponent of walking up to a gaggle of native women in a market place while lost in an unknown city or leaning on the counter of a café after almost being run over by a careening tuk-tuk, and even though the people have no idea what I’m saying, unleash a barrage of wild, ranting, raving, lunatic frothing at the mouth screams at whatever just pissed me off.
Just walk in and go, “Rah Rah Rah Rah Rah Rah!”
Believe me, no harm will come. Local patrons will think you are nuts and utterly quaint and give you space and you will absolutely feel immediately better. Take my word for it. Find a punching bag, and get on with your day.
Number Eight: Public Nudity is Nacho Cheese

You know the joke, the greatest elementary school one-liner of all time: What do you call cheese that doesn’t belong to you…? Well, in this case, some things are just ‘not yo’ problem. Take for instance public nudity. Now, really, nobody wants to see saggy adult butt flab or floppy mom pancakes on the nude beach, but when it comes to a naked kid, three words: Just Relax, People!
I’m so sick of uptight people that think the world is going to end if a four year old strips down to her birthday suit and runs through a public fountain or changes bathing suits on the boardwalk. Big Deal! I tell my kids, if people stare, let ‘em. If people have a problem with you, look ‘em in the eyes and tell ‘em to get bent.
I’m all for manners, and my kids have great manners, but there is also something to be said for imparting to your kids to not sweat the small stuff.
Really, let your kids play. Play all day. And if the bathroom is locked, let them pee in the bushes. Who wants the stress of walking your kids around for an hour trying to find a public toilet, which we did ALL THROUGH EUROPE!... or how dare they bare their breasts while changing in the shade. Come on. That’s what travel is about. Get over it, and see what more fun you could be having.
Number Seven: Travel Geek, Means Travel God

As a parent, the more you geek out about something the better. Have fun with it and include your kids. Research the places you are traveling to together. We drew city maps of Rome. Downloaded pictures of the Vatican. Read advisories and charted weather programs through the Adriatic. Made posters and K-W-L graphs to hang on the refrigerator of things in Turkey we wanted to see. We did it right. I showed my kids how to keep a journal and inspired them to carry it always, stopping frequently to jot down ideas, sketch a scene, or write a new foreign word in our personal dictionaries.
Those journals will become treasures one day. Believe in it. Believe in it so much that you welcome your child into your world and watch them have the best time of their lives.
Number Six: If You don’t Understand it, Get Rid of It

This is one of my favorite rules in life. You want to sleep well, let it go. Don’t agonize. I’ve seen so many travelers get so worked up over nothing. The woman in the market didn’t want to haggle so they dropped the trinket and walked away. The waiter in the café took five minutes to bring a menu so the foreigner got up, stormed off, and pledged to spend their money elsewhere. Who needs the hassle? That’s not the kind of example you want to be for your kids.
If you get cheated in a tourist shop? Tip your hat and let it go. Taxi driver drove you ten minutes in the wrong direction? Least you got to see part of the city you wouldn’t have. Think of those stressful situations as teachable moments. Remember your Kipling (another great traveler) ‘If’ you can keep your head while all about is losing theirs… Be cool, and raise even cooler kids.
Number Five: You are a BEAST, and So Is Your Kid!

This has got to be the hardest thing in the world for moms. I’ve seen in first hand. Childbirth ruins most mom’s figures. It is the ultimate sacrifice, and it takes years to regain your shape post baby. But that doesn’t mean you give up.
Always remember, lurking inside you is a beast athlete. If that means buying a living room work out tape and kickboxing your way back into the courage of a one-piece, then do it. If it means joining the early morning mom with stroller routine around the block, get it done. Anything to add just that little boost to your life. You deserve it.
AND Dads… that’s your wake-up call too… be supportive!
Plan trips in advance and give yourself time to get back into shape. I calculated how far it was to walk from Trevi Fountain to the Piazza del Popolo and every night we began walking that distance to practice. I loaded the girls down with backpacks and we began carrying them around the living room. They loved it.
Train your kids to be tough.
How many push-ups can they do? How fast can they run to the big tree and back? Show them you are a family that takes the stairs and not the elevator. Explain why. If you’re walking into the grocery store, stop your kid and tell them to hustle over and help that old lady unload her bags. Drop them off at the drive way and tell them to jog the rest of the way home. As a parent, take your time and learn your kid’s limitations, and celebrate their achievements.
This will help you greatly when they are put to the test abroad.
Number Four: Pack the Spartan Way

I cut my teeth on this rule early on in my twenties: If you can’t carry it on your back, you ain’t bringing it. It’s sage advice. Call it the Thoreau Theory, but there’s a joy to loading a backpack correctly, laying out all your objects and having discussions on what you will need and won’t.
Now, let’s not be crazy here. I’m raising girls. And if one of my daughters tells me she needs “NuNu” the white bunny rabbit to sleep, and there isn’t enough room in her bag, well… guess who’s packing around Nunu?
But it’s more the discussion. Talking with your kids about anything revolving “choice” is a great way to spend time.
Number Three: Your Way or The Highway

Tour agencies are demonic. They prey upon the ignorant and the weak. Avoid them like the plague. When you travel to exotic places, the immediate thought is to book a tour and have them take care of everything… but by doing this you’ve just doubled or tripled your cost. Most travel agencies in developing countries steer you toward overpriced hotels and gift shops they have a commission in, and will very blatantly detour your itinerary to drop you off at a random hand-woven carpet factory or tea plantation, usher you inside, and give you the hard sell until you make a purchase.
You have to be firm. Talking to a travel agent is like talking to a barber. Tell them exactly what you want, and make sure they know not to trim a little too much off the ends.
Number Two: Don’t Let Anybody Push You Around

The greatest thing about travel is that it opens doors of understanding and allows new insight into the world. Kids are no different. As a teacher for many years, most of the brightest most imaginative students I’ve ever known were ones that spent considerable time abroad. When kids travel, their eyes are opened to so many new and unique experiences… but that doesn’t mean they have to accept everything. There are a lot of weird things too they might reject.
I’m an American, which means most the people I grew up around get freaked out pretty easy, but that doesn’t mean my kids have to be gun-shy. Sure, cringing at the “Snake-Blood” drinking ceremony in Hong Kong is appropriate, but nudging them to throw a porcelain plate on the floor and scream, “Opa!” in a Santorini café might just be therapeutic later.
Take the good with the bad.
In Korea, strangers always approach my daughters to touch their skin. It’s creepy at first, but if you let down your guard a little, you’ll realize it’s just an old lady that misses her grandkids. In the markets of Bodrum, Turkey, it’s perfectly okay to use your hands to argue, stick fingers up in the air and walk away in a huff.
Back down when needed, but never let anybody scare you away.
And … Number One: Be a Parent, First

This is a tough one for me personally, because when I go to a place, I want to immediately begin absorbing culture and blending into my new environs. There are always waterfalls and lighthouses to scale, midnight candlelight masses to behold, parades to join, ships to stowaway on, and lost trails to follow.
But kid-adventure has its price.
As much raucous frivolity as a passing herd of rowdy soccer fans on a pub crawl might be to join, hooligans are just not child-friendly.
The adjustment is this: Make and follow a kid schedule. Get them involved. Choose large touristy places that have grass parks for leg stretching and sidewalks for chalk scribbling, and make adventures daring but doable. People thought I was nuts for taking my daughters on a Kowloon rickshaw followed by a Star Ferry ride across Hong Kong harbor, especially with a baby stroller, but locals do it all the time. An early morning jaunt through filthy Hollywood’s Grauman Theater or an afternoon stroll into an Indonesian monkey forest can equally be accomplished, if the child’s own discovery is put first.
So Kinu got to hold the binoculars as a reward for climbing the Spanish Steps, and Xian carried the digital camera through the Vatican shooting pictures of funny statues. We stopped to let Rebekah cool her toes in the Tiber when I wanted to dash inside the Parthenon, and fed carrots to the carriage horse when I wanted to catch vespers at St. Maria Maglore.
It’s a trade off, I know.
So stop and take time to sketch and draw and praise how proud you are that your child is showing such bravery, let every shoe re-tying moment be one you share together. Whether at the base of the Acropolis or the top of Taipei’s 101 Building.
Put the kid first, and let the memories you create stand for themselves.

Back to Normal

Believe me, hanging out most days wtih this motley crew of ballerinas, pink lady bugs, and spidermans keeps me on my toes.
Rebekah loves to draw underwater scenes: jellyfish, flounders, sharks, mermaids, and of course, perfect little turtles with funny shells. Such detail, huh? This kid keeps me in stitches all day long.
Kinu has just lost her mind. She rules the roost. Up is Down, Back is Front... she ties me in nots... and does her best Bruce Springsteen impersonation.
Then of course there's Xian, who despite always wanting to climb the walls, is turning into a little lady. What am I doing with these three girls, huh? Doing my best.
Oh... and did I tell you Rebekah lost her first tooth? Bottom front... Tooth Fairy is going to come a-calling... these kids are growing up right before my eyes.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Asia Breaks My Heart

No one really talks about it. No one really says anything about it at all. The mindset here is to finish, to complete the task against all hardship and odds. No one really cares the price as long as it’s done quietly and without complaint.
The old languish in market stalls, slicing up Styrofoam boxes full of fish or selling papaya and pineapple on little wooden benches between glances at karaoke tv. Their little apartments are upstairs, cluttered and roach infested, their children come to visit and take them out on walks, push them in wheelchairs, but there’s not much to say.
Kids are thrown into memorization schools without any challenge to their creative or imaginative instincts. Parents know it’s wrong. It was wrong when they went through it, but they say nothing. Just study. Study and preserver. If you are strong, you will succeed.
Workers spend all day in the office, filing papers, taking notes at meetings, listening to superiors go on and on. They get a thirty minute nap at their desk but are not allowed to leave during business hours. Two or three days off a month, best use it wisely.
Parents run off to China to hide. Fathers keep second wives. Mothers drop off their youngsters at grandmothers and come back once a year. The kids tell me they are on their own. I believe it.
The general belief is, if you have enough money, you can buy your way out of any problem. Hit someone while driving drunk, just pay off their medical bills. Have stress, just spend the night with the whores at the KTV blowing steam. Kill someone in a fire, just slip the family red envelopes full of cash. It worked with the inspectors who came by with their clipboards. It will work again. People only care about money. It’s being rich that leads to a better life.
I see it in my student’s faces. I tell them to not throw chalk at my classroom television. I ask them to not take the thumbtacks from the posters and poke each other in the arms. I implore them to stop pulling out chairs while others are sitting and laughing as they crash to the ground. I plead with them not to drop garbage on my floor or trip the other boys down the stairs or strike each other with ping pong paddles. They look at me like I’m so confused. Like why wouldn’t I share in their joy? These things are funny. Funny makes me laugh. Hurting others makes me laugh because it is not me being hurt. Why don’t you see that?
The parents tell me too. In the third week of school we have the Back to School Night and all the mothers and fathers squeeze into the little desks and take aim. I hear them grumbling, whispering. They say, “Why is he praising my child? Does he always speak in such falsities? Does he only say nice things to parents about their children? He can’t be trusted at all? What teacher won’t tell the truth? Where is the negative? The reality? My child must improve in something. My child always makes mistakes. Maybe this teacher is a mistake too."
When the classroom is empty I close and lock the door and sit beside the open window in the dark listening to the street and trying to breathe. Is it like this everywhere? Have we gotten to the point where no one cares?
I used to think, people in Asia suffer because they have no one who is a positive light to them. That one person who compliments them, who tries to make them laugh just for fun, who notices when they are suffering and listens, who gives them hope.
Yes, Asians have friends, good friends, but so many of these relationships are mentor / junior dynamics or colleagues and classmates that are competing against you or family members who only judge and give advice, where are they when you are alone? When you really need someone? And how many Asians look to be this random stranger to others? The one who stops to help you with your bags at the corner? The one who pauses at the traffic light to give a compliment to another driver? The one who speaks that little word of encouragement in the elevator to their office mate on the fifth floor?
So few? Is it, Asia… any?
There are so many funny things here in Asia. Things that make me laugh, surprise me with their sweetness. But mostly it just kicks me in the gut. The stark nakedness of it. The uniform dullness that permeates and blinds. Returning now, I see I’ve a job to do here. It’s my small little part to play, but it’s a purpose. It may be foolhardy, but it suits me. Bring a little hope, man. That’s all.