8 May 2010 - Colombo, Sri Lanka
I'm sitting at the Coffee Bean at Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport using free wifi drinking terrible coffee. Have been up since 4:30am. Still grappling with the whole blog thing, but trying to push through it. Have had an incredible adventure in Sri Lanka and wrote a few blogposts I haven't posted. It takes time and I haven't had wifi.
But more difficult is [bxA] the 'appropriateness' question, which I wrote a blogpost about in Thailand but never posted. There are all kinds of problems with blogging, respecting people's privacy, being considerate, being accurate, being politically correct...and being safe.
Last night after like ten days of non-stop talk and giggles, Dirk walked me back to my cheap hotel by the World Trade Center and I suddenly stopped, "oh yeah! Dirk, I forgot to ask! Can I blog about you?"
"Yeah, of course."
"Can I use your name? My blog is public."
"Sure, why wouldn't you? What do you mean?"
"I don't think I should use your name. You should have a pseudonym."
"I don't know. But all our friends in Beirut had pseudonyms at the ready when I asked them last summer. Also...can I post photos? And can I say we are visiting your housekeeper? Or should I say she's just a friend?"
"You can say she's my housekeeper." Dirk was confused.
"Can I post photos of us with her family?"
"Yes, that's fine. What is it you're worried about?"
"I don't know! Aren't these privacy issues? What about the spy thing?"
Dirk and I had been laughing the entire night about our spy paranoia and debating if it's real and if so, which part - the paranoia or the spy threat? Living in Beirut makes westerners completely paranoid and I've been grappling with this for months - but I have been afraid to blog about it.
"Like, the whole spy thing that happened tonight - can I write about that? Or is Hezbollah reading my blog? I wrote a post about our dinner with 'Addidas' the other night but I can't post it, right?"
"I don't know? Can you post it? It was so funny it would be good to post it, but ---" he paused, "but people do write about this stuff. It happens. Look at Robert Fisk, he writes about it."
"Yeah, and I'm not a spy so I can write about it, right?"
We still don't know the answer. I'll probably remove this blogpost when I get to the next city. Or maybe I'll post the blog about why I don't want to blog about things like our dinner with Addidas the other night.
"Paranoia the destroyer."