My nephew is back in DC for a short visit from Kyiv [View all]
I talked briefly with my brother in northen Virginia yesterday. His son is back for a few days to visit with his parents. He wants to sell his car and his apartment in Washington, because he has been told that his Ukraine station will not be a short-term thing. Just the place for a bright guy barely thirty, looks like a full-blooded Japanese (my brother's wife is), and learned to speak and write Arabic in college and grad school. Don't ask what he is doing in Kyiv. He not is allowed to say, so we don't ask. The only thing he was allowed to tell us is that the building he is living in has (so far) adequate heating--no longer a given in that city.
This is the guy who, as an 18 year old intern for Matt Angle's Lone Star Project (Texas Democrats)--he looked 12 at the time--got the scoop about Obama picking Joe Biden for his VP at 6:30 AM on the morning of the day Obama was to make the announcement at 4PM. He was at an indoor swiming pool in Virginia, near DC, very early in the morning. Only 2 other people were there: two women who worked at Joe Biden's Senate office. They only "saw" a quiet, obvioulsy Asian "kid" who didn't appear to understand any English, so they jabbered away in their excitement about their boss about to be nominated for Vice-President. My nephew didn't say a word, essentially fulfilling their expectations about what they thought he should be. An hour later, he was on the phone to me telling me the news. I wasn't allowed (back then) to say from where I got my information, but I did break the news to DU that morning. I got thoroughly trashed (angry "LINK????" demands) for saying I knew, but couldn't say how, so I must be full of shit, there were a dozen better and more likely choices, blah, blah, etc. etc. etc. Exactly ONE DU member came back on to apologize that afternoon. Civility during primary season, even at the end of it, was never DU's strong suit.
But anyway, the long and short of it is that he took 13 hours (!!!) to make it "by land" to the Polish border, almost another day to get to Kraków, from where he could get a plane to Frankfurt, and then on to Washington. He'll be there another week, maybe. He is hoping to make it here to Düsseldorf for a brief pre-Christmas visit, and maybe then he'll be able to let me know a thing or two that I'll be allowed to pass on. Let's hope that the heating in his building is still working. For that matter, let's hope that the building is still there.