Dinner politics

We went to dinner with two classmates, one from France, the other from United Arab Emirates.  Conversation was wide ranging, from business to our language abilities to French food.  We’re used to political topics coming up, but it’s a new ballgame to have discussions with people from foreign countries.  Everyone brings different perspectives to the table, we’ve come to realize.  We’ve never heard someone sing the praises of the Iranian language before, which was described as being the most respect-filled language you could ever imagine.  Hearing about Iran in a flattering light was definitely new.

The stability of Tibet also came up, amid reports of violent demonstrations being planned by Tibetans in a neighboring province.  Our Frenchman promptly responded, "I don’t understand- how will they attack?  With incense sticks?"  Something must have happened in France, as one of my teachers mentioned that Chinese people have talked about boycotting French products (sound familiar?).  The Tibet issue is receiving attention over here too, by what little we can understand.  It doesn’t seem to be an engrossing part of daily life, however- most people are just as focused on day to day activities here as Americans are in the midst of the Iraq war.

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