Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Harley-Davidson's V-Rod

Harley V-Rod: Now that's a manly motorcycle name. Or Honda Goldwing, or a Harley Dyna, Softtail, or Sportster. They aren't trying too hard. They are good, solid--even iconic--motorcycle names.

So why am I talking about motorcycle names? I hope to inspire the South Asian marketing and development departments of Honda and Yamaha. Driving in South Asia is extremely exciting. The roads are as narrow as sidewalks in the U.S. If there are rules, no one obeys them, and the greatest game played on the road is "how many vehicles can we fit into one lane." These are prime conditions for motorcycles, and because of this, they far outnumber cars.

So what's the problem? The newest motorcycle names coming out these days sound like great names for little girl bicycles, you know the ones with the pink tassels falling from the handlebars. So let me share some of these names with you. Honda has a few sporty new bikes out like the Glamour, the Splendor, the Passion, and the Karizma. I mean, seriously. Who wants to say "I ride a Glamour." These are all bikes marketed towards 20-30 year old men, and it works since there are thousands of these here. Yamaha isn't much better. They have the Alba (What like Jessica Alba?). They also have the Libero. Honda definitely takes the cake with the Honda Unicorn! Unicorn!?!

It sounds pretty manly to say, "Yeah, I think I am going to take the ol' V-Rod out for a ride." You sound like an eight-year-old girl to say, "I think I am going to take my Unicorn out for ride."

If you are listening to me, marketing departments, remember that if all else fails, keep it simple and follow Yamaha US's lead. Just name bikes things like the R1 and the R6; not amazing names, but at least they don't sound like you are riding off to a tea party with stuffed animals.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Double Knots, Please

After some prodding, I, Lizzy, have decided to share my most recent embarrassing moment with everyone.

The local dress here includes a pair of drawstring trousers that are made to fit nearly any female body type from a size 12 or so down to a 0. They're covered by a long dress-like top with slits on the side. After several incidents, I have discovered that these pants are not so great for people with children, for little fingers seem to find a way untie those pants at the worst possible moment. Three times now I have stood up after having Naomi on my lap only to find that my pants were very close to dropping in public. On Saturday, I had the closest, most embarrassing incident yet. I stood at the back of a bus to make my way to the front before we hopped off. What I didn't realize was that my pants had already fallen well below my rear and were only hanging on out of luck. This means that everyone on the left side of the bus had already seen my pants falling off before I did. In my very embarrassed state, I struggled to hold Naomi in one arm while clinging for dear life to the drawstring holding the rest of my pants up and while trying not to topple over in the moving bus. When I got off, I thought, "Boy, I'm really glad I will never see those people again!" and promptly reminded myself that in the future I must always double knot those pants.

A Trip Back "Home"

Yes, we are horrible bloggers we know... This is actually P.J. this time. Usually Lizzy writes most of the blogs (She is more gifted at it than I), but I have chosen to write one to hopefully inspire/shame Lizzy to write more often. Although it is a weak excuse, our new work has kept us quite busy the last few weeks.

Since our last blog in April so much has happened. We made a trip "home" to the last city we lived. A place that we grew very fond of and have people we consider family living in it. It was much anticipated and enjoyed greatly, but at the end of two weeks, we were ready to return to our new home. That is a good sign of our adjustment.

Our old home had many benefits like fairly constant electricity, fast internet connections, good water supply, and wonderful tastes of home like McDonald's, Pizza Hut, and KFC, not to mention some truly world class restaurants. Our new home tends not to have things like electricity, fast internet (or internet at all sometimes), water, or anything at all resembling KFC (We do have good Mexican food though... something we couldn't find before). All those things aside there are benefits to our new home. The population here is much smaller, which means life here is much quieter, more friendly, and generally nicer to live in. It is much cooler here with temperatures peaking in the low 90's and generally never leaving the 80's as opposed to months spent in the upper 90's or even crossing that dreaded 100 degree mark. If you have ever laid eyes on me, you will know my body was not meant for temperatures such as those. The natural beauty here is incredible. We have extremely noisy screech owls, little green parrots, and real cuckoo birds sharing the tree outside our living room window! The city has climbing vines covering many of its walls that blossom with many different colored flowers. All this is framed by the gorgeous, snow-covered mountains we can see on clear days.

So we love our new home, as we have loved this country for the past 9 years. There are definitely many unlovable things about it, but we love it anyway. Living in a different country is always a challenge, but we try our best to focus on the positive aspects of our new country, and there are many. Of course, if asked what is the best part about living here, we would answer "the people." They are among some of the most warm-hearted, loving people we've ever met, and that's saying a lot!