The personal blog of the cultural ambassador to the newly discovered planet of the Ant-people (the Myrmeiods).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Fans of Change

You know that old expression about a certain something "hitting the fan"? Well, I finally get it!

It's gotten so ridiculously hot here that Dan rigged an electric fan for me--it's solar powered. I really should have brought one of my own, but not even the diplomatic corps thinks of everything. They don't use fans for comfort here, since Myrmeoids tolerate heat better than we do, and they don't cool themselves by sweating, so a breeze doesn't do them as much good, so Dan had to build one from scratch. He used the head of one of the small, portable wind turbines they use on the coast (it's maybe 45 centimeters across), removed its snubbing mechanism, and rewired it so that it spins under current instead of generating current by spinning. Then he welded the casing to a metal ring that I could tie securely to the center pole of my house. It has a battery pack I can recharge from the same solar panel where I recharge my other electronics, and I can adjust the speed by adjusting the electrical power through five different settings. It really was a lot of work, though Dan has brushed off my thanks, saying he plans to get a patent, and if any other humans come to this country, he'll get rich making fans for all of us.

Anyway, looking at this thing, it occurred to me it must look a lot like the first household electric fans--just an exposed rotor fixed to a motor and mounted on some kind of stand. The ring fans we take for granted must have come later, maybe a lot later. And if--a certain substance--hit this primitive sort of fan, it would hit the moving blades and centripetal force would throw it all over the room--a sudden, big, awful mess. Which is exactly what "___ hitting the fan" means!

The reason why I bring this up, is that the metaphorical ___ has indeed hit the metaphorical fan. All those political posts I've been publishing? Well, I'm not being reprimanded or censured in any way, but my host government has finally that perhaps my experience of their culture has been somewhat one-sided, and I've been told to do some traveling. Dan will go with me as a guide--he's not due to start his new job for another five months or so, and his new employer will appreciate his expanded experience. We're trying to get permission for Ka'te to come, too, it'll be a great educational experience. So I'm not exactly in trouble, and this is a tremendous opportunity, and not just for me, but it's obvious that I've given offense, and that bothers me. Still, I would not retract anything--it is the truth as far as I can tell, and I have been honest about the limits of my knowledge.

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