Wednesday, October 24, 2007


October 24th is United Nations Day and I took a day off to meet my husband for lunch. After lunch, I treated myself to the afternoon of leisure, walking around the mall (the last time I was at the mall was a few months ago), to the library, the bookstore and taking my time to enjoy the beautiful sunny day. I purchased a handbag, two sweaters and three sport undershirts.

I saw in the Sunday Parade magazine that only 29% of 25,000 readers voted 'Yes" to the survey question, "Does the UN still matter?" while 71% voted "No". Those responded yes commented that the world still need the United Nations because the UN does a lot of good work such as peacekeepers, caring for the refugees, people suffering from disasters and maintain global diplomatic ties between countries that would otherwise unable to have open relations.

Those responded "No" reasonsed that diplomacy no longer effective in settling differences in world affairs because countries do not follow UN mandates and are not truly interested in world peace. Another reason was that the UN is undermined by its own corruptions and wasteful spending.

Perhaps my readers (adoring fans) wonder why it is worth mentioning United Nations Day. Who cares, you might ask. I do because of my internship during the Fall semester in 1988 while completing my degree at Hunter College. It was a great experience and I was a diplomat wannabe for those four months. I don't remember exactly what the assignments were but from my blurry memory, what I did during the internship was to research and compiled reports on the funding (from 1960-1980) and how the programs benefitted women and their families in third world countries. For example, such programs would be to provide small loans to women in Angola or India to start their own dress shops, small chicken farms or fruit gardens. I had an office in a separate building, across the street from the UN building. Each morning (Monday-Thursday) I would stop by a deli at the corner to get a cup of coffee and egg/bacon on a plain bagel (toasted), cut in half. On Friday, I would go to a one-day part-time job (unrelated to the internship) performing accounting/clerical work at an office near the New York Stock Exchange.

In addition to reading thru all the reports, I also assisted other people in the office with clerical tasks. In the afternoon I would cross the street to the UN main library and again read all the statistics. I also managed to eat lunch in the employees cafeteria. The food was good and the price was reasonable. I even got special treatment from the employees when I told them that I attended evening classes and did not have time to eat dinner. One nice employee pitied me and always gave me a larger portion of food. Between rushing from the UN at 1st Avenue and 46th Street to classes at Hunter College at 68th & Lexington, I did not get home until 10 pm and a big lunch would help ease my hunger from skipping dinner.

United Nations is a special place because in the summer of 1987, I met my husband of more than 18 years in the UN visitors' cafeteria. (The story of how we met will be featured in future entry). When my husband came to visit from Michigan in November 1988, I took him around to areas only accessible to employees. He still talked about this wonderful experience when we walked up to the podium at the Security Council. I still have a photo of me pretending to officiate over a council meeting, lecturing to countries, "Stop fighting"! The guards there knew me because I always said hello, addressing them by names and practiced my diplomatic skills with small talks, planning for the day when I would be working as a United Nations diplomat. Well, that day never came because I married my husband and moved to a small town along Lake Michigan. In the summer of 1989, I left my family, New York City, Chinatown, my dreams of being a UN diplomat to live in a town with one traffic light, one Chinese restaurant and driving in white out conditions (lot of snow from lake effects). There you have it, a real story of "Love is Blind".

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