Wish I could have shown this video during my panel discussion at Columbia University on the one-for-one model.
My wife received her first Foreign Service posting in Kigali, Rwanda and we have to depart our apartment a bit earlier than expected. We’re trying to find someone to sign a new 12-month lease.
Adams Towers has fantastic views of Meridian Hill – our apartment units sits atop the hill and overlooks the westside of the park (pictured below). It is a very safe area and well-lit at night (my wife has classes at night and walks home consistently from Dupont Circle late at night).
The building has secure entry, a Gym, Roofdeck with views of the Monument, Capitol and Meridian Hill Park. Hardwood floors line the apartments, with tile in the kitchen and bath. The kitchens have been fully updated with new cabinet accents and granite counters, and the unique large closet.
Our unit is a studio (about 500 square feet) and is pet friendly ($30/month). There is a bike room in the basement and we live along a number of bike lanes. We can zip down to Rock Creek Park in about 10 minutes or Dupont in 7.
We live walking distance to:
-Yes! Organic and Harris Teeter (5 min)
-Target (10 min)
-Adams Morgan & 18th street restaurants and bars (5 min)
-Columbia Heights Metro and restaurants (10 min)
-U Street Corridor (5 min) and U Street Metro (8 min)
-Dupont Circle & Metro (15 min)
We love the neighborhood(s) – lots of great restaurants nearby: Salvadoran, Ethiopian, Southern, Mexican.
Base rent is around $1,550/month and under DC rent control. Please contact me if you’d like to take a look – happy to send some pics or invite you to the rooftop for a drink!
Anyone who has done business in Cambodia and Vietnam knows the lunar New Year holiday tradition: a trusted staff member assembles a list of officials that have quietly (or not so quietly) asked for or demanded money. It can be extortion (“Pay me $150 per month next year and I won’t repeal your license.”), an outright bribe (“We have so many work visa applications that it can take months to process yours. But if we have a relationship, maybe we can get it done more quickly for you.”), or preventative (“The police say we can’t park motorbikes in front of the cafe, even though every other business does it. If we give them money, they won’t drive by our street.”). Much management time is spent balancing culturally appropriateness, international corruption laws, and the possibility that a nefarious official might illegally shut down your business.
The bottom line is that these countries have too much ambiguity with regulations and enforcement. This comes to a front during the New Year holiday, since there is a tradition of exchanging gifts. However, some companies are quick to hand out lofty bribes, driving increased demand and expectations from local authorities.
My take is that change will only come from within, but international businesses can set the tone within their organizations by encouraging transparency, accountability and integrity.
Jim Anderson’s article in the Thanh Nien Newspaper and the latest World Bank Corruption Report on Vietnam provides an in-depth look at this practice from the perspective of international businesses and Vietnamese citizens.
The “J” of my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator profile is strong – I love the act and art of planning. I’ve learned over time as a cyclist and guide, however, that an excess of planning often takes the excitement out of adventures. Spontaneous events, serendipitous encounters, and unmapped trails will linger in your memory far longer than your cadence from point A to B.
Inspired by Alastair Humphreys‘ philosophy of microadventures, I set aside one of my final weekends in Hanoi for a bicycle trip in Vietnam’s Northwest. My research went like this:
Me: Mai Lan, where should I go cycling this weekend?
ML: How about Lao Cai? I’ll book you a bus.
Me: Sounds good.
ML: I booked you a ticket with your bicycle to Mu Cang Chai.
Me: What about Lao Cai?
ML: Mu Cang Chai will be better. You’ll arrive at 3AM and can cycle through the mountains to Nghia Lo. My friend said it is mostly downhill. It might take you a day, maybe two. Bring a tent just in case.
And with that I am on the redeye bus to Mu Cang Chai, a beautiful mountain hamlet along Route 32 eight-odd hours north of Hanoi.
I arrive in Mu Cang Chai as scheduled at 3AM – if only the bus had been a few hours behind schedule, I could simply get on the road. Using my headlamp, I reassemble my bike and wander around the dark, breezy town. I find my way to a guesthouse, wake the security guard and, to his amazement, book a room for “three-hours only.”
A few short hours later, I am back on the saddle and rolling through beautiful village of Mu Cang Chai. The crisp mountain air rejuvenates my city lungs, while the sounds of cascading steams and distant rivers guide me from my half-slumber. I shed layers as the sunrises and warms the world. Cool mornings on my bike like this linger as spring for well-being.