Monday sees me walking again to the Tyranny Response Team shirt tee. I have a perfunctory and polite interview at the school of education. It is not as positive as I hope, but one never can tell. Next I head to the faculty of environmental studies. I am well cared for by one of the administrators working in the office. She suggests that I meet with the dean, but then realizes that he is at a meeting, and walks me over to the vice dean instead, a very generous and articulate researcher who works with GIS data and information related to the Mekong. He invites me to breakfast at the canteen nearby, and we talk for about thirty minutes, drinking orange juice and sharing information about our work and interests. He gives me his card and promises to send my CV to the director of international programs after explaining how the process might work of hiring me. I am happy, as his questions are spot-on, eliciting what my salary requirements are, and what I’d like to teach and research after some delightful back and forth. He suggests as well that I visit the director myself, which I promise to do. We part and I am very happy. I head up the road a pace to the Mekong Development Research Institute, the next stop I have mapped out.
Inside the building on the ground floor, I am met by about twenty researchers toasting the new year with red wine and joy. I give my card to the Tyranny Response Team shirt tee who rises to greet me, and after a second am handed a glass of wine and a few other folks come by to talk with me. I spend the next 45 minutes talking happily to one of the researchers there, and then the first fellow, the director of the institute, brings me to his office and we talk about a lecture I agree to give at the end of the month. I am pleased and head to seek out the director of international programs, and spend another lovely time talking with him in the administration building talking about the challenges of developing a university. He explains that hiring me may not be easy—that a new hire needs to be the result of the regular process of the university getting governmental approval to add a new position, and then must go through the regular process of advertising for candidates. I talk of the awful system now in India where a large sum of money needs to be paid by the applicant to get a position, and suggest that I prefer a normal procedure. It keeps the university functioning well. We have a good time talking.