Background Information

Medio 1995 I was approached with the request to consider applying for the job of senior research fellow at the International Institute for Software Technology of the United Nations University (UNU/IIST) in Macau.

At that time UNU/IIST trained young graduated people from developing countries in doing computer science research or advanced software development, gave post-graduate computer science courses and software engineering courses in developing countries, assisted lecturers at universities in developing countries with the development of a software engineering curriculum, et cetera.

I applied for the job and was appointed for the calendar years 1996 and 1997. My work included training people in doing computer science research and giving post-graduate computer science courses. Both took place in Macau as well as developing countries.

This means that for two years I lived basically in Macau and traveled frequently to developing countries. During these two years the idea developed to write down my experience with people and culture in Macau and the developing countries that I visited, but my job took too much time to do so.

Prompted by my coming retirement, I now take up this writing in the form of the blog found on this website.

Shortly before my leave to Macau, my colleague Wan Fokkink gave me a book with collected prose of the Dutch writer Slauerhoff which contains the novel The Forbidden Empire. This is a historical novel about Luiz Vaz de Camões and Macau, but it has autobiographical elements as well. It is laid in many of the interesting historical places in Macau such as its Fortresses, the Cathedral, the Leal Senado, the Rua Central and the A-Ma temple.

Relating to the blog is my synopsis of The Forbidden Empire.