Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ain't This Somethin'?

I ran into a fellow bus-from-BKK passenger outside the hot pot restaurant where K. and I had lunch. Actually, she ran into me--as she, Amy, recognized me as the guy who bolted from the visa-scam restaurant near the border and headed straight for Poi Pet-e-visa in hand.

There's a long story to be told about what a small world this is but I'm in a hurry today so I'll post some links and let the newspaper articles and other people's blogs tell the story.

Stolen Bike in Ajman

The Biker's Blog

The Biker's Girlfriend's, Whom I Met Outside the Soup Dragon, blog

Friday, June 27, 2008

Roll up. roll up. . .

But I just couldn't stay, I had to break away
Well Vang Vieng really has it all, Oh yeah, oh yeah. . .

Nice slide show.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Human remains of the day

I have scaled back on concerns and staticky trash talk mind chatter. I wish the missus were with me, but she couldn't get the time off. Forget about long stemmed dog house roses. Nothing will parole a man from the dog house quicker than taking out a million dollars accidental death traveler's insurance policy and promising to make an effort to walk a thin line between somethingness and nothingness.

My extreme adventuring is getting off to a slow start.

Last night a monsoon shower made a muddy creek out of the road leading to my friend's rented villa where I am sharing a room with a frog, a gecko and a spider or two. The panting, whop, whop, whop of the ceiling fan nearly caused me to have a Vietnam-movie Post Theatrical Released Stress Disorder flashback. I had more than a couple Martin Sheen moments last night, sweating and tossing about in the un-air conditioned room.

Today I managed to rent a motorcycle and so I can go where I please. In Siem Reap that means you go past the round about, over the bridge, dodge traffic for eight blocks turn around at the HSBC building and head back across the bridge.

I kicked my adventure up a notch a few hours ago.

This rainy afternoon I had my first manicure and pedicure. I sat with my feet in some khmeress's lap while she cut, clipped, filed, and scrubbed my twenty digits. After making sure my toenails were in tip-top sandal exposure shape, and that I still had enough thumbnail left to scratch my fever'd brow, I paid her boss ten bucks, tipped her two bucks and wondered if the tip was too much or not enough. She was my first. Her name is Nok Neen. I will never forget her.

Next week, I will go to Van Vieng, Laos and kayak. Then white water raft. Then head into the hills for some rock climbing. I will eco-trek. I will float on inner tubes while spelunking through dank, forbidding Van Vieng caves. And if per chance I do accidentally come to nothingness, my insurance policy will ship back to Dubai a box stamped "human remains" where a grieving newly minted millionaire widow will have to figure out if I'm to have a Muslim funeral (wrap the slab o'meat in a sheet and toss it in an unmarked hole in the desert) or use a small portion of the loot to have me cremated, as per my wishes stated here, and have those ashes scattered along Route 66 just outside of Albuquerque.

Slow News Day

The road from Poi Pet to Siem Reap is no longer an endless bounce from one (Pol) Pot hole to the next. Parts of it are gravelly. Parts are paved with black top. Parts are hard soil. A couple of Anchor beers in my back pack actually made it an enjoyable motoring day trip whereas previously it had always been torture.

This morning I'm researching my Laos trip. It will include rafting, rock climbing and an eco-trek. First things first. I'm on my way to rent a motorcycle.

Yesterday's three headlines in the Bangkok Post are worth reporting.

Top story affirms the southeast Asians obsession with skinniness.
"Vexed Client Extorted by Fat Prostitute" Being extorted by a hooker of course isn't the weeny in this news story.

A second headline told of "High School Election Rigging with Candy Bribes".

The third headline "Kuwait Court Upholds Royal Death Sentence"

A member of the royal family--the Sabahs--in Kuwait was caught trying to smuggle in 25 kg of coke. Apparently, the Kuwaiti courts are going to do him. I guess this is of interest in Thailand because Thailand is also a constitutional monarchy and it must be of some interest to think that royalty can be done.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Flooded Fields of Barley

Heaven Needs Your help

Friday, June 06, 2008

Dharma King

The missus is going back to work, same job, same company, driving into the heart of the eternally under construction megapolis. I think, despite the hour-to-an-hour-and-half-each-way commute on Dubai's million cars a day and counting L.A. type freeways, she's OK with it--maybe better than OK, maybe even looking forward to it as enthusiastically as her sphinxlike Parsi-ness will allow. After two years of psyche anesthetizing housewifery, I'd bet she's even having goosepimply moments whilst I'm not around.

And so. . .hurray for D'Rose, but I might ask, how will this affect me?

I now must take over the role of primary bed maker and chief hair ball cleaner upper.

It also means that in a few weeks, I will travel unaccompanied to Cambodia. Sometimes, traveling solo can be as unsettling to me as dining alone in an uptown restaurant, sober and without a book to read. I'll pick up a companion in Cambodia but not one who will assist me in day to day decision making, both erring and unerring. And my traveling companion has already stated that he'll opt out on the white water rafting in favor of languishing in Laotian opium parlors.

My problem is this--I'm inherently an aesthete, not an ascetic, and though I long to be a "be here now" type as much as the next longing fellow, I also like stockpiling yarns and uploading hundreds of JPEGS on Photobucket, the type of activities which tend to have future results in mind--fuck the here and now. This is an attitude I hope to compromise with extreme prejudice--without spending too much time languishing, though I do intend to languish, just a little.