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balance (2): oblivious

Sunday, November 21, 2004


location?: xxxx beach, xxxx island, south thailand. a.k.a. the middle of nowhere. here follows the babble of the pleasantly stranded one.

x might have something right about all this space... from everything.

laaaa!!!!! i can scream and look at green waves and walk around half naked in the sun. no fish here, or cocktails- i am lucky to find fruit. lots of tall coconut trees. shady quiet bushes, no insects, but frogs. my retinas are burning! staring into thai smiles all day and wondering when it’s going to hit me.... the hollow lack of genuinity.....though the thai people here are less like performing simians than most i meet on the islands. they are incurious people.....not to be “unhappily happy” as some wise man once said (see previous blogrant). but i do wish i could understand more thai (twiddles thumbs). i smile and look like i am in on the joke all through breakfast at the kway tio stand but i only really catch a stray hopping word here or there, and we have all played the telephone game in nursery school........ i have this confusedly uncanny feeling that plots are hatching all around me as i nod and murmur stupidly.... i get grumbly and have to leave and go do something- ot tailing along. for the past week it is me hatching my own plot of how to get some Business over tea and noodle soup (give massages? test bongs?)... they could use a thai market here but it’s not exactly cheap to start one of those is it? (>>learn thai elocin eh>>) ....or musing on what the hell(!) i am going to do when i get to new york instead. but that’s nice too! the thinking.... especially on my bed, hanging my toes out the window into fresh air and treetops, and banging on my laptop, or drooling into the hot sun on my hammock.

....we can’t go anywhere because like a previous trip i had with said wise man, i have stumbled unawares upon monsoon season, this time in the backcountry of phan gan. the roads are very amusing. the sheer drops into the ocean or jungle- hilarious!.... better ridden on by motorbikes than hitting our heads in a pickup truck we learned the other day, on an spontaneous epic trip to haad rin in the far south of this mammoth hairy island. there we found screaming ads for the vomit-inducing full moon party (think rave) and lots of boring farangs like slimy fish laid out to dry in the sun, with fake shiny playthings there to bait them in case there is any remaining energy (or money) in them. but fish! which we brought back staring dead wrapped in plastic. and fruit, which is my snack of choice- ah, the lust for an apple. o even saw a few friends- shock, horror.... he judges friends by how much they give to him. he is the only one who gives back..... we had to race back home up the mountain blindly at night, me screaming hoarsely, once getting stuck waste deep on motorbike in a shallow-looking river, to get home. but back safely we flapped exhausted into the shed of the fisherman and his tales and drank rum, grilling our fish at the back of his hovel and stealing his rice.....

the beach is empty and plush. scattered bungalows yawning into grass patches.

o speaks thai with the locals and i try to hum along with the words until i find a pattern to grasp. we walk the same village street every day, idly nodding, pick through the markets for a stray oreo or sticky rice. people stray here. a couple of skinny bemused farang men, diligently putting up signs and peering around them hopefully for high season. wrinkled old hags with betel nuts falling out of red stained mouths gnash from worn hammocks, wrapped in silk sarongs. squinty fisherman carrying nets slung on necks. a few “wailun” (young boys) lollygagging.... but not much in the way to see. buildings in various stages of construction lined with rugs and lazing people. dogs and motorbikes providing the breeze on the way to the karaoke bar, where you sing along to the words on screen of the huge jukebox which has a shamelessly loud speaker system. we wander a path back to curl up like shrimp on hammocks and laugh at dogs bumping their noses at crabs. o tries to be as sweet and obliging as possible (like a best pal slave with occasional sloppy affection). we alternate porch and sand. we climb up the jungle mountain behind us to another jungle bar echoing remnants of a previous –erm- jungle bar o and i were unwittingly part of the downfall of.... and think about how to start anew! we have already written this bar off (too many mosquitos, bad music, smoking a lot), but it’s fun making party flyers for the sleepy owner, dj’ing with my iPod (they know nothing about “indie rock”- yippee! i am keeping them in the dark on that one ), and helping him decorate with found objects (dirt and rocks til i cough up moola). o makes lavish dinners in the kitchen shack that nobody marvels at, as most of them are southern and he is isaan.

i would like to take o travelling more. isn’t he lucky. we discussed the fact that in thai culture they are very generous to each other. “my home is your home” is taken literally. thais impose upon each other in ways that make me blush. so though he expects me to give and takes advantage of it, he gives back as much as he can. (i have realized o is not a loser, as he is very good at a lot of things- better than i am at anything. he just has a hippie way about him- he wants everyone to be happy and if he is in a room and no one is laughing then he feels wrong. his whole life centers around welcoming and entertaining people and giving in exchange for getting as much as he can). the subject came up that his female cousin had married a fat german who died a couple of months later. she had already moved to germany and inherited a lot of money upon his sudden death, so... yeah they were “really sad” about the whole thing but his whole extended family is sweatily anticipating salvation.

goodnight. off to watch my pirated simpsons series dvd. ;)


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