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balance (2): November 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

anarchy


PAD Protesters at Suvarnabhumi Airport (from BBC)


the situation in thailand right now is pretty ridiculous. i mean as if we all didn't have enough to worry about with the global economic problems and terrorist attacks, without the thais throwing temper tantrums. the PAD protesters have gone so far as to take the country hostage- no one is getting in and out via bangkok anyway. and rumors are that they would think about shutting down food and water supplies, communications and power, transportation etc. to get their point across if closing the airports doesn't do it. the weird thing is that it's been 4 days now and the government/military have not done a damn thing to stop them! how weak and ineffectual does the leadership of this country look? and thailand bemoans the fact that people still refer to it as a 3rd world country....i have to say it, i think these people are idiots.

anyway people are talking about civil war! well, i can understand the PAD's side of things- they want to overhaul thailand's system of government and the (corrupt) election process, and get rid of the selfish, childish, greedy ex-PM thaksin and his influence. however paying grandmothers and children to stand for you as human shields, and sentencing your own nation to years of destitution to prove your point is pretty out of line. let's hope they come to their senses and find a better way to arbitrate things. not least of all because i want to be safe and be able to communicate with the outside world, if not leave this place and go there.

meanwhile, i am not finding any opportunities for work in NY and am very reluctant to go there without something set up. i am resigning myself to having to put off my trip back to civilization until warmer months (after i have had a chance to feel out the effects of the economy and obama's presidency). at least i am getting stable work here and still have some good friends around. i will just have to make the best of it.

i really, really need some inspiration of some sort though, before i go braindead. i miss 'x'. :(

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bangkok Protests Turn to Violent Riots




looking pretty scary these days in bangkok.

so my choices now are between going back to a sunken economy or to stay in the midst of a civil war.

:(

Monday, November 17, 2008

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

i... can't... write! i have tried everything tonight and there is the digital equivalent of crumpled up paper all around me. i tried to write about my trip to the dentist today, always a horrid affair in thailand, probably best put behind me. i tried to write about my impending week bedridden with the bangkok lung infection that wipes me out me periodically and which i feel coming on again. i tried to write about my proud new addiction to certain happy opiods (don't worry). i tried to write about my realization that there is a recurring pattern forming in my life in which i entangle myself in dalliances with clinical psychopaths, obviously preferring the science project over the healthy harmonious relationship. i tried to write about how funny it is that some people will never "get" where i am coming from and how in the end it is their loss because i have so much to share. i tried to write about how my building shakes alarmingly like an earthquake whenever a bus roars past. i tried to write about how much i feel at home here and why i still love thailand despite my being such an obvious misfit. i tried to gather anecdotes and write about everyone from the scrawny, filthy bag lady on my doorstep who screeches scarily at me when i smile solicitously at her in passing, to the imperious big haired socialite women i run into shopping at the mall, who eye me up and down with disdain and cut in front of me in the line for a taxi, bumping into me with shopping bags and waves of perfume- to the shy bespectacled superintendant of my building who has spent most of the week hanging out on the floor of my room, pecking at my laptop and trying to elicit some response from my temperamental internet connection, and avoiding eye contact with skimpily dressed me (i am wicked sometimes i know). i tried to write about how much i miss certain people in my life, how much i want to embark on some big adventure, how much i want a pet, how i want to go roller skating, visit a drive-in, drink egg nog by a fireplace, eat oysters rockefeller in a piano lounge, ride in a ferrari, go camping with strangers, adopt an asian baby, save the world from itself.... i even tried to write about how much i tried to write and it has gotten me nowhere. i give up. back to sleep.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

(wo)man's search for meaning

i have been reading back through my blog a lot lately to remember who i am (the value of recorded thoughts over a decade should not be understated). i realized that so many parts of myself seem to have gone dormant lately- a lack of inspiration not just because of the place i am in but because i have let myself turn off and just go through the motions. a friend of mine asked me which gender i am leaning towards sexually these days and i realized that if anything i am totally asexual. another friend asked if i have written my book yet and i thought back to the weeks of doing nothing other than surf the same 3 websites repeatedly. i reflected on my recent friendships and though they are very good people whom i value immensely, they have not inspired me towards any sort of passion as the strange and moving specimens i have let into my life before did. i find myself humming "where is my mind" (great song by the pixies) and trying to feel that sometimes dark and brooding lust for life i have always had before, but it is very elusive these days and i sort of float along in oblivious boredom.

tonight, a couple of wines and a dose of my new favorite drug, tramadol, helped immensely. rather than wallowing in depression and loneliness i feel surprisingly and pleasantly free.

thinking about what i want to do now and it is becoming clearer. travel is a given, and always number one- my lust to experience the world at least has not diminished. it is however, a sad impossibility due to the fucked up state of the economy at present and my low bank balance. so working becomes number one, wherever it is i decide to work- calculating the ratio of sanity i can retain vs. the amount of cash i can earn.... but aside from money, what is it that i want? ...the answer is (still) meaning... i need something to mean something in my life again. whether that is a boyfriend who stimulates and challenges those sleepy parts of my brain to wake up again, some sort of project i can throw myself into (if said boyfriend would support me for a year while i write my book i could kill two birds with one stone but that is unlikely), some sort of beauty that i can uncover from my surroundings and capture in some way... i don't know what it is but i need to find it again. and i am unsure that i will find it in thailand, which i am realizing more and more is a soulless place.

anyway it's growing colder here, i shiver in the ten degree drop. i peer at the city from my balcony and dare it to impress me with some danger or decadence that i haven't seen before. i shrug and traipse in to have meetings on IM in which i excel and get a little carried away with bossing people around (one reason i don't do well in office situations). i think about packing my things and taking off into the unknown and i feel a little thrill at the fact that i will always have that choice because as much as i complain sometimes the fact that i have no ties is a glorious thing. the moon is full and the slate is clean, who knows what is just around the corner.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

boing

my friend 'y' moved in with me for a week before her mad escape into the unknown (melbourne), where she hopes to acquire the stability that bangkok isn't known to provide to young foreign girls. it was a week of giggling over midnight bottles of wine, spontaneous karaoke and dance offs, hanging around in our underwear, shopping doggedly in sweaty markets for twin clothing items, gossiping with cigarettes on my balcony, revealing dark secrets, and making affectionate and idealistic promises of friendship forever. she also has left her family behind and for various reasons can not look back- so there is a kinship between us besides the fact that we are essentially very alike (though she is a much more extroverted, amusingly pessimistic, and surprisingly naive version of me). in the two months we have been hanging i think she became the best friend i have had in years. i will miss her horribly (and our shameless girlyness over the past week made me miss my sisters too, one of whom is begging me to come see her in egypt next month).

y's absence leaves me with a lot of free time to kill- i have written off the rest of my friends in bangkok except for 't', who intrigues me with his contradictory spats of coldness and occasional sweet solicitousness... but frustrates me overall and is probably best stayed away from for now for both our and his girlfriend's sanity. life tends to "oscillate" according to 't' and i am on the negative and lonely side of the curve for the near future (is there a time in the history of my blog in which i failed to mention the word 'lonely' in my posts? my cross to bear or what?). i am hoping to fill in the hours and days with work so i don't sit around thinking too much. i have been in a year-long standstill and the only way to get out of it at this point is to replenish my cash (if possible!). i have about six weeks to decide which risk is the most likely to pay off- keeping my freelance contracts (and freedom) in asia or finding a real job and hacking it out 9-5 for a year in NY. i have absolutely nothing and no one holding me in thailand right now. but the dire economy is holding me back from NY. maybe i will surprise myself last minute and go somewhere totally random. this is the first year of my life i think in which i did not take a trip! what is going on?!

i appreciate the fact that i have an amazing life though, as off track as it has been for the past year. and hopefully i have a lot of adventure to come to brighten up my lazy musings.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

yay for america!

i awoke this morning to hear that barack obama won the presidency- there might be hope for my country yet!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

leavers

last week i went on a visa run to laos, again. vientiane was full of nigerians, and nigerians love shy white girls, apparently. they also have no qualms about jumping ahead in line so i spent a very frustrating day standing in glaring hot sun while the line ahead of me (for the visa) got progressively longer. i actually passed out in line after a couple of hours, and one of the nigerians picked me up and set me in the shade. i then had to avoid his winks and smiles for the rest of the time i spent panting there. but i had acquired myself a sweet old laotian man as a designated driver in a colorful and creaky tuk tuk, who protected me chivalrously from the creepy guys even as he scandalously overcharged me, and i did get away with 6 months' worth of visa time in thailand, should i need it. i also had a nice sunset stroll along the mekong river, played with some puppies which always does wonders for my mental health, and downed some great beer laos at 'khop chai due', my favorite fluffy-gardened cafe, with a fascinating australian guy who had been all over the world and told raucous stories, until i realized my eyes were crossing and i had to excuse myself and run down the dark streets to my cool, safe hotel room to sleep heavily.


mustachioed cat in vientiane

back in thailand, oh woe is me, again. if there is one thing i have still not gotten used to after years in this land of revolving door tourists, it is the fact that i get close to people who inevitably leave. i suspect it is karma for the many times i have left people before in my long life of place-hopping (though i don't think i often left behind people who cared much at all that i was leaving).

and so ends my little group of special misfits as we scatter in our respective directions. 'y'- the feisty bengali princess, surprise good friend, and instigator of much fun is off to seek her fortune in oz. 's', the sketchy russian gangster with the heart of a teddy bear is off to do whatever secretive sneaky stuff it is he does. 't'- the narcissistic, affectionate, confounding drama queen extraordinaire who has been my unwitting and elusive love interest of the past couple months, is off to try and be a good boy to his trophy girlfriend for once. and 't', the strange schoolgirl, is so strange that i can't see myself spending much time with her on my own as we two are left behind. i will miss all of our crazy nights barhopping, making sordid taxicab confessions, flirting and being infatuated with one another, and shaking our drunken booties to hip hop (which believe it or not is growing on me) at club slim at RCA... not to mention the many late nights of IM conversations and bonding phone calls.


me and 'y' on halloween

back to trying to fill my days so i don't drown in thick sticky loneliness. at least maybe i will detox a little bit without the weekly binge parties. i joined the gym, which is nice- i like to stare out the window at the people going about their business in the hotel across the street while i do mindless repetitions on the circuit trainers or fall clumsily all over myself to the delight of my snappy pilates teacher. i like to breathe deep in the herbal steamroom and imagine i am in an exotic rainforest. i stumble squeaky clean into central department store (where my gym is located) and try to make it past the obstacle course of shops without making purchases (usually i fail at this and spend the rest of the day suffering from buyer's remorse of some sort). i buy coffee and eat noodles and walk past the shrine where people are praying with incense and the stalls selling flowers, fish balls, flip flops, to hop on the baht bus through fuming traffic towards home.

at home i flounder. i think about cleaning, but flop onto my bed. i think about writing but know i should work instead. i flip lazily through art sites and miss culture and inspiration. i try to watch movies but cable sucks. i stare out the window and think about moving to NY, which really will be just another window looking out onto a place i am not apart of. but a hell of a lot more expensive.

i can do anything really, says 'y'- with no strings upon me i am free. i can go anywhere as long as there is an internet connection. she is trying to get me to move with her to melbourne, but i find ozzies bland and awkward, and still there is something about thailand that nags at me, whispering "you are not done here yet elocin don't think you can escape just yet" (you still have some self esteem in you that we need to leech away, for instance). and there is NY demanding with an inscrutable mask from across the world that i be upstanding and strong and seek my fortune amongst the best of the best, throwing all caution to the wind.

...all i really want to do is close my heavy curtains, turn up the air conditioner, and dream heavy dreams under the sheets forever and ever.

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