Saturday, December 11, 2004

What a day 

So much has happened I can't even believe it!!

Ok, maybe not so much.

There is some arsehole in the back of this place that keeps yelling out the same damn thing. Don't know if it's a kid or an old lady. I think the latter. Would someone please cork her?!?!

As I was saying... While wrapping up last night, a couple of Brits we'd met on our boat showed up and said hey. I mentioned wanting to check out a bar, we knew one in common and decided to meet there. Once Rachelle finally stopped yammering on email we headed over. There they were, in their 18-year old glory, drinking. Yes, that's right. 18-year old taking a year off-after high school!-to do some traveling and learn a little about the world. Seems that is getting to be a common thin to do in the UK. Hm. Few people in the States do that out of college. Not fair, as I see it. Cool guys, even though they were born in 1986!! That hurt.

So this bar we were in. Reminded me of the times back home when you suckas would con me into going to a nice place. There I'd be, dressed.....yeah, dressed. And the rest of the place would be filled with folks dressed to the nines, sipping fancy shit and giving me the stink eye. Well, there we were, strobe lights and pounding music (with Queen videos on one tv and soccer on the other)(good music, which was nice), having to push to the bar to yell a drink order, weaving around the fancy people-mostly (let's be honest, all) westerners. In this instance I was wearing the same pants and shirt I'd been wearing for 3 days, the pants with an hour old oil stain on the crotch. Hair under my jager hat, all greasy and sloppy. Weeks old beard (it's coming back!) filling in my face, dirty feet hanging out of ratty sandals. Rachelle looked good, the one dude (Tom) had a nice looking shirt on, and Henry looked closer to me. But clean. The rest of the place? Dressed to the 8s (not quite to the nines). These people either came only to Vietnam or they checked Sherpas with their luggage to carry it all around. Insane. Most were dressed nicer than I could dress had I access to my entire wardrobe (granted, that isn't saying much). Silly people. Oh yeah. I also had a backpack over my shoulder. You would think I'd feel silly, right? Well, then you don't know me. It made me giggle quite a bit. THey had a smoke machine as well. At least, I don't think it was a mister. That came on as a table outside opened up. We skulked out to the open table.

A fun time, and the first night maybe since we started traveling that we stayed out late at a non-hotel place. You know, all of 12:45am. Too late apparently. Our hotel had the big iron gate pulled across the door. Fortunately the woman running the store (still open) across the street knew where the doorbell was hidden and some soggy lookin' dude let us in after 15 minutes of dog barking on the inside. Nice. They should let us know these things!

Don't worry about my dirty clothes. As we walked out this morning we dropped a load to get laundered at the front desk. What did I wear today? My swim trunks. Classy? Yup, that's me.

Our main sight seeing thinger today was the Reunification Palace. Built in the....some year and lived in by the guys running South Vietnam until it was taken in 1975 by the North. Interesting, and our tour was concluded ith a video in the basement. I guess Michael Moore has branched out and is now writing history books for Vietnam. The bilge that spewed from that tv sounded like the shite he would toss out. The US is terrible and killed, raped, maimed, mutilated and gummed any and every living thing they got their hands on. Meanwhile, the North Communists were exemplary and didn't so much as kill a single blade of grass in their wondrously victorious efforts to aid the poor South Vietnamese in running out the stupid ignorant mean and smelly Americans. It was the biggest load of horseshit that I've seen/heard in a long time. Welcome to communism. It must be nice to completely re-write history. Yes, I know some actions were wrong and maybe getting involved and our method of involvement wasn't the best. Whatever. This was not about that at all. It was flat out ignoring history. I am surprised the video didn't blame the US for Vietnam invading Cambodia. 'Cause after all, the Vietnamese govt would never ever do anything wrong (if this is my last transmission, you know why)! I wanted to walk out, but had to watch the train derail and plunge down the embankment. Rachelle and I walked out of that stupid little room incensed.

Why would I say Michael Moore wrote it? Well, it belittled the US and Americans, fabricated events and twisted history, and blamed everything on the US. Oh wait, Moore makes documentaries. I forgot. Well, maybe documentaries as described in a dictatorial govt. Yes, I am fired up.

To top it all off, as we were making our round-a-bout way back to the hotel, a guy on the back of a moto passed us, repeatedly calling out: "Fuck you" with a less than happy look on his mug. Didn't look joking to me, but I returned the favor. Gee, I wonder why people don't like us. Take blunders/errors in judgment on the part of our govt, add in lies and fabricated history disseminated by 'rival' govts, blend in assholes like Moore (not for asking questions, but for his insipid arguments against the US people. And yes, that includes all you who idol-worship the tub of goo), and what do you get? Ah yes!! General hatred of individuals by other individuals instead of accountability at the govt level! Hooray!

Yes, I am plenty fired up right now.

But wait, I'm not done. Tomorrow we are going to to Co Chi tunnels. We signed up, I got a free t-shirt. After, we began questioning the tour lady about getting to various places up the coast. I mentioned Duc Pho, where dad was stationed. She laughed heartily and asked why I'd want to go there. Somehow I got the words to fall off my tongue. She wasn't laughing anymore. Very uncomfortable.

Now I'm emailing and am hungry.

Yes, our country has done many things wrong (isn't it great to criticize with 20-20 hindsight?). Yes, it will continue to make mistakes and errors in judgment. Yes, most lifestyles in the US drive me batty and frustrated like holy hell. But it's afforded me the freedom to: take this trip. Live a pretty easy life. Be free to think and say what I think w/o fear of retribution. To have the opportunity to learn about mistakes that have been made, to travel internationally pretty easily, etc etc. *sigh* So much we take for granted. So much obliviousness not only in our country, but everywhere. Can a Vietnamese citizen, whose only history has taught him about the US and its evil ways really be held in much contempt for hating the US? Nah, not too much. Just ran out of steam. This tires me out. We're all the goddamned same, ya know? There are people here, in the US, in Russia, in Nepal with open minds who are willing to listen and learn and form intelligent opinions. There are people in all those places that fit the definition of a redneck. Money grubbers. Sex fiends, violent, friendly....the cross section is pretty much the same across the board. I guess (the yelling has started up again. I may have to get midieval) it's easier to throw hatred across the ocean? Nah, it stays local as well. Where the hell did this start and where am I going with it? Who the poop knows. I am tired, now.

I have a mosquito bite that looks like a goiter on my neck. It itches.

People need to travel. That's it. Our country has so much squandered opportunity that these places don't have. In Phnom Penh, we were asked by our hotel guys (when we got back from Kampot) what it was like down there. It's 2 hours away, and these guys didn't seem to be doing bad business. They have probably never been out of PP. It's been that way everywhere we've been. These people can't travel. No time or money. Many people in the US have both of these (yes you do. Save money instead of trying to keep up with the jones's. Don't listen to those purveyors of bullshit the diamond [jewel] industry or the biggest predators of all the fashion industry [who decides when things are out of style? Oh yeah, the people making the money. No wonder a new wardrobe is needed what, 4 times every year? THEY ARE SCAMMING YOU AND TAKING ADVANTAGE OF YOUR INSECURITIES! Your clothes from the year before which are not even faded are still perfectly wearable. Quit being so damn wasteful!]. Make your lunches for a while instead of eating out and you'll be amazed at the growth of your savings.) but still rarely travel. Fine, you like it there and see no need to travel. I guess, that's fine. Not everyone has the urge. But you are missing so much! And when you travel, stray off the beaten tourist track a bit and hang out with locals. You will actually learn something applicable. A plethora of church and ruin visits I guess can teach you stuff, though maybe not all that applicable in life in this century.

Peterin' out, peterin' out. Not sure, still, what happened in the last 15 minutes or so. I think I blacked out? Nah, not really.

Kinda got cussed out (indirectly) by some woman yesterday. We stopped for lunch, and some kids came up. Started messin' with them. 2 of them were great, giving up the begging shit and enjoying having their pix taken and acting like kids. The third girl was questionable. Walking to the van she ended up getting about $0.50 out of my back pocket (a nice harmless wake up call to remind us that Vietnam is a bit sketchier than where we've been and that a closer eye has to be kept on our stuff). Back on the van, some woman (who liked to bicker with her....boyfriend(?), cussed him out for having anything to do with the kids and encouraging him. Apparently, the bad girl bit him and another guy on the van! Lucky me. Some of that I am sure was directed at me b/c me and R were playing with them. But, come on. They are still kids! Granted that little whench has made me distrustful of the kids (maybe good?), but up until now all the kids we've been with have seemed overjoyed to be able to not peddle/beg for a bit and have some fun. So I got slightly singed. So what. I can afford it, and those other 2 kids had a good time. Their situation sucks, but they are still kids/people.

Whatever. Again, more pointless rambling.

Just spilled water on my crotch. Good think I'm still wearing my swim trunks.

Spam sucks. I get a lot. If I'd only read it I could be a great lover, increase my manhood, get a college degree and meet all these beautiful women (and men) who are dying to meet me. Seems silly to not invest, right? I wonder if they could be sued for false advertising?

We are still pretty much out of contact with the real world. Ain't seeing the news and ain't reading too much of it either. That is nice. Less depression and frustration in life (not that the media embellishes and focuses only on the negative or anything...)

I should end this now, shouldn't I? I have yet to get anywhere.

Might get to spend a little extra time in Thailand before going to see Brenda. Why? I'm a moron. Needed to get my Uzbek visa earlier. Didn't. Oops.

Heard a woman talking the last time we were in Thailand. SHe as drinking a beer and taking a break from her exhausting day of promoting ill will towards the US (she was American) to rant to one of the girls there. Her most laughable claim was that the only reason the Janet Jackson 'incident' created such an uproar was b/c she was black. Huh? Never heard that one before. I figured it was our silly puritanical (yet despised by most) standards that decided to feign outrage at a blob of fat (though some were truly outraged. Boob envy)! Odd woman

I miss my motorcycle. With all the 2-wheel action around here (it is absolutely insane how many there are here. R got some pics. No wonder there are so many accidents.) I am dying to get on one and ride. I've imagined having my 600cc sportbike (yes, Brandon, yours has a bigger engine. That only means you have a smaller p....) here among all the 100s and rare 250s. It'd be killer (and I'd be dead in a heartbeat. Traffic don't move that fast)

I'm done. Tired and worn out.

Not yet

Stopped at a 'zoo' yesterday. Monkeys in small cages. One monkey had the saddest look. A couple had been there the day before and were coming back thru. The day before they'd petted his head while he strongly gripped their fingers for over 30 minutes. Saddest looking monkey I've ever seen. Heart punching scene.

Alone in a cage. No love, no freedom. Sad

I'm in the mood to watch Fight Club. Who's with me?!?!

Psst! Don't talk about fight club.
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Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

WWW http:/www.jimspeak.blogspot.com