Heelo, I am currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand; located in a mountaineous rainforest region of the northern side of the country. I have been away from the computer for a while because Ive been having issues with loading pictures on to the computers here but oh well. So much has happened, yet so little and the only way I feel I can express even an ounce of what I've experienced is through a stream of conciousness that may or may not make sense and have some artistic randomness to it, so here we go:
SKin is moist...humid, hottter than ever, sun shining on face as if to burn all my sins away, t t t t thai land. Where do I go? Where am I going? Where am I from? Wher are al the Americans. Bangkok, hotttttt, bangkok, sexy clothes and thai hookers dangling on percievingly rich white men.
-TAT: Thailand Authority of Tourism, simple tours with a side of bitter sweet chocolate, meaning your head has a dollar sign on it, meaning, you better understand that mean thai accent with those ears of yours, meaning prepare to mostly sit in a minivan with light a/c and a bunch of foreigners, meaning an all inclisive package with monkey shows and elephant rides full of abuse and innocently ignorent torture in order to survive through the falangs aka foreigners, meaning you will see beautiful temples, sites and cities, but you will also never forget the eyes of those people whop needed your money and the monkey being dragged around on a bicycle by a chain around its neck or the hook of the mahout(elephant owner/driver) digging into the elephants head without shedding a tear at the fresh wounds made. BItter sweet from the joy of being a foreigner and seeing both the beautiful n the ugly, and sometimes the vastly boringness of it all.
-Money: Cheap, cheap cheap, said the bird. HAha! I am in a computere cafe right now and a computer just expolded! Everyone stops for a second, laughs, amnd then goes back to their games. Cheap, 10 baht(like 40 cents) to be on this computer, 800 baht to be in a high/midrange geusthouse with a pool with breakfast included, 20 baht to ride around town on a tuktuk(motorcycle with a carriage) for nearly the whole day, 15baht for a deliociously healthy vegetarian thai meal from a restaraunt...but then comes the foreigners charge, eaving one feeling as though yes, life here is stil incredibly affordable but for someone of a different race, there is a swindling, extra price, you have more money and they know it. even if you take a taxi somewhere, they will charge you more than a local, usually double, but thats the price of what it is to be a travelling newbie. We, americans and europeans at least, regardless of our social class in our own country, are considered rich in Thai eyes, and its true, we are, our comforts go far bayond this country.
-americanbization: hearing hip-hop music down the street, fake gucci and pradda bags, incredibly good american singing accents(but not talking), spaghetti with rice noodles and pizza served with spicy ketchup in a high class restaurant that charges 6us per meal, flipped up polo collars, chevrolet and toyota, englidh signs all over, an obsession with 7elevens, ovaltine and coffee, cigarettes with a person dieing on them, subtitled movies and starbucks.
-sexuality: I have short hair due to shaving my head several times and I cannot say how many times I have been called sir!haha! So I figured it out after looking around for a while and hearing stories of the cultural sexuality differences here...so here there are a lot of women who dress like boys and have short hair, kind of like a very masculine lesbian, the only otyher thai women who have short hair are nuns and old ladies, all women who have short hair are regraded and regard themselves as male here except the two previously listed, so I am considered by most in this country to be a man! haha! An the funnier and sometimes more irritating thing is that I dont really dress girly so I fit into this percieved niche of people which I find incredibly strange and interesting, now I am more comfortable with being called sir but I still have a slight frustration because I feel misunderstood, I understand, but am misunderstood when I swim in a female bathing suit or wear earings. Oh yeah and the pther thing that I have finally seen wioth my own eyes are lady boys, also termed rudley as farangs, they look exact;y like women, plastic boobs and waxed upped lips, but before all thopse surgeries, they were men, and these ladyboys can only be spotted if you look incredibly close and if they havent taken hormone pills to change there vioice yet. They are for the most part accepted here but still stick out when noticed. The guest house I am stayong at now has a ladyboy working at the counter and I swear you wouldnt know by looking.
-Vipassan: A type of meditation that requires a cultivation of mindfulnness training where one must constantly mentally note their current experience...in thervadin buddhism at the temple I stayed at they had us mentally say the experioence three times each, "standing, standing, standing. Intention to turn, intention to turn, intention to turn. Hearin, hearing, hearing, thinking, thinking, thinking. Anger, Anger, Anger", you get the idea. It was incredibly boring yet incredibly interesting because of the simplicity of this practice and the effects it had on bring one back into their body and the present m,oment. I had to wear all white as a symbol for purification and could not communicate with anyone but my teacher. I think it is a great way of learning how to meditate in action.
Okay now I must end this long ass session because my eyes are becoming irritated from the screen, I hope you enjoyed listening, listening, listening, and thinking, thinking, thinking. tata!