Tag Archives: Travel

phonethoughts

8 Jun

Image

Arbitrary photo to match my arbitrary thoughts.

I jot thoughts down while waiting in line, sitting on the bus, riding a subway, waiting for an interview…This is unbelievably random. But you do it too, don’t be shy. There are no connections whatsoever:

The flicker between life and death is not tangible, and yet is reality. As simple as taking a breath and then not breathing. As easy feeling the wind but not seeing it and yet still knowing it exists. Existence is permeable, transitional and untouchable. Existence is not tangible and yet we know it as reality. We know no different. How can we?

It’s a riddle. Such a riddle. Ha!

It’s hilarious, how we think we’re in control and really it’s a facade, kind of like looking in a mirror and thinking to yourself “you got this.” And you leave before you see the mirror look back at you and say “girl you don’t know what’s coming and you don’t know what you think you got.” Because really the person looking back at you would be the black version of yourself if you’re white and the Asian version of yourself if you’re black. It’s all about being received and perceived in a different light then what you actually are.

So here I am sitting in an office that might be a ploy and waiting for a day of observations with a company that could or couldn’t be a next step and beyond myself I have higher hopes. But reality tells me that sometimes those higher hopes aren’t plausible. Part of me knows this is a joke and I’m kidding myself. Ha my life is a tad of a joke. But I have to have a job and some kind of ambition while studying! I need to have something for myself. Even if it’s just a job that’s not so great and I’m working towards something, and maybe just make this could lead to something. Or nothing. Work while studying. I Guess and live at home? No. No way.

Is it worth it? I don’t think so.

Be at each other’s throats left and right; constantly about living and how lives should be lived. “Should” is a hard task-master. You can never please “should”. Once you start trying to you realize you’re straining to attain priceless perfection. For what? Why? We should strive to be happy with being perfectly imperfect. But “should” is a hard task-master and you can never please “should”.

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This Time

3 Oct

It's another perspective.Around this time last year, I went for a walk in the streets of Beijing. I saw fit to write about it. Express myself and share what I saw. The result was a remarkably poor blog post. Although the content was wonderful, my style was lack-luster; weighed and found wanting.

So I have taken it upon myself to re-write this post, hoping for the forgiveness of those who had read it at the time.

Here goes:

I had decided to go for a walk. Down Zhonguancun, a main street in the northeastern part of Beijing. Maybe I’ve become too sentimental, maybe I’ve always been sentimental. Either way I was in a sentimental mood.

My heart stirred; moved by many things on my short walk. But three stand out in comparison to all the other moving moments.

Scene #1 

A girl, sitting on her haunches. Black hair falls over her face either for shame or fashion. From a distance, I can tell…it’s not for fashion. She wore a tattered school uniform and holes cover her (the unfashionable kind).

A paper in front of her, flutters in the slight breeze and she holds it down with these tiny fingers.

Chinese characters spell out some plea for help, food or money.

A man stands apprehensively in front of her, reading her sign. Absent-mindedly, he dug for his wallet. He pulled out a few kuai and with care placed them at her feet. She nodded her head in acknowledgment.

No eye contact.

Scene #2

I continue to walk. Ashamed that I hadn’t stopped. Why hadn’t I stopped? Too task orientated.

Not too far down the road.

An elderly gentleman pulled out a piece of paper, placed it on the curb and sat upon it. The curb looked clean to me. But then you never can tell.

He crossed his legs, and folded his hands over his knees. Pensive. Here he had decided to sit and watch the world whirl around him. He smiled.

I smiled. Almost let out a small laugh.

Scene #3

I continued walking and came to a park. Classical folk music drifted up through the trees. A combination of the flute, the accordion, drums, the lute. Beautiful. It wasn’t not Bach, it’s not Chopin either. But it was beautiful.

I peeked through the trees and saw dancing.  Women thrice my age, moved with such agility. Men exemplified chivalry that hadn’t been used in over a decade.

I had found a dream world. A bubble in busy Beijing.

I was enlightened.

What did I learn from my walk?

  • To give more whole-heartedly.
  • Watch where I sit.
  • Observe the world now and then.
  • (Cliche bit) Dance through life.

Passage to India

3 Oct

They say in India that to have patience, mercy, and understanding means to have a good mind. How convenient that in India to travel you’ll need a huge dosage of patience and mercy.

And you’ll need to understand that different folks simply have different strokes. And you have to be okay with it. Well enough of that now. How about some photos.

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As I wrote in an earlier post, Thailand was beautiful. But I didn’t have to work hard to find that there. In India, mind you I spent most of my time in the northern part, I had to work to find it. Not convinced?

A woman and child, begged for a photo and immediately afterward wanted money, charging me for taking it.
“Photo?” they ask innocently. They even begin to smile to show me what the photo could look like.
I nod. Take a photo. I show them.
They shake their heads, they don’t care, “Money, money, money!”
I’m shaken, speechless, and I hand them ten rupees.
They run off to the next tourist in line.

A View of Thailand

1 Oct

 

In Thailand there is a proverb: 

In the spirit of making hay, I took some photos. Would you like to have a little gander? I know that you are just dying, sitting on the edge of your seat to see what it is I saw while I was there…okay okay okay. Well here they are:

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Did I convince you? Will you come? No? Take a look at some of the beach views from Koh Samui (and island down in the Southern part of Thailand) :

Breather, and now:

 

Embracing my small artistic gene:

 

Thanks for having a look. I’ma go keep making hay whilst the sun shineth.

 

**it Happens

1 Oct

 

Sidney Poitier's image, cropped from Civil Rig...

Sidney Poitier’s image, cropped from Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., 08/28/1963, an image in Public Domain 

 

Sidney Poitier once said “So much of life, it seems to me, is determined by pure randomness.” Sometimes without even trying things come your way. Some people chalk it up to “fate.” A friend of mine says “I guess that’s karma for you.” I walk through the claustrophobically close streets in Varanasi, India. I have absolutely no idea where to look. If I look up, I see signs for bakeries, silk shops, jewelry shops.

“Heya, sister, you wanna samosa?” a shop keeper yells after me. I ignore him. It wouldn’t have been the  first time I’ve been called after…and it will not be the last. So I keep walking…oops I slip a bit and look down. Brace yourself. Yes that’s correct I had slipped in none other than the excrement of a near-by cow. “I almost landed in that!” I say to my friend walking behind me. I smile with pride. Crisis averted. I am safe.

Cows are roaming here and there. Everywhere it seems. Flea infested dogs are fighting to my left and I can see through their thin coat of fur to their pock-marked and bloody flesh. These dogs are not at all cute. In fact the cows are in better shape.

The Indian fellow walking ahead of me, smiles. His stained teeth stare at me in a gaping mannar. It’s very popular for Indian men to chew this tar powdery stuff called paan. I smile back but can’t help but curl my lips in a tad bit of disgust.

So we’re walking through a tight, tight street. Like this:

 

I’m distracted by a monkey swinging from an electrical wire above my head and I instinctively reach for my purse to protect it. Sometimes monkeys are trained to steal a foreigner’s bag. Guess who reaps the benefits when that bag gets back to the owner.The person who trained the monkey to steal the purse in the first place. But that’s beside the point. Because right at that moment we are passing a cow who thought it pertinent to let flow some…fluid. So my feet are now covered in cow pee. 

“Do not worry sister,” a voice says, I don’t know who, I’m busy staring in disbelief and anger at this dumb cow. “This is holy piss, it is good luck.”

 

I look up to see whether this person is joking. Nope. Not even in the slightest.

 

How wonderful. I was enjoying my claustrophobic walk, the shops that are so close, they invade my personal bubble. Seriously, sometimes it feels as if I can’t move for how close things are together. I was just beginning to appreciate everything about this place. I had even just enjoyed a treat at The Blue Lassi (gotta have a lassi). Narrowly missed falling in poo and now…this.

“Well its character building if anything,” I say to my friend and we both throw our heads back a laugh. What else could we do? Be angry? Annoyed? Tired?

There are far worse things that could happen to a person than pissed on by a cow. Great. At least it was “holy piss” right? At least I’ll have some luck right? Oh dear. If I had chosen that moment to be annoyed than well I would have lost all the other moments I had attributed to “character building.”

Good old character building. Life is nothing if not character building. That’s proverbial gold  you can take to a metaphorical bank.

 

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