Sunday, 30 October 2016

Countdown Catatonia (Think of a deer caught in your headlights) or T minus TWO, ONE, ... (careful reading advisory)

I recently discovered a travel portal that no one visiting Southeast Asia (read Indochina) should miss. only covers Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia, but it covers it extremely well.

An example is Dong Hoi, a town I stayed in last February and which I intend to visit again in about a week.  Why Dong Hoi again?   I stayed here two nights. And even though a cold front moved through Vietnam at the time, that didn't keep me inside and the stay was an adventure (here is the LINK to the post), but the prime reason I want to go again is this dish:

SO simple, yet so unbelievably delicious, February 2016
Up to a few days ago, all Dong Hoi was for me was a decent beach with vast areas of inland dunes and excellent food.   Turns out that during the Vietnam War, American B52s carpet bombed Dong Hoi back into the stone age, with this part of a church being ONE of ONLY THREE similar structures that were ALL that remained after the attack.

Is it just me or does this evoke a sense of deja vu about a different place where Americans did the unspeakable (OMG, it was actually NOT the Germans that time ).

Hiroshima, site of the first atomic bomb ever dropped on a civilian population  And NO, none of the two was an accident, this was INTENDED; Talk about WAR CRIMES in a time when Americans point their fingers at Russians in Syria !
Yet another afterthought.  Why do I include in my sites-to-visit list those that only demonstrate the evil in mankind?  (I remember that this June, after hearing of Guernica's proximity, I just HAD to go there).  Before this summer's double bike madness, I had actually planned to go visit Hiroshima on August 6 (Anniversary of the bombing), circum-ambulate the crater of Mt. Fuji, and to visit Saki (Hello Saki !!! 富士山のような大規模なハンス腹 ).  

But before I make myself look like Christiane Amanpour (at some point referred to by indubitably mean-spirited sources as "The War Whore" , I should point out that another reason for visiting Dong Hoi is to look this relaxed again: 
Train Smoking; In the Western World I can't even smoke in my car ! (o.k,so it's a rental,LOL)
 But back to the travel plans. They're not just simplistic things like the name of an all-inclusive party town, like Puerto Vallarta or Varadero.  No, when I say travel plans, they are just a tiny bit more involved.  1st, when I say travel it means travelling THROUGH that foreign destination, not travelling TO that foreign destination.  2nd. there must be a few highlights.  There should be a combination present of a) meeting old or new friends (or attending a Neil Young concert) b) a natural wonder c) to see one of those things you thought you'd never ever see, or d) an entirely new country or way of living. At this point in my life, I find that time is too precious to spend 2 entire weeks at a fabulous beach in a town in the third world. Too much to see and learn and only so little time.

You can probably tell, my mind is already over there, even though my body still has to stay here for 2 more days ;-(

Warning: The following paragraph was written after 2 glasses of wine ;-)

And to all those who found this post too convoluted and self-absorbed: You're right. HOWEVER, the prime reason for this blog is to re-process events or thoughts in my life by putting them on digital paper, or as I like to call it  "Cerebral house-keeping". There seem to be about 20 people around the world that are willing to put up with my rants. Or maybe they just look at the pictures? Or maybe I have disciples ?   If so, you should REPENT this very minute because I'm NOT worthy.  If I were worthy, I would NOT constantly have WET SHOES, LOL.

So I'm sitting at Denny's with only one sleep left until departure and still LOTS to do before I can go, and the server at Denny's tells me "Our liquor cabinet is locked and the manager is not here".   I guess the relevant point to this sentence is that the manager is the only one who has a key to the locked fridge containing my wine.   Great managing, Mr. Manager !

Then Grandma calls.  Days ago I had given one of my old, mostly unusable (HORRIBLE keyboard issues) laptops to a friend. She uses it to watch movies on one of those GIANT flat-panel TVs, so I also removed the special Micro-HDMI cable that had spent its days connected to Grandma's TV because that had been the only purpose I had bought it for.   Grandma's first question this morning is "What have you done with my TV cord ?" in a tone that suggests I have started cleaning out STUFF out of her house.

Oh Lord in Heaven, ....  Give us this day our daily STUFF.  It's odd how irrelevant the Lord's Prayer seems these days in the Western World. Not many people are still concerned about their daily bread; the latest iPhone or car model seem to carry much more relevance (Apology to those living in one of the numerous tent cities in North America and go hungry; Millions coveting that iPhone while you don't have a proper roof over your head just makes my point)
 And NO, I am NOT the tiniest bit  religious (Actually, ever since George died I have been hoping ;-)  My name is really JUST a name. But the New Testament could have been written by a humanistic Socialist; to me it contains the basic elements of the type of human conduct that could eradicate world hunger and all the other scourges of mankind.  How about this one?: You can tell the vigor of a Christian's belief in God by what kind of car he drives.  How I arrive at that?    What does Mark 10:21 say? And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
No, No, this blog is not going to turn into a religious blog (God forbid !, Lmfao). Cause keeping an eye open out for those in need has absolutely nothing to do with religion. It's just common sense!  And some of those apostles had an acute sense of sarcasm and wit:
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”  

This is how my morning started.  And it reminds me that whatever I have to do today, it will be all worth it. Because it will allow me to get out of here.  And over there, saying something like "Give us this day our daily bread/rice" amazingly still makes sense and consequently the people over there actually still have something to say that matters.

So, (oh, oh, a lot of people will cry FOUL), I say  that starting tomorrow I will be on a QUEST.  Maybe I'm not going to discover the meaning of life, but I'm sure I'll be able to add more meaning to mine ;-)

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