Can i buy a vowel? IM AOM OOM AM EM ??????
Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
272Trip End Ongoing
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have you ever read the hitch hikers guide to the galaxy series? there is a minor character in one of the books (don't ask me which one) who is a truck driver and unbeknownst to him, a rain god. it has rained everyday of his life just because the clouds follow him and want to make him happy...since he is their god. i feel a sort of commissary with this meteorological deity since it rains and/or floods wherever IM and i head to. we were going to go to chiang mai since IM had never been there but unfortunately, the whole city is underwater. i knew the endeavor was doomed when i asked my travel agent friend for tickets and she told me that the trains cant make it but the bus might.....at the time i had no idea what she was talking about so this was a bit of a shock
a curious side note on this conversation with my friend Tisha. as i said before, she works in a travel shop on khao san road in Bangkok and i have known her since i first came to Thailand. its nice to be friends with and have the phone number of the person you bought your travel tickets from. that way if something goes wrong you can call her and have her fix it......its happened a few times before. anyway, after she mentioned that the trains were not running to chiang mai she mentioned the bus option and then said that wouldn't work either because IM was Thai. asking for an explanation she informed me that no Thai nationals were allowed on the tourist bus's because it takes away business from the bus lines that traditionally served Thailand. I found this an utterly amazing policy. can you imagine going to buy a bus ticket in America and being told "sorry, you are American and you cant be on this bus" ? amazing Thailand indeed.
IM and i headed down south for a few days to lock up our housing issues for the upcoming season. my old house had been rented out by my former neighbor and is being kept empty because she likes her "space". she's a nice enough lady but apparently is being paid more money then she knows what to do with since she is renting properties just to keep them empty and i mean who needs 2 nannies for 2 kids? really? so instead of the old house we found something a few miles away which i think is a bit nicer
i was amused a few years ago when i ran into a rather large group of Mormons in the large shopping mall in Bangkok. you know the type, 19 years old and wearing a white shirt, tie and a name tag that says "elder". the elder part always cracks me up since it is my sincere belief that one needs to be at least out of their teens before being referred to as an elder....call me crazy.
i think any "missionary" work here is completely useless since 97% of the country is Buddhist and this is bred into them from birth. i mean its a completely crazy and morphed form of Buddhism but its still their deep belief and these evangelicals don't really have a snowballs chance in hell of converting people. so the Mormons were amusing but a few days ago i came across a full fledged, chanting gaggle of hare Krishna's. first of all, i had no idea this group even existed any more. my only dealing with them was years ago when i was homeless in San Francisco. if you had NO OTHER OPTION, they gave out food in the park daily. if you can consider rice gruel food. it was a much better idea to hold out for the "food not bombs" group that fed in the park every other day with chicken soup and bagels.....seemed like a very Jewish approach to feeding the homeless which was nice
i have an interesting situation with a friend of mine here in thailand. it concerns a piece of computer equipment but I'm going to make a car analogy to make it easier to understand. before i left for Alaska i accidentally broke a piece of equipment or lets say "crashed his Toyota". i felt very bad about this and told him i would replace the crashed car with a brand new one.....same make and model but brand new. the friend has now said that the Toyota is not top of the line anymore and he wants a Mercedes instead. having a substantial price difference I have again offered to buy a brand new Toyota because that is what was damaged. i was then told to fuck off from said friend.
His argument is that when he bought the Toyota it cost him $70,000. this is about 3x the retail price which is normal when you are buying something on a small island. Is it my fault that he was over charged and was dumb enough to pay? i offered to replace his $20,000 car with the exact same $20,000 car and was rudely rebuffed
made the trek up to IMs village for a few days just recently. i had the option of either staying at a hotel or at her house but due to the ummmm rugged conditions, i went with the hotel option. for those of you who remember, i spent 3 months at ninny's house up in the boondocks and it was a rather unpleasant experience that i am not in any hurry to repeat. the great part of going up there was that i was reunited with Mimi my furry little soul mate. other then a pretty bad haircut, she is looking well and as happy as ever. unfortunately, due to the Thais and their craziness, i was not able to bring her on the bus back with us so she will be arriving via taxi in about a week.
had some good times with IM's daughter OOM.....yeah there is a tongue twister for you. there is IM and OOM.......also her sister AOM and then the cousins EM and AM. luckily her friends name is DA so that's easy to keep track of. let me tell you, Thai creativity is at full blossom when they come up with these nicknames.
OOM seemed to be much friendlier and out going since last time i saw her but now she is 5 and not 3 so there you go
I had the traditional "take the whole family out to dinner" experience which seems to be a staple of visiting the homestead up there. its not too bad because the prices are relatively cheap but I still had to drop almost $60 to take 14 people to dinner....plus the obligatory bottle of whiskey. it was funny though because we were having dinner at this restaurant which was kind of an open air affair and i heard something that i thought was a dog and when i turned to see i was greeted by a mid sized elephant that had been brought nearly into the restaurant by its handlers. not something you see every day lol.
IM's mom seems to be a bit friendlier since our last meeting awhile back which is a good thing but her dad was not exactly exuding the warmth so to speak....then again i never really saw him because he spends 14 hours a day in the rice paddies which may speak towards his disposition
IM and I are in Bangkok and are heading down to khao lak in the morning. it is time to settle down and get things situated since the diving season starts next week. i am hoping this season is my most profitable financially and not quite as stressful as last year where i had to perform a couple of rescues and then got knocked unconscious myself. i can definitely do without the in water rescues...not good times.
On a final note....i have just purchased a replacement camera for the one that drowned on my trip to Borneo last year. i mention this because #1 everything that died and broke during that hellish trip has now been fixed or replaced and #2 I am completely out of debt from issues linked to that trip. feels good to have that whole thing behind me finally and felt like sharing. I'm all about sharing.