Friday, 8 May 2015

Volume 43, Chapter 90: the daily chai, and Nepal edition

Hello world

As I mentioned previously, It's been awhile since I've done this. I'm a terrible procrastinator so I will see how long I can keep this up, but one of the things that inspired me was my sister. She hit a rough patch in her own life and followed up by writing her heart on her sleeve. I read it daily. It's good.

I, too seem to have hit a rough patch. Maybe not so much as a patch as a very long gravel road. I also get repeated requests to maintain this blog. In an effort to both fulfill the needs of my psyche and you, my audience, I will attempt both. To address the "what should I write about?" question, I will try to keep simple. This is, and always has been a diary, that I happen to publish publicly. This will be a little different from the Hwaseong Saga since this will be much more immediate, as opposed to something I transcribe months after the fact. A little more raw.

Another thing that happened very recently was outside the bubble of my world, but affected it nonetheless. The country of Nepal suffered the most devastating earthquake in 70 years. You may have heard about it. Mt. Everest actually shrunk. It's not so high anymore. Lots of people died.

My friend was in Nepal when it happened. She runs an NGO that helps women and children with PTSD due to abuse and poor living conditions. Her brainchild travels to remote villages with simple art supplies and organizes classes to use art as therapy to help them deal. It's had a very good success rate thus far. Anyway, she was on a bus on the side of a mountain when the first shock hit. She described large rocks falling on her bus and the intern/Jewish princesses that had accompanied on this crazy, non-gluten-free trip far from any hipster bars in Brooklyn, shrilling "what should we do?" Her response was "Do you believe in a god? Then start praying..."

Her bus eventually made it to what was left of Kathmandu and to "Camp America" at the US embassy. "Lollapalooza" was how it was described. In the middle of this chaos, they had a tent city with daily yoga classes and a buffet of food and medicine. Amongst the destruction outside the wire, American, Canadian, and other European and British Commonwealth nations lived in relative comfort. God forbid they be denied hot water and a shower.

She couldn't take the hypocrisy of it and had to escape, but not too far or the guilt of abandoning the country she had just come to help would be too much. A place close by where she could recuperate and easily return to Nepal to help with the relief efforts. So she came here to Bangkok. I must insert here that I have never met this person face to face. In this age of information, I have interacted with hundreds, if not thousands of people all over the world without ever meeting, as we all have, and this girl is one of those people. So, I met her at the airport, got her settled in a hotel, and proceeded to get as drunk as we could for the next 5 days. While she was here, we hooked her up with some local people, got some donations to take back to Nepal and off she went. She will return to the US in a couple days, and then off to Ghana, Africa to do the same NGO program there. Kids, these days-- just too much ambition.

When you travel, you meet lots of people from all over the world and some of them really do try to change the world. Kudos to them, I talk a lot, but that's all I really do. I've added a few links at the end to pages on Facebook of some groups I know where your money really does go to doing some good in the world. Donate if you can.

The main point.

I'm just trying to describe my day. I had to catch up to it I guess.

Today was rather uneventful. I woke up and went to the second day of my new semester. After sitting in a seminar for a couple of hours, conducted in a foreign language, I escaped the first chance I got, went back to the office, and promptly took a nap on my desk. Then I woke up, wiped the slobber of my chin, and downloaded a few daily TV shows I watch. Today was Arrow, and Modern Family. I watched them, went home after work, took another nap, and went to Patpong, the local red light district. I visited a friend at his restaurant, said "hello" to my girlfriend, grabbed some street food consisting rice and green chicken curry, and went to the bar, where I had about far too many glasses of beer while I watched girls in bikinis. Eventually, my girlfriend finished work, picked me up and dragged me to another bar where we enjoyed a few more glasses of beer before we went home and did things the government has no business knowing about. Now I'm back at work, alone in an office while everybody else is forced to go to a seminar, basically because they speak Thai and I don't, writing the first real entry in a long time, of what I hope will be many more and there is a hot Thai girl sleeping in my bed. My head hurts.

Two groups that actually make a make a difference

and some events in Seoul

Maybe tomorrow's story will be much more interesting...