Posted from: Hua Hin, Thailand
Happy New Years. Dec. 31, 2003 found me on Hua Hin beach sharing a tatami with a group of Thais who I’d just met, and who didn’t speak more than a word or two of English. Perfect. Ideological Anonymity seems to be my prescription these days. Anyway, fire-crackers, distant yelling and those odd paraffin and plastic hot air balloons rang in the New Year, and I filed home alone.
My plans for this year have solidified as much as my plans ever do: next month, Chiang Mai for kickboxing camp. Next several moths: China. yeah, I’m going back. Turns out the place got under my skin after all. I’ll be there in July or thereabouts. As for tonight, I’m going to spend it tearing apart my other journal from China in a fit of ritualistic disgust. No perspective is more unflattering than oneself in retrospect. I was in a martial arts academy south of Siberia having all sorts of revelations and awakenings and somehow managed to fill 320 pages with gossip that I inexplicably believed would create some sort of gold-threaded cultural tapestry. Poor, lovely, studded leather binding: sad to be turned into a garbage bin for uninteresting smut.
Page after page, line after line of silly exploits and irrelevant adventures: starting a student boycott of usurious uniform prices; sending every sifu and half the students into an enraged door-to-door interrogation after lighting firecrackers indoors on Chinese New Year (they must have known it was us, but we never did cop to it – apparently lighting them indoors lets the ghosts in. Oops.); hating someone on page 110 and adoring them on 176, watching horror movies with Dan to celebrate our non-Christmas in lieu of the mandatory karaoke party everyone else was subjected to; getting frostbite on my ears; running a 16k in -25 degree weather during which Toby’s eye froze shut; my roommate in a panic over a possible pregnancy that everyone but her was unconvinced of; planning things that never happened; re-tellings of our role-playing sessions (Cthulu!); pulling muscles, sexism real and imagined, rollercoaster relationships with my Master; one too many uses of the word “neat-looking”; a one-paragraph description of the Haerbin ice-lantern festival preceded by a 12-paragraph description of the food I ate beforehand; Francis being prescribed boiled beetles for his bad shoulder; the town of SiPing and the massage parlor and shower house therein; and entirely too many entries opening with “well, nothing new to report” followed by 5 pages of yammer, he-saids, she-slept-withs, self-pity, whining and overblown angst.
If that’s what growing up sounds like, then growing up is an embarrassing proposition.
So that’s it, the book gets it – pictures to be transferred to a worthier tome, namely this one.
Signing off before I get chatty.