More of Mom’s Saigon Trip

I’ve posted the last half of our trip photos on my photo page.

There are some photos of mom in Saigon and those’ll be up soon.
Check ‘em out.

 

Holla!

 

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Mom In Saigon

My mom just went home after visiting me in Saigon for 2 fortnights (or 8 sixteenights, if you’re using the older, more reliable British standard) and I have photographic evidence.  The first half of our vacation photos are published.  Go to the Photography portion of the site to take a proper ganders.

Look at the wonder on her little face. And there’s plenty more where this came from.

 

Sniff you jerks later,

 

Charlie

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Commit to Failure, Y’all!

What would it take to change a government? To revolutionize it? First, people would have to see that the government was a festering, onanistic, self-sustaining pile of shit, right? That’s easy! I mean, surely, if a government gets to that point, every person in the country is hip to it, yeah?

Everyone instinctively knows when something’s not right, right?

Maybe not. I mean, what would it take for an entire country- the United States, say- to look and see that the government isn’t rigged to work by the people and for the people, but rather by the few and for the few?

What would it take to expose a machine, endlessly convoluted and consisting of untold, independent entities all operating for their own, individual good, thus unknowingly perpetuating a broke-ass system, crassly eliciting hope from the people only because hope is what the machine runs on?

Nevermind, this guy’s meme has got it under control.

What would it take?

What effect would it have on the country as a whole if we were shown that the basic tenets of our way of life are as undeniably fake as Larry The Cable Guy’s southern-fried accent?

Is this a photo of Uncle “Cut It Out” Joey or Larry The Cable Guy? Here’s a hint: he’s from New York and “You Oughta Know” isn’t about him.

What would it be like if the American Dream were shown irrefutably to be a lie? If our country violated its own precepts as set forth by The Bill Of Rights again and again and again and again, what would it be like? If our country’s political system and government, in general, depended on the profits made by corporations and put the needs of those same corporations ahead of the needs of the people, how would the world of America be different from what it is today?

Think: what could happen that would shake the faith of suckers enough that they’d stand up and say, “no more!”? Could the people be shown that Democracy is an illusion and still go to work in the morning? Could they be shown that their vote doesn’t matter, that the whole thing is a distracting circus, a vain parade where any choices made are between entities so similar that a vote for one is no different from a vote for another? Could we be given a watertight demonstration that politics work in such a way that it doesn’t matter how good-intentioned a politician is- they will be forced to play ball-and we still engage in it?

What sort of corruption or scandal would it take to change the American way of life?

Let’s- just for fun- imagine that there is nothing that could achieve this. How would that imaginary world be different from ours?

Would it be different?

The short answer is, “no”. The US government is composed of hundreds of thousands of small parts. Each part can take the blame for an entire broken system and be replaced over and over without anyone noticing that the problem doesn’t lie with the individuals but rather with how the government at large runs and is built. The fact that there is nothing the government can do that would make its people lose faith in it is an enormous problem. If a government stands for something meaningful, there is a line that it can cross where people abandon and restructure it1. Our government has no such line and our people are woefully ignorant of this fact.

“Meaningful” and “real” are synonymous in this context and religion doesn’t fix problems; it makes them, in case you were going to say something stupid.

There is nothing that can be said or done to wake a people from their complicit dreaming who are so heavily invested in a way of life- who don’t want to see. I don’t believe there are any genuine conspiracies (X-files-style, I mean) or global schemes to keep people down. I do, however, believe that the American system is too prone to influence from the minds of corruptible humans who naturally operate in their best self-interest. There are no checks sufficient to stop this; each branch of government “checks” the other on paper only, and simply calling something a check doesn’t make it so. How much control does the president have over anything? How much control can a large body composed of divergent individuals possibly exercise? How much control can a small body composed of bipartisan individuals- each appointed by leaders with varying agendas- possibly wield? Not much. And no one can deny that, particularly in the last 20 years, politics have become more of a joke than ever, devolving into a marketing scam that seems to value little else than pacification and re-election. I’m sure politicians originally started using marketing and PR to secure their positions in order to execute their necessarily term-spanning agendas, but original purposes have become lost and people who maybe gave a bit of a rat’s tit have been replaced by bobble-headed dipshits who do little else than look good in expensive clothes and are able to read teleprompters.

Attractive, charismatic people are always smart.

It is in an entity’s self-interest to prosper, to continue prospering and to assure the prospering of their progeny. This instinct can and usually does run contrary to the best interest of a society at large, particularly when the wealthy work to use their filthy lucre to consolidate and control even more loot. Even worse than human greed, though, is human greed accelerated by the might offered by political position. The issue in the US’s governmental system is a lack of accountability. The government cannot be relied upon to check itself any more than your right hand can be relied upon to keep your left in line. Marketing machines work hard to distract and scatter American attention, making upholding political promises or even adherence to the basic tenets of our nation’s founding documents quaint notions of a long bygone age.

A system that has no standards for success or failure (such as the US government) can never fail. In science, this is referred to as unfalsifiability. If something is unfalsifiable, it’s bullshit. It’s a theory that says nothing. I imagine our political system is looked upon by most of its participants as a swollen udder, ripe and begging for milking. They know that it says nothing, they know that it IS nothing but at the same time, it offers all sorts of opportunities for financial gain and personal advancement within the business world at-large.

Because our government is unfalsifiable, there is no amount of outrage or wrong-doing that will undo it. On the other hand, rebellion in the face of a giant rule-enforcing entity that does not apply any rules to itself is masturbation. You do have options, though. Give up and watch the empire fall. Expatriate. Kill your gods. Stop buying. Say, “No!” as often as you can to those in power.

To fight an unfightable power, you dig in your heels and give-up. You defiantly throw in the white flag and refuse to participate. You commit to failure (which is, afterall, the punishment for not playing their games). Sabotage companies you work for. Vandalize advertisements. Awaken the somnambulant public to the ugliness of their passive existence. Force those in power to look down and see that the pedestal they’ve placed themselves on has had its column eroded to a toothpick while they’ve been admiring their erections in the mirror. Let them see they’ve left you with nothing left to lose and then maybe they’ll listen.  At least until you tell them that it’s necessary to dismantle everything and start over.  Then they’ll disappear you.  Regardless, you won’t be a fucking coward and at least your orphaned, homeless children will be able to recall you with pride.

On the other hand, if things work out, everybody shares an “ah-ha” moment and we all end up in the 3 dimensional world and in love.

1If, for example, our country stood for Freedom, there would be an amount of Freedom (however this is defined by an elected body prior to election) that it could strip away from its people or other countries’ people that would make its citizens no longer support it.

If, for example, our country stood for Individual Rights, there would be certain violations that, if committed, would make everyone angry enough to dismantle our power structure and start over from scratch. There are, if you’ve been paying attention the last 100 years, no lines in these regards that The US is unwilling to cross. Granted, they may be telling you that they wouldn’t or don’t do things like this, but they’re telling that to you from the other side of the line while pissing in your eyes; the fucked up part is that you sit there and take it (like a bitch).

Categories: Cannibalism, Capitalism, Death, Fighting, Happiness, Nietzsche | 1 Comment

Your Arm’s Got A Death In It

“That’s up to me, though, isn’t it? Anyway, that wall made of angry bears wearing rape masks looks like precisely the sort of thing I’d like to climb,” are sure to be my last words.

Sometimes I feel like a complete pussie.  I look at how cushy and safe everything I do is and it makes me disgusted with myself.  I don’t know what it is, but there’s something inside me that spurs me toward suffering.  Somewhere, buried deep underneath my yen for comfort and familiarity is a thing that wants to see me scarred and wounded, strung-out and unsuccessful, dead and dying, alone and lost.  This is why Tyler Durden’s fatalism appeals to me.  This is why I’m happy when I’m camping and it’s raining.  This is why I’m pleased when my bike breaks-down.  It isn’t until you’ve lost things important to you that you can begin to crush your desire for those things (comfort, serenity, underwear that fit, etcetera).  Sure, I could pursue mentally stable sexual partners, I could get a solid job and save money and invest in stocks and socks, but failure is more fun because I have to work.  And failure doesn’t always suck, even.  Sometimes, it results in transcendent, life-affirming moments (sunrises on remote, desolate highways, monkey fights on mountaintops, sharing a Shirley Temple with Frank Black).  Sometimes it results in near-death experiences (hooker kick-fights, nearly falling into pit-traps, stalling vehicles on railroad tracks in-line with oncoming trains, tense confrontations with armed men).  Usually it leads to a little of both, which isn’t necessarily good or bad so much as it simply IS and you can’t avoid something that IS, which is great.

Though, given the option, I’d avoid this guy.

I don’t think my preoccupation with morbid life-mess is unique at all, though.  I think most people are at least secretly obsessed with failure.  But the vast majority of people are “successful,” right?  I mean, they have jobs, spouses, lives, insurance, groceries and shit like this.  Maybe suckers are occupied with the blood and guts of existence because theirs have never been spilled at its altar?  I might be going somewhere with this; consider every movie ever made about heroin.  Why do these movies give so many people so many boners?  Why has everyone seen Trainspotting?  Maybe the same thing that makes those movies compelling for viewers makes the smack compelling to the characters?

Most people want to wield the social cache that tragedy gives us, I think.  Failure is glorified in many cultures in a clandestine sort of way.  Any John Wayne/Frank Castle character is only a bad ass because they had some serious failure/tragedy.  I mention this because I struggle to fail a lot.  I don’t think I know true tragedy at all which maybe makes me feel less bad ass.  I mean, no matter how hard I fail, I still have a middle-class upbringing, white skin, a decent education, the cognitive capacity to pass in the adult world (barely) and the behavioral protocols necessary to not kill every single one of you motherfuckers, so, I can never really, really lose everything.  I still flinch at pain, I still avoid death and I am still unwilling to utterly fuck myself over.

Though I have been thinking about getting a tan

Movies like Trainspotting or Requiem For A Dream all seem like slow train wrecks, yet they enthral us.  Stupid people doing stupid shit again and again until they’ve finally managed to permanently and profoundly fuck themselves into a hole. If movies are right, the only way middle class crackers can fail (in an un-Willy Loman sense) is if they get a joint bank account with the white lady.  Did you know that Heroin (trademark: Bayer) users rate cigarettes as more difficult to quit than horse?  There’s research to support the notion, as well.  Cigarette manufacturers are pimps and smokers are prostitutes.  If only I were all growed up, I could have the intellectual and ethical lack of substance to smoke.

Pictured: Corporate whore

I guess you do see a lot more suckers puffin’ on their camels than you do flippers shootin’ horse, but still, I grew up thinking that heroin was like a doorway to madness that claimed suckers hand over fist.  Movies always made that shit look like a one way trip to slinging handies next to a dumpster behind the 7-11.  That’s not really what it’s like, if science is to be trusted.  I mean, hell, I don’t know, but from what I’ve read, some people are just more prone to addiction than others and it matters not what they get addicted to.  Some people do fuck themselves into a hole and don’t stop until their wang is a smouldering hunk of char.  Then, they try to get out using the same heuristics they used to get in.  And no matter what your grandpa tells you, if you’ve banged your way into a hole, you cannot bang your way out.

“Let me tell you about your grandma’s sweet, sweet ass”

Part of me (and possibly everyone else) wants to see things from Dorian Gray’s perspective, you know?  Which makes me feel like a big god’am phoney; like Lara Flynn Boyle’s character in Happiness, and she makes me sick.  If you really get down to it, even people who are experiencing things have no insight into what they’re experiencing, so maybe experience is worthless.  Maybe you shouldn’t give credence to the old “don’t knock it til you’ve tried it” chestnut?  Fun Science Fact: when given the power to make choices about our lives and happiness, we usually choose less well for ourselves than friends (and often strangers) choose for us.  Daniel Gilbert writes an interesting and entertaining book about this general subject called, Stumbling On Happiness, if you’re really curious about how terrible we are at using “experience” (if you can call it that) to make decisions about our future, I strongly encourage you to read it.  Happiness aside, I’ve often wondered how much of our experience is stored in a way where it’s useful or relevant to us.  What do we remember of the things that have happened to us?  Beyond scant details and broad-strokes, not much.  And even those things are subject to interpretations and rarely reflective of the reality of the situation.

Jennifer Connelly chooses the double D in Requiem For A Dream in exactly the same way you buy a new car or take your girlfriend’s shit or listen to your idiot boss for one more day.  She presumes that it’s what she wants to do; it’s what will make her happy.  Her insight into her happiness is as flawed as everyone else’s in the world, though.  In the long run, it would have been a far better choice for Jennifer to go home, have a nice cup of tea and maybe think about redecorating her apartment and/or starting over.  Instead of pondering recessed lighting, she ends up naked and contemplating her life choices on the floor of a party that’s the kind of filthy you only read about in wet magazines clinging to the floor tiles in truck stops.

“Is that a new wall sconce you got up there? Yeah. That’s nice. Been thinking about getting one of those.”

Being faced with some dark times of my own and trying to wrap my brain around the whys and wherefors, I’m left with a question: assuming one can knock the shit out of something without trying it and that we have no insight into what will make us happy and that I want to avoid self-delusional bullshit (as much as a cunt such as myself can), what am I supposed to do to live my life in a genuine way while simultaneously having an awesome time AND tragically round-housing death straight in the cock?

The answer comes to me hidden in an Oscar Wilde poem:

Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a scooter.

(Above emphasis is my own)  Scooter Trip. I’m not sure if Oscar wanted me to kill a scooter trip or somehow use the trip to slay ennui.  Either way, metaphysical weaponry will be wielded and the streets will run red.

If the rest of the poem had it right, I’ll also be immortal while on this trip, so that’s a plus.

As you can see, I’ve planned my route on an old-tymey map.  I’m hoping that this will translate to me finding dragons, treasure or dragons made out of treasure.  We’ll see, though.  I’m leaving in February of 2013 and I should be finished in June.  I’ve got my current route taking me from Saigon to Hanoi, then into China.  I’ll make it through China (visa difficulties abound, and I’m having trouble sorting a license, but I’m not too concerned) then drive into Kyrgyzstan/Kazakhstan/Uzbekistan and then into Russia.  From Russia I’ll drive through Georgia and Turkey, then take a ferry to Cyprus.  I’ll go from Cyprus to Lebanon and then into Israel and across the Sinai into Egypt and stop in Cairo.  My Aunt and Uncle always wax apocalyptic about my trips (they once swore that my cousin – who is more awesome than even myself – and I would both certainly be drowned by the Wapsipinicon River, which is just a regular river and completely bereft of rapids, falls and the like.  That said, my uncle once forced my still-drunk, teen-aged cousin up a tree with a running chainsaw, so… they may not have best insight into how deadly an activity is).  That said (again), this trip is probably the most dangerous thing I’ve ever done, so any ill omens they see when they toss their bones or whatever might be accurate.  I mean, if you predict anything grounded in reality enough, it will eventually come true, right?  The law of averages, for fuck’s sake.  Anyway, this is tongue-kissing-a-pit viper-level shit, right here. Applying the Transitive Property, that also makes it the most awesome thing I’ve ever done.  So, come July 2013, I’ll either be dead, a toothless whore in a brothel for businessmen with low standards in the Balkans or invincible.  So, if you’ve been a dick to me, you have 6.5 months to apologize before I’ve either become a mouldering corpse or an unstoppable killing machine.  If I’ve been a dick to you, you have the same amount of time to come to me and apologize for whatever thing you did that made me act like a dick, dick.

That’s a blog!

Categories: Death, Driving, Happiness, J.D. Salinger, Nietzsche, Scooters, vespa, vietnam | 2 Comments

New Photos Up

Yo: check out my photo page for all the pictures from my trip through the Central Highlands. They’re fresh as hell. You may not regret seeing some of them.

See you in Hell,

Sweetchuckyb

Categories: Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Luxuriously Rinsing at the Bidet of Life

I just spent a span of days in a luxury suite at the Vinpearl Island resort. Swanky? Yes. Humbling? No. Outside the range of what I could reasonably spend per day? Most definitely. Fortunately, I have a family whose children I tutor like there’s no tomorrow (you never know, right?) and they paid for it all. Granted, I did have to baby-sit a bit, but there’s nothing wrong with that and, bog help those children, for all their short-comings, they know not to cross me. Under any circumstances. Ever.

This is Robot Banana. His English is great.

 

David and Nhi

This is David and Nhi relaxing in the hotel lobby

We departed by train (“Luxury cars!” Kevin was quick to point out; the cabins were lined with realish wood panelling and there were automatic sliding doors AND the toilets were the sit kind, not the squat kind) late at night to sleep away the ride to Nha Trang. This is a good idea in theory, but in practice, David eats too much snack-food and 7Up and ends up barfing all over himself in the middle of the night. “You okay, buddy? Imma go get your mom, okay?” I said groggily.

While you, reader, might think that this barfing incident was a portent of things to come, you are too quick to jump to filthy conclusions. Nothing bad happened for the remainder of the trip. Well, I had to switch from the kid car to the adult car because Kevin and David’s mom was sleeping in my bunk to be near David. And, I eventually had to go back to the kid car and curl up on the sanitary end of the puke bed because the adults were snoring like freight trains (or maybe there were freight trains?), shivering underneath the clean end of a desecrated blanket, I wondered how many 30 year old men engage in situations like this with their dignity intact. Certainly none that I know of.

Fuck cats

I’d sleep in kid puke before I’d even pet a cat. Fuck cats.

Holy shit, though, we rolled into Nha Trang at 4 something in the morning, had breakfast at some crappy hotel with a shuttle service to Vinpearl and then rode a speed-boat to the island. I’d be lying if I told you that my face wasn’t pressed up against a porthole, me squealing with delight, for the entire ride.

Kev-O and Nhi on the poop deck. I'm very new-age about poop decks: anywhere I poop is a deck. I'm open-mindeder than hell.

 

My room was fucking amazing.  Me saying that is like a Russian telling you that an outfit is tasteful, though.  I’m poor and excess grosses me the fuck out.  I don’t really aspire to luxurious knowledge and experiences, I mean, so I don’t really know a god-am thing about it.  Speaking of Russians,Vinpearl Luxury Resort was lousy with ‘em.  They weren’t regular Russians, either.  Five years ago, I would have had trouble picking Russians out of an international crowd.  Now I can spot the difference between a Russian Mafioso and a Russian oil rig worker from a quarter mile.  I can also identify their wives and children.  Vinpearl was Mafia as hell.  There’s a reason that Dolph Lungren’s character in Rocky IV wasn’t believable as a Russian boxer- 1) his face wasn’t a ziploc bag of lumpy turnips and 2) his facial features weren’t all piled up around his nose like hobos around a barrel fire.  Imagine a luxury resort populated by Cro-Magnon, baby-faced, crew-cutted men who carry 50 of their 150 pounds on their gut, each with a pile of wife-meat sporting bleach-blonde Betty Paige wigs.  Welcome to my four days on Vinpearl Island.

Like this guy, but nuder and with a lady-shaped bag of pudding

My room was luxurioser than hell.  I can’t even begin to describe how nice it was to have a hot bath.  Also: a hot bidet.  I don’t even know what bidets are really for, yet.  I mean, sure, I bathed my butt-parts in it, but I can’t imagine that people really use them for that.  Whenever a lady says, “I’m going to freshen up,” I imagine that she’s doing something arcane with a bidet in another room.  If you need to bathe your third eye in Christian baby blood, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to not be bothered by you making.  Especially if it ends in sex.  With me.

This tub could accommodate my legs fully extended, which doesn't sound like much until I remind you that Vietnam was designed for Oompa Loompas.

Why is there toilet paper next to the bidet? What do you do with it when you're done? Why aren't there instructions? 3 seashells are easier to understand than this.

 

 

The shower was nice as hell, too.  Huge shower head, hot water as far as my scalded eyes could see and glass walls so any un-knocking maids could viddy well my naked splendor.

When god pictures a shower, she pictures something slightly shittier than this.

The shower head itself was as big as cats.  Huge.  If you don’t believe me, I have a picture:

Completely lime free.

That’s a quality shower head.  Also, there were no light switches.  Instead, by the bedside, they had unnecessary LCD control pads.  Not that they weren’t nice or whatever.  I also had my own pool and a bed which more resembled a comfy mountain carved from sexy, linen clouds.  When you lie down in this bed, you sink into the cottony softness like that scene in Trainspotting with the carpet.  Looking up from your blissful sinkhole, you might notice that the fancy painted picture on the wall has its own light!!!  And that light?  You can turn it off and on with the LCD interface.  Fucking space-age shit over here.

 

Piles of bedstuff.

Like the deadly hands of a radium clock...

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what a rocket ship's control panel looks like.

Their swimming pools were beautiful and the place was surprisingly empty given that it was a Vietnamese holiday.  I took the kids to the Adventure Park and the Water Park.  The last time I was there I was with a super fine lady, so this time was less exciting, but it wasn’t bad.  Also, I was wearing khaki shorts which are NOT ALLOWED in the waterpark.  Sorry.  If you want to wear khaki shorts (it’s a color, not a cloth, people), you have to take your business elsewhere, ’cause you ain’t riding on shit, junior.  I also rented bikes with the kids.  That was weird because they really couldn’t ride them; they hadn’t any experience with riding bikes in open places where they could go fast.  They kept forgetting to brake and crashing into stuff, which was awesome to watch.

 

So, Vinpearl is nice as hell.  More than I could ever afford to spend.  It’s kind of disheartening that I couldn’t afford to go there again, but I wouldn’t want to so it’s not all that spirit crushing (that ain’t sour grapes, either).  I get uncomfortable in really nice surroundings.  Because of my upbringing, I’ve always been able to pass socially, but I really don’t feel at home in places like that.  I feel like I have to be overly nice to the staff to make up for their smiling subservience.  I don’t need to be reminded that I have money all the time.  Not only because I don’t have money, but also because I’m not an insecure, classist douche-nozzle.

Check’t: I totally scrumped whilst reverse slumming it:

Scrumpin' mangoes like it warn't no thang.

 

So… Vinpearl is great.  Nice, well-maintained and utterly dissimilar to every where else in Vietnam.  If I had rich relatives who wanted to enjoy ‘Nam, I’d recommend that they go there.  Everybody else can get ripped off at shitty, roach-sodden hotels like the rest of us schlubs.

 

If they keep high-fiving like that, they'll get hairy palms.

 

I came home and was glad to be in a place that was mine where I didn’t feel ashamed of the crapulence around me.  Wait!  I forgot: I had to use a coin-operated toilet.  It was a little confusing and smelled like a cheap cab, but it did its job.  Here’s a photographic narrative:

Toilets shouldn't require instructions.

 

That's my pee! Mom is so proud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press "Close" to die in this steel box of asphyxiation; Press "Open" to die outside of this steel box at an undetermined place and time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoiler alert: Coin-Operated bathrooms end like The Matrix starts: with a binary choice that is kind of irrelevant.

Enjoy your time outside the steel box, yo.

 

That’s a blog.

Categories: Capitalism, Death, Happiness, Uncategorized, vietnam, vietnamese | 4 Comments

Balls On The Table

It was sticky-sweet hot in Saigon last night. Triumphantly rolling back into town at 4AM had worn me out, but I needed to see my main man in Saigon, Stu. So, Josh, Yoon, Jackie and I met at the vegetarian place by the bridge to have dinner with Stu (and Leo) and drop some yarns, which we did. Jackie had a show, so she had to leave, and Leo is lame as
hell, but everyone else migrated to the pool hall to shoot some flipping stick.

image

Pictured: Stu, Islington Fats and Yoon.

The poolhall was nice. It’s on Nguyễn Trọng Tuyển, across from Mien Dong Thao.

image

You can also access it from the alley just West of here.

It was fun as hell. And you can cross the street for some Sinh To afterward. Easy as fishing.

Check it:

Anyway, I’m back. Developing photos right now should be posting shortly. Vacation was life-affirming. Shouldn’t vocations be as such?

Holla

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Toad Movie To Pham Thiet

Today Josh saved a frog and a toad’s life. They were doomed to a cisterny grave and Josh scooped them out with a hoe (not Jackie or Yoon, but rather a farming implement).  We stopped to scope out a vista to uppercut all vistas and ended up saving some amphibians. It was neat because the view was so expansive and the creatures/our focus was so small.

We’re at a particularly placid roadside cafe overlooking a river:

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You can turn your head sidewise and pretend you're here.

We had a big lunch and now we’re all taking naps on hammocks. Shit ain’t bad.

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Silhouetted against the muddy river, something something something

In the distance someone is straining against a karaoke machine and a cool breeze is blowing through the trees.  This is a welcome change to the roaring headwinds and furnace-like temperatures we drove through earlier. It reminded me of the drive into Northern California from Oregon. One minute you’re in a mountainous, cool, forested area, the next the mountains drop away and you’re swooping like a pendulum into and expansive blast-oven.

We drove past a kick ass hydro-power damn and a government housing area that I’m assuming was built for the dam workers. The homogeny of the houses in their dirty, uncompromising rows was a bit sad to look at, but it went by fast. Welcome to the machine, suckers.

I love dogs. They’re great. People who love cats are douche bags. Dogs in Vietnam are weird because people abuse them. It’s so hard to get them to trust you, which sucks because the dogs get little chance to play with friendly humans.

We’re heading out. Talk to you suckers in Pham Thiet.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Un-cry These Tears

image

This guy could not stop laughing.

Breakfast was good this morning (Toni Braxton aside). The hotel operator laughed like a fucking maniac whenever he had to speak to us. Shit got pretty creepy. Regardless, brotha knows how to make him some eggs. The kitchen was jam packed with good smells, bread and super legit honey. Chillies frying! Seriously. It was better than you’d expect just looking at the establishment or the town, in general.

I bought Jackie new shoes because
she’s mostly crazy and refused to get new ones herself. Her old shoes tried to kill her several times yesterday. She bitched about the make of the shoes, but she should have been more appreciative of the fact that they carry giantess sizes in a town that small.

image

We've got a footloose!

________________________

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Stopping to don raingear.

We made it to Da Lat without incident. It was a decent ride today. We drove from Dong Rung, Middle of Nowhere, (on QL27 between Buon Ma Thuot and Da Lat) to Da Lat fairly quickly. We barely evaded a storm enroute:

We pulled into the hotel just as the sky opened up and pissed it down. Hien An is a good, cheap hotel in Da Lat, by the way.

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This hotel ain't bad, if you're in Da Lat. 180,000VND/Ngay

I wholeheartedly recommend it. It’s a couple hundred meters from the backpacker area down Phan Dinh Phung.

We’ve decided to take a stab at another jungle tomorrow. We’re driving down to Phan Thiet tomorrow and going through a National park rather than taking a National Highway. Our reasoning being: we’re awesome.

We’ll snag the afternoon train to Saigon Friday at 2 and be home by 6. OH, YES! EXCITEMENT!

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Or cakes. Whichever comes first.

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Welcome to the Bungle

Today we drove through the jungle. Like, we drove through a fucking jungle. I mean, some people may have done some shit, but I’ve driven a 1965 Vespa Sprint through a jungle over a precarious and crumbling stick bridge and through river beds in the fucking rain. I’ve piloted a scooter to places heretofore unseen by the likes of scooter enthusiasts. I’ve navigated my way down a cascading road of slick clay through rushing torrents of water, narrowly missed sheer cliffs, drop-offs and land-slides and lived to tell the tale. Suffice to say, there aren’t many pictures because it was actually really fucking dangerous (no joke) and Jackie was being a super puss because she fell off my bike. Fell off. That’s right. We were barrelling up and down jungle trails barely wide enough to accommodate a small circus monkey and I’m struggling to keep the bike upright and the front wheel ahead of the back and Jackie has the gall to fall off.

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These pants were dirtied with my own, personal brand of pudding.

Anyway, we made it out alive. We were fairly lost for a good couple of hours, but we’re okay in a cheap hotel room, which is better than great (the fact that we’re okay, I mean. The hotel room has a squat toilet and more bugs than a Looney Tunes Marathon).  We just played Canasta and ate 1.5 lbs of yogurt a piece. Each one of us did that. It’s shameful and impressive. Or degrading and disappointing. Or whatever. Either way, I’m full of yogurt and in some small amount of pain due to the jarring and strenuous nature of the ride today as well as the weird muscles used to maintain vertical status while carooming (a word) down bauxite-lubed paths.

It’s time for bed. We’re all safe and sound and looking forward to tomorrow’s ride. We’re getting to Da Lat and chilling out there for a minute. 

Also, for posterity’s sake, it should be noted that after a single beer Joshua Beresford Morgan becomes less aware of the weird noises he makes: case and point, he literally moaned in pleasure while savoring some yogurt licked from his yogurt pack’s foil lid.  It was a straight up porno moan. It was genuine, too.

That’s a blog. Sniff you jerks later.

Addendum: my hotel neighbor is listening to Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak My Heart” on repeat and has been for the last 30 minutes. Awesome. Just. Awesome.

Final Addendum: “Unbreak My Heart” lasted for 2 and a half hours. This morning it’s something shitty and different on repeat. I say that thankfully.

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