i dont know what happened, but somehow we’ve become ridiculously lazy over the last few days. maybe lazyness just promotes more lazyness in some vicious cycle. who knows. but we’ve spent the last 4 days doing pretty much nothing. sleeping in till noon. hitting up restaurants. i get the feeling like maybe at some point you just *need* familiar stuff from back home. even if that stuff really isn’t that great, and even if you’re not consciously wanting it, somewhere deep inside, it feels nice when you get it. lets see:
we’ve spent time wandering around the mall and seeing what it has to offer. although we didnt find anything all that exciting, it was nice just to wander around and windowshop. i keep realizing how much i miss having a cell phone. back home i would never leave home w/out it. it’s crazy to think just how much of a fixture it was in my life. of course, it’s not like i know anyone out here who would call me, but i still look at cellphones enviously.
we saw a movie at a thai movie theater. the movie wasn’t anything spectacular, but hey, i think my standards for movies have dropped since i’ve seen hardly any in the last 7 months. it was nice just to get to see something on a big screen. one interesting thing about thai movie theaters is that there is assigned seating. when you buy your ticket, you choose which seat you will sit in, and different seats in the theater cost different prices depending on where they are. also, before every movie, they play this little montage about the king. there’s theme music and everything. everyone in the theater is expected to stand up during this montage. i thought it was realy cool for some reason. people here *love* the king. he’s really respected by everyone, and from what i hear he’s been a great leader. for some reason, i think it’s really cool to see people who have this huge sense of pride in their government… of course, on the flipside, if we had a movie montage of george bush before each movie back home, i think i might have to leave the theater so as not to have to throw up.
i’ve downloaded a bunch of new music and put it on my mp3 player. sheez, i miss listening to new music. back at home, i’d get new music like crazy. sometimes i’d get 5-10 new albums each week. i was always on top of what new releases were coming out, new artists, etc etc. now, i’m damn clueless. 7 months without having any news of what’s going on in music. luckily though, w/ blazing connection speeds here in thailand, i’ve been able to download stuff: the new beck album (guero), the new gorillaz (demon days), the new fischerspooner, the new sage francis (healthy distrust), Lcd soundsystem. ahhhhh, much better.
another thing i’ve really been missing is news. i usually have no clue about what’s going on in the world. other than absolutely huge events like the tsunami or death of the pope, i hear of pretty much nothing. every once in a while i’ll buy a time magazine to get a peek at what’s going on. yesterday i got one and it happened to have a huge article on the 100 most influential people of the year. i was really shocked and pleased that my favorite author, dave eggars, was one of them. of course, as always is the case w/ the news, not all of it was good. i cant believe about all these crazy riots in china. also, the magazine mentioned some statistics that i found absolutely insane. the number of executions worlwide last year was about 3,700. out of those, guess how many china was responsible for? 1000?? 2000?? nope. around 3,400. unfuckingbelieveable. of course, the USA, eager to be on any top ten list, was the country with the 4th largest amount of executions.
the other thing that’s been whirling about in my mind is trying to decide what we’re gonna do next. we’ve been following a loose itinerary for the last 7 months, and now we’re at a decision making point. some countries just have to be skipped… no matter how much we wanna see them. but how to decide which ones? unfortunately we cant just keep inserting more and more countries into our trip… this is because we have certain dates that are totally fixed in our itinerary, and so we have to fit things around them. here are our dilemnas as i see them:
we are now in thailand. we need to be in japan on may 20th no matter what (to meet my brother). this means we have 1 month till then. in S.E. Asia, we would love to see vietnam, malaysia, and indonesia. but, even w/ our aggressive speed at traveling, somehow 3 countries in 1 month is ludicrous. even two countries in that time makes no sense. we have to limit it to just one, which means the other two get skipped :(.
the next fixed date we have is august 1st. we absolutely have to be in kenya on august 1st or else we’ll be getting to africa during the rainy season and we’ll be completely screwed. this means we have from july 15th (after japan) to august 1st free. what should we do during that time? we want to see china. but we also were kind of hoping to see russia. or, we could head back down and see the SE Asia countries that we missed. also, another thought is that it might be nice to go to ethiopia (africa’s undiscovered gem, aparently). arrrggghhh! how to decide?! and also, if we do decide to go to russia, that means we’ll probably take the transsiberian railway. on one hand that sounds like a really fun adventure. on the other hand, a whole week sitting on a train could be a total nightmare. it’s tough to guage in advance. *sigh*. it’s funny to see how even a whole year abroad is just not even close to enough time!!