A Travellerspoint blog

Eggdrop soup and sweaters that scream "I'm going to Aspen".

Days have moved faster and now I've nosedived into what becomes "less than a month territory".
Apparently people are so desperate to get abroad these days, or more rather get their things abroad. I recently returned from the post office ten minutes ago where in the midst of a packed line full of package shippers, one woman cut in front of all of us to demand that she needed one stamp. One stamp is all I need, she said, just one stamp. Alright the man replies, as he reaches for his stamp booklet she interjects with, I need one stamp to Germany.

Well if all the old biddies behind me weren't already fuming with anger at her cutting in front of them, they are now foaming at the mouth at her special foreign request. Very loudly they began muttering amongst themselves, "well I just NEED one stamp too", "well I just needed ONE question answered", but they don't say it to her, they wont address it to her, they just mock her loudly behind the vinyl partition counter. Which is all the more great for me, because at this point I am just gagging with giggles. The snowman sweater mafia of grandmas next to me continues to do this for sometime and the woman grows more indignant at their jeering. "Well Jan, I'm going to say something, I just have to say something", but she doesn't. They look at me with tender but strained expressions inviting me to join in on their jeers but I'm not angry, I'm snug in my sweater so I decline the offer with my eyes. I can already hear their conversation in her nicer, but respectable Volvo sedan, " The nerve of that woman!". I can picture one of them using the b term, but that's only if they are feeling frisky. They will most likely bring it up at the dinner table, to their husbands, and it will be their story of the day. If only I could wish for anything so simple.

Yesterday I escorted my mother to Macy's with her wheelbarrow of coupons for a little light shopping trip that plagued her with guilt the whole way. Along the isle of synthetic department store silks that have the priced intention of looking nice, I spotted up on high to the right, a knit shawl collar sweater that screamed, "Im going to Aspen". My facination half stemmed from the fact that it was beautiful, along with the fact there was no possible way I would need it in three months of eighty degree asian dry season. I scowled at Calvin Klein's Aspen apsirations and walked away from it, only to have my mother joyously spot it five minutes later. It was more of a declaration of my departure to a land thousands of miles away then it was about my desire to not buy it. I'm going to Aspen! sweater became more a symbol than I hoped it would be when I first looked at it, as something nice and not worn reminds you that you will be wearing it later rather than being able to think of nothing other than being thousands of miles away. What was I supposed to do in this situation?

Mom bought the sweater with glee and the same evening after meeting a few friends at a biker bar named Wanker's Corner, hair in curls with pearl earrings, it stunk of ciggarette smoke forever more. So it goes.

Posted by rumpypumpy 10:42 Archived in Thailand Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Skin of the future

3 °C

I sometimes wonder why I spend such time arranging my clothes, given the fact that I'm aware the moment I arrive in Thailand there will be little care about objects in a material sense on my part, other than the cultural objects contained within a country, I know my attention can't be divided that way. I remember distinctly going to Kiev, and the weeks that endured before that trip all of the packing was a void attempt.

The packing and repacking one focuses on before a trip of epic proportions serves as an attempt to visualize the person and feelings I intend to embody when I am in Thailand. The clothes serve as some type of tangible reflection of an openness or willingness to interact, to leave negative appropriations of the self at home, not here. It is the only representational vehicle I bring with me from home to express an emotion or message that I want to convey in the future. They are a representational objects I try to derive future meaning out of. They are skin I embed with meaning, they are my skin in the future.

It is either selfish or honest to realize that traveling for most people has far more of a therapeutic purpose than one of cultural understanding. Thailand being a vacation mainstay for Australians lends to the fact that its tropical, far enough but close enough (a requirement of mainstream vacation destinations), cheap, and western friendly. I have no conviction Australians travel to Thailand for cultural awakening, though I don't judge them for this action, I myself don't hold sterile convictions as to why I myself am traveling to mainland southeast Asia. To solidify my purpose as a world citizen, to expand my vision of the globe, to further my knowledge of international energy policy, to bask in natural beauty on a modest budget, to understand peoples of another culture whose religious world views are expansive, to experience life from a distinctly eastern perspective, to experience a culture outside of my own with a loved one. All of these are the fabric and intentions of a three month trip, however they evolve and in the end emulate their creator, if I steer off course, they become an intention and not a force that shapes my experience. I have to be faithful to them, as they have to be faithful to me or we both turn to hedonism of being a rich westerner in an inexpensive country where you can loaf on academic credit and shop, which is just whimsical spilled milk no one makes you cry over.

Posted by rumpypumpy 12:27 Archived in USA Tagged preparation Comments (0)

On the verge of the 1 month curse

Charming the one eyed snake of anticipation

rain 36 °C
View Golden Triangle on rumpypumpy's travel map.

Indeed, this is my first start to documenting my trip to SE Asia, and so far all I've been able to document is the tension of not yet being on the plane that has become white noise through my day. There is no anxiety, because I seem to value that I am not there just as greatly as I long to go there. Its strange how man and nature manage to balance out their state of mind.

Already, I have started planning out packing options: different materials, cramming in them different positions. piles, bundles rolls. There are lots of blues, whites, bright satsuma oranges that originate from one loud cardigan I can't seem to not pack although I can't need it. ever. Minimal black, I see too many people revert to wearing black here in the states as an easy point of reference, and my distaste for its easy lack of expression is growing. Therefore one black spandex item other than my knickers is coming with. A few stern pencil skirt blues, gause whites, screaming tangerines, a worn through silken green dress that feels more like a petal than a fabric, a cerulean pastel wrap dress. No pants, no constrictions.
Seeing those colors rolled up pig in a blanket formations at the base of my leather saddle pouch is a consistent hobby until January 7th. Whatever it is, its crack and I will be content to arrange and rearrange from dawn till dusk till January 7th.

Posted by rumpypumpy 19:33 Archived in USA Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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