Friday, July 31, 2009

jungin vietnam

Hey folks, herbiberous here.

Heading out to the East Arm this weekend, to pull in a 200-year old Jackfish I'm going to dub 'old General Sherman.'

Seeing as I won't be around, here's another chapter in Jung's Asian Odyssey to tide you over. Here, Jung details his tour in 'Nam.



SO we made it to Vietnam! Ho Chi Minh city, or as it used to be called Saigon.

Every morning when we wake up Ed asks me "what are you gonna wear today? I think you should go with the camo shorts, or maybe you should wear the camo shorts." OK, so I only brought one pair of shorts, and a pair of swimmin trunks. But I brought a bunch of drawers and a few shirts, so whats the big deal? But yeah, all the pics I eventually post will feature the same wardrobe. One of the 5 shirts I brought and the camo shorts. My hat needs to be thrown out yesterday too. The Asian broads at customs always ask me if I'm in the army. I tell em "no, but I carry a big gun." No I don't, I'm an idiot.

If I thought driving a motorbike in Thailand was crazy I couldn't even imagine thinking about doing it in Vietnam. I swear to god in Saigon motorbikes outnumber cars 100 to 1. I'm not lying. They have entire lanes that only bikes ride in, but the bikes ride in teh car lanes too. Thankfully everyone drives slow, and when you get cut off by a bike 65 times per hour you kinda get over the road rage that plagues us in Canada. We waited in traffic for 40 minutes to travel 3 blocks in rush hour the other day while I swear 10,000 motorbikes drove by. I'm fuckin serious, 10,000 bikes drove by, they go up on the sidewalk and just keep bike traffic moving while the meter kept running. Everyone drives a bike. If you drive a car in Saigon, you're either a cabbie, or a sucker. Or both.

So, the key in Saigon when crossing the street is to just walk in a steady pace and keep going, and no one will hit you. At least thats what I saw. Our cabbie stopped at three different hotels to find us one for $20 (which was actually pretty nice). I was like "oh shit, he just got hit, oh no he didn't" next stop, "oh shit, he's dead for sure... wait a second." By the third time I was like, this guy is a superhero or some shit, he moved through traffic like the wind through the willows. Literary gems folks. I'll be here all week.

In Asia no one tips especially the Aussies or Brits who comprise the majority of the stupid fat white people out here so when we drop a bit of a tip people are amazed. I had one old man who looked like he was 90 and had a back transplant done with a rubber spine by a blind guy try and carry my bags to our hotel room cause I tipped him $2. I said "sir, I don't even feel safe with you driving, standing, or even breathing, let alone carrying my bag." At least mine has next to nothing in it, so he didn't bend too much farther over as he piggy backed me up the 3 flights of stairs.

So after getting checked in we decided to get some fat (word to Jim Mullan). A while ago, Jim and I were talking and he said he wanted some fat. I asked him what he was talking about and he said "fat, you know, food." So we went to this diner in Kentville, Nova Scotia and got donair meat on a stick, which was then deep fried. If you're in Kentville ever, go to the diner on the hill by the hospital and ask for a "billy stick." If your arteries immediately harden as I've heard 1 in 7 do after a billy stick, the hospital is within staggering distance. Since that glorious day me and my crew just refer to all food as fat. 

Alas, I digress.

On our way to fat (its also a verb), this lady stops us with a stack of books about 25 books high and says you want books? As I glanced at the stack I saw a few lonely planet guidebooks and since we of course have no book for India I asked her if she had India. She said "yes, hold on" which meant no, but I can get it. She dropped the stack of books at our feet and RAN across the insane traffic (not looking) to a store, then we watched as she ran across the street again to a store next to where we were standing. Then she came flying out the store and like a spectre flew through traffic a third time (why she didn't attack the stores on the same side of the road at once, I'm not sure) and then she showed up pouring sweat looking like she just got out the shower with the India lonely planet guidebook. She was so out of breath I was thinking, I could grab all her books and calmy walk away from her and she has no energy to catch me. So she handed me the book and gasped out "$10 sir." I looked at the poor woman who now needed a half hour in the shade and a cold drink and told her "$10? No way, I'll give you $3." 

She looked so dejected and before she had a chance to say "no sir, $10" or what I would have said "you asshole, I almost got turned into roadkill so you fat white jerkoffs can go and get robbed in India" I said "i'm just joking ma'am heres your money." She also had 1984 by George Orwell, so I bought that too for $5. No thanks to Morgan, or Stu-Tang, or Predator, or Jackie, or any of the rest of you I asked to borrow it from. In truth I told them they needed to "give" it to me, cause the odds of it coming back are pretty minimal. When I told Morgan I wanted it he was like "well, are you gonna bring it back?" When I said no, Wade looked at me like I've never seen him look at me before. He said "did I just hear that right? You told Morgan he was an asshole cause he wouldn't let you take a book of his and told him you weren't going to ever bring it back?" I said "yeah, whats wrong with that?"

Thats how I roll, I expect a lot from my friends. But I give back in so many ways. Take these posts for example. 

We decided that we were gonna go to the war museum after all, before the Bushes got their hands on the button, Vietnam was the war of our generation. Sure it ended before I was born, but I've seen Full Metal Jacket, Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July so I figured I was an expert. I realized that I'm just another stupid fat white person who watched these movies and believed that America was doing the right thing by being over there killing a bunch of people who don't look like me. GET SOME!!

For fear of treading on the cultural insensitivity I've been accused of in the past I won't get into the FACTS cause they get in the way of a good story, plus, some of the Americans might get pissed as they use this window to open a new porn browser (some of them videos take a while to load, or so I've been told).

The point is, America, FUCKED Vietnam. Plain and simple, they claimed the Vietnamese bombed a vessel of theirs in the surrounding waters so they had an excuse to open up complete genocide on these people, who I've grown fond of. Nevermind the fact that they killed 3 million people, 2 million of which were civilians, but they used a bunch of different Herbicides to defoliate the jungle in order to "gong the cong." Agent Blue, Purple, Green, Orange etc. Agent Orange was one of the worst ones as it had so much DDT poison in it. I'm sure this is not new to most people, but it was so upsetting to see the photos. DDT has now been banned by THE PLANET!

There is an entire section of the museum that showed all the birth defects that resulted from the Agent Orange. They sprayed it out the back of planes as they flew over the jungle, and unloaded something like 45 million litres of Agent Orange (and hundreds of millions of litres of other "agents") on the people that lived as peasants and rice farmers. The people are still being born backwards for fucks sake. There were pictures of people with three arms and half a spine and shit. There is a fetus in a jar, that I can't even describe it was so deformed and awful looking that I am gonna remember that for as long as I live.

I'm not gonna dwell on that shit, I mean, I can't say what I'd do if I was an American kid sent to war in Vietnam. I'd probably shoot anything that moved too. All in all, that museum was insane. There was a huge section of photos from American photographers who had been killed while taking pictures and some of them were crazy. One picture was of a group of Vietnamese peasants probably 3 families who looked genuinely terrified like they were literally staring down the barrel of loaded M-16's. The photo had the caption, and I'm paraphrasing here "we came upon this group and the guys were shooting anything that moved 'I screamed WAIT WAIT WAIT and took this photo, as I turned my back I heard the gunfire and couldn't bring myself to look back."

The picture had 5 or 6 children in it. I'm talking children, like too small to walk on their own, in their mothers arms. Brutal.

As an aside download the song Uncommon Valor. Its by Jedi Mind Tricks and its about the Vietnam war. The second verse is a true story about this guys dads experience in Vietnam. Towards the end of the song the guy says that his dad was so affected by agent orange that when he came back his mother gave birth to his brother and sister who were both born handicapped. The US still won't address any of the survivors of Agent Orange.

I'm wandering again, I know. 

I bought another fuckin book outside the museum which was Robert Macnamaras IN RETROSPECT. He was the secretary of defense at the time of the Vietnam war and it was written after the war and he admits in it apparently that the US was so wrong and did so many awful things and should never have been there, I've got Orwell to deal with first though.

Oh by the way, I opened the books, every page has been photocopied and bound together. The people in Asia are mad resourceful, they photocopied 500 pages of a new york times bestseller and sold it to me for $5. I swear I'm gonna start lookin for work in Asia. I might actually buy a photocopier and set up shop in a $5 a night hostel and make a killing. I'm gonna start with the Da Vinci Code or Lord of the Flies maybe. 

I'm all over the place with this one I realize, I'm being even more random than Herb. By the way check his blog out at He's a cynical prick I went to University with, but funny as hell. Great guy too, even if he's a Canucks fan and a complete hater of the Flames.

After looking at all the insane artillery that the US dropped on the people we went to Cu Chin to see "the tunnels." I was drunk the night before and passed out about 3 minutes into the drive and apparently snored the whole way to the tunnels which were 45 minutes away. I asked Ed why he never punched me or something, and he said that him and the cabbie were laughing too hard to stop me. If anyone has heard me snore, that shit is no joke. I'm surprised Ed never pushed me out the cab. For the record, Ed snores like a bastard too so to counter the insomnia the malaria pills are inducing, we've started taking "other" pills to help us sleep, so if we do wake up in the night, its a nightmare to get back to sleep cause the other one is deep in sleep snoring like hell. In Asia the beds are close enough to touch each other, so basically, Ed and I have literally been snoring in each others ears for 3 weeks now. If I make it back alive from this trip I'm off everything, even Tylenol, I swear, I'm lying.

The Vietnamese dug these elaborate tunnels that were like 200km long and went all the way to the Cambodian border, which the US bombed the shit out of too by the way.

But yeah the tunnels are insane. People would stay in them for up to three months at times. Thousands of people underground to escape the Americans. They would eat, sleep, cook, everything in them. They were so narrow that I was feeling claustrophobic when I went in them. Eds tall ass was draggin and scrapin and gettin pounded in them, he was on his knees the whole way through as we went through them. The Vietnamese soldiers would cook early in the morning, and release the smoke at dusk 150 metres away from the cooking area so it looked like fog to the US planes. We saw a bomb crater from a bomb dropped from a B-52 bomber. The crater was 35 years old and grown over but was still 25 feet in diameter and like 20 feet deep. 

Then they showed us the booby traps that the Vietnamese made with fragments from the US bombs. They were amazing. They would sharpen the shards of bombs into spikes and make all kinds of crazy trap doors that would end your Vietnam vacation pretty quickly. Not that I'm rooting for the Cong or anything, war is fucked, plain and simple, but they were ingenious. To fall in one of those traps, you wouldn't be begging to be pulled out, you'd be begging to be shot by your teammates.

Anyways, I'm done ranting about the Vietnam war. Do a bit of googling, or consult the worlds most reputable encyclopedia, WIKIPEDIA and read. Its amazing what you can learn when you use your eyes for things other than watching porn and doing liquid acid. Or so I've been told.

We went to the market for lunch the next day and walked through the fish section where we saw them gutting some of the weirdest looking fish I've ever seen. Some of them shits looked like fuckin dinosaurs I swear. It was bizarre. Flies all over the food, I was kinda like "should we be eating this?" Ed looked at me as if to say "whats wrong with you?" So we sat down and since no one spoke english we just pointed at our stomachs and then our mouths. Everyone sitting around us laughed at the two fat white boys, and pointed and yammered along in Vietnamese, which is one weird sounding language. What we got was two bowls of soup with some weird lookin meat and some weird lookin vegetables and some weird lookin shit floating on top. It was truly the weirdest lookin bowl of soup I've ever eaten, but it was delicious, absolutely amazing. It was so insanely hot in the market that the sweat was pouring off us as we loaded the hot sauce into it. I swear I'm comin back to Vietnam and next time I'm spending a lot more time here. Folks, I only went to one city for three days, and this is how I feel. I can't wait to see more of it. Predator gave me a list of cities to visit, but Ed and I are too retarded to plan a trip so we only made it to Saigon. But i'm coming back. No doubt about it in my mind.

So it was time to leave to go to Singapore. I bought a few things for my sisters (don't get excited girls its nothing major, as if they even read this shit) and wanted to mail them before I trashed the hell out of them in my backpack, which might actually be in need of replacement soon. There isn't much in the bag to pack around anything I buy so it will just get ruined in one baggage handlers toss. So I had an hour to get to the post office and get back to the hotel to catch our cab to the airport. Ed said "well I'll see ya when I see ya pardner." Ed is from the prairies of Alberta and was born with a gun in his hands and has been wearing cowboy boots all over Asia. He tipped his cap, chomped the end of his cigar and bid me adieu.

Unfortunately, the quickest way to get around the city is on the back of a motorcycle taxi. So guess how the fat white idiot got to the post office? 

Everytime I leave to go travelling my mother tells me, "Jayyysunn, all I cyan sayy is, dat iss god dat you muss pray to at night becuh yuh in gods hands now." You know I'm not really into that religion stuff but after the trip to the post office on the back of a motorbike in a city of 6 million people, 7 million of which own a bike, I think she might be onto something.

I have to send my mother edited versions of these stories cause she almost cried when I told her about sleeping in a bombed out office building in Beirut, Lebanon years ago. Plus, the opium hunt would have her not only upset, but angry with me, and god knows I spent enough years doing that to her.

Long story short, there are a zillion motorbikes, and everyone drives slow but crazy. We actually saw an accident. The guy looked at the guy who hit him, neither fell off the bike cause they're going slow, looked at him as if to say, "hey asshole, I'd punch you if I didn't have 4 live chickens on the back of my bike, and since I'll never see you again, it doesn't really matter" and off they went. 

So I got to the post office and asked for a tube to put the things in. I was told "no tube here, you go round cornah." I was thinking, OK no big deal, its just around the corner.

"Around the corner?" Ok I run out the post office, and my motorcycle cabbie is looking at me wondering why I'm running, I put my index finger in the air telling him wait one minute and run around the corner. He follows on the bike down the sidewalk and asks what the problem is. NEED TUBE FOR MAIL, NEED TO GET TO AIRPORT. There is a second post office around the corner, so I run in there, 45 minutes til our cab leaves the hotel. I wait in line for 5 minutes and talk to the nice lady, tell her where I need to mail it. She tells me go to station 1 for paperwork. Then take it to station 3, then station 6 to pay, station 4 to drop it off. So I go to station 1 and tell them I need a tube. "No tube here, you need go round corner." Fuck me.

I run out the post office, all the people are laughing at me, in a thick Vietnamese accent and brutal english someone yells "run Forrest" I turn around and everyone is laughing at me, a recurring trend. Cabbie looks at me like i'm retarded, I believe him immediately. He says "you need tube" and points across the street, I wanted to drop kick him, he sent me walking into a Mr. Bean skit. Across the street is a tube store. Only tubes. So this withered old Vietnamese couple help me out, the old man grabs a saw and saws off the unneccessary excess, sorts it out for me, I pay him 50,000 Dong (insert dick joke) which is the Vietnamese currency and equivalent to about 4 dollars Canadian.

25 minutes to make it back to the hotel.

I run back to the post office, and begin the station hopping, each of which has a lineup. They bubble wrap it for me, I drop a bunch of Dong on that, then I start paperwork. Its insane. One thing after another finally, I'm ready to pay. 

15 minutes. 

Its like 300,000 Dong. No problem, except of course I don't have enough money, why would I have money? That would be logical. Since the beginning of the civilized world people have been using money, legal tender, cowery shells, whatever you wanna call it to purchase things. For some reason, that sentiment has escaped me at this particular moment. But I have US dollars. That should be good right? WRONG. 

I start pleading with people around me to sell me some Dong (insert dick joke #2). No one wants anything to do with me, I'm running around in my camo shorts and a wifebeater, sweating like crazy cause I'm in and out of the post office, its 40 degrees outside, everyone is pointing at my tattoos and talking, I'm hoping its the tattoos they're talking about. Not likely. I'm the only sweaty white boy who can't speak Vietnamese in sight. 

10 minutes and the cab and Ed are going to be waiting outside the hotel to take us to the airport. When you travel with someone you kinda can't fuck them over on splitting a cab to the airport for a connecting flight. Kinda.

Finally, I run outside and beg the cabbie for some Dong (yeah I know), I'm tryin to do the math quick, I need 100,000 Dong and its like 16,500 Dong to one US dollar, try doing that with a million things running through your mind, I hadn't even packed, cause I figured it would take 20 minutes to go to the post office. I say fuck it, give him a ten US, take 100,000 Dong and run back in to the post office. I push my way to the front of the line, panting, sweating, completely under-dressed to be in a public institution in downtown Ho Chi Minh city make eye contact with the lady who was serving me earlier who is now helping a man sending about 30 boxes the size of milk cartons. I give her the money, she looks at me confused, people behind me are waiting patiently and the sweaty white boy has jumped the line and handed her a wad of money the size of the ones Tony Soprano used to carry.

I say "Its for the TUBE going to CANADA, I love you, I'm sorry." I look around the post office I'm clearly the center of attention which is retarded at this point. I blow kisses to everyone as I run through the post office to get out, remember its a city of 6 million people, so its a huge post office, PACKED with people. I'm so happy the ordeal is over I say in general to everyone, "I'm sorry, I have a flight to catch" I blow more kisses. As I reach the door, the same jerk off from earlier yells "run Forrest" I turn around and figure, fuck it, I'd probably say the same thing, blow some more kisses, give the thumbs up and jump on the back of the bike. The entire population of the post office now thinks we're lady boys in Canada. Sorry guys.

I'm betting 2 to 1 odds that package never makes it to Canada.

"QUICK QUICK QUICK" I yell to the cabbie. Somehow we make it back sorta on time, about 3 minutes late. Ed is packed and ready. I'm hot and sweaty and wish I could shower before flying. Ed looks at me, can tell I'm frustrated and said "I was gonna tell the cabbie to go on without us there cowboy." 

I said "I would have met you at the airport." He said, "the last time I saw you, you had no helmet on, riding into traffic on the back of a motorcycle in Saigon, Vietnam holding a bunch of shit in your hands and not holding onto the bike." 

He's one cool assed hillbilly, he was willing to take one for the team like a champion and it didn't even look like it would have bothered him. When we were in Spain together years ago and our homie Eldon broke his jaw outside the bar one night. Ed sat in a hotel room with him for a week before he flew home to Canada. While we were boarding the airplane he said he actually thought he was gonna spend the next week in a Vietnamese hospital feeding me ice chips. I'm glad my mom is praying for me cause Ed don't got much faith in me.

I got on the plane, and once again woke up in a new place, this time Singapore, with my seat and tray-table still in the upright position.

No fuckin Opium in Vietnam either. I'll keep you posted.

Love you all,

new slingers

Quick update,

And the tit hits keep coming. Hello to the new Megan Fox boob-googlers:

Izmir, Turkey
Belfast, Ireland
Ad Dawhah, Qatar
Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles
Lodz, Poland
Quakertown, Pennsylvania, US (someone's being very un-quakerish)
Medellin, Colombia (welcome, Senor Escobar)
Oulu, Finland
Taichung, Taiwan
Kirkop, Malta
Hefa, Israel
Larnaca, Cyprus
Rijeka, Croatia

Yep, definitely going to have to fix up a Megan Fox map here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

off the meds, even though i wasn't ever supposed to be on them

If herbiberous has seemed a little more distant or tired or unfocused than normal and generally otherwise not entirely himself, recent developments today may be able to provide an explanation.

A little background: since quitting my job last month, I have -- on quite a few occasions actually -- sat around the house, crippled by indecision and the odd crisis of confidence during my mainly commitment-free days, when I've tried to plot my next move. I have experienced some pretty lethargic days, which I had chalked up to staying up late without the need to get up early.

A little more background: years ago, I worked in the arsenic plant at Con Mine for six months pumping arsenic sludge out of three pits to have it transported to an autoclave, which burnt it into a less toxic compound. As a result -- I believe -- of the exposure, I have since developed rosacea on my cheeks, which flare up when I'm stressed out, exposed to hot and dry weather, wind-chill or when I eat spicy food. For the past few years, I've been on-and-off antibiotics to control it. When it flares up, it gets super-red and itchy, crusty and makes me feel like I'm wearing a mask. Plus, it's not very attractive -- it makes it seem like I've got a nasty sunburn all the time.

Well, today I went in to re-up my Doxycycline prescription -- the antibiotic I have found that works to control it. The prescription was written for me months ago by a nurse practitioner in Hay River, when I was working there in April. I had dropped off the request Saturday and was to pick up my shit today.

Before the pharmacist handed it back, she looked down at the pill bag and then up at me. "You're taking these for depression, right?"

"Huh? No," I said. "Rosacea."

"Oh," she replied, before telling me to wait as she looked into my prescriptive history.

Well folks, thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster she asked because it turns out, through a mix-up between that nurse practitioner and the pharmacy, that your old friend herbiberous has been taking an anti-depressant -- Doxyepin -- for at least a month and a bit. And maybe longer.

Apparently I was taking 100mg of Doxyepin a day. The drug is used to treat people with insomnia, anxiety disorder and major depression.

The side-effects from the drug include small annoyances like dry mouth, sweating and nausea to more serious effects like fatigue, dizziness, confusion, light-headedness, delirium and... wait for it... frequently impaired sexual function in men. Nothing to shake a stick at (no matter how flaccid said stick may be).

While the last renewal I got in Yellowknife in mid-June -- 30 capsules -- was definitely Doxyepin, my first prescription may also have been the antidepressant. So I may have been taking these things since late-April.

I know I should have double-checked and made sure that I was getting what I was prescribed, but dealing with pharmacists to me is really one of those automatic transactions in life, where these jargony-drug names all look the same. I trust everyone involved in the writing and dealing of the drugs knows what they are doing.

So thanks again to the pharmacist that took the extra two seconds to make sure I was getting the right stuff, because the next 30 days could have been just as manic as the preceding ones.

And here I am now friends, off my meds -- even though I never should have been on them -- and feeling great!

I can't be sure that my behavior was drastically altered because of the drugs, but I do know -- now looking back -- that I did suffer from some of the side effects and noticed a decrease in energy, a mouth that was constantly itchy as fuck, and I had a lot of difficulty focusing.

It should be noted in the last month, I've also done a lot of partying -- I'm retired, remember -- and I don't think medical professionals endorse people consuming massive amounts of alcohol while taking antidepressants.

I can attest that I have done some things that I didn't feel were very herbiberous-like lately.

So the moral of this story is... You live, you learn to read the label.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

megan fox search update!

The hits keep coming folks...

Some new peeps from new countries busy googling Megan Fox's booble-ies now include...
Alexandria, Egypt
Las Piedras, Puerto Rico
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom (only included because it seems like a classy place to be firing off knuckle-kids)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Villa Praia De ancora, Portugal
Seoul, South Korea
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Yuma, Arizona (3:10 to Yuma? is that how long it takes to bust one down there?)
Cannes, France (brings new meaning to Palm d'or, n'est pas?)
Roskilde, Denmark
Athens, Greece
Nitra, Slovakia
Lienz, Austria
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
Auckland, New Zealand
Yokohama, Japan
Antwerpen, Belgium
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Trujillo, Peru
Gauteng, South Africa
Tehran, Iran (no way!!! It seems the revolution has quelled sufficiently and life is now normal enough for a bored and anxious teenager to look up Megan Fox's mammaries)
Central District, Hong Kong
Colon, Panama
Santiago, Chile
-- I only included visitors from countries not previously listed in earlier posts... and keep in mind these are all visitors who came (sorry...) and stayed on the Megan Fox post only... and this only encompasses the last 47 hours, which brought 500 individual hits. Hundreds of visitors came from the US and Canada, along with far more than I expected from Mexico, Germany and India of all places.

WELCOME, self-sexers!

I'm going to have to create a Megan Fox boob-google map soon!

Now that is a level of fame I could never imagine. My roommate Felch and I were talking about how crazy it is that people from all corners of this planet of ours get on their computers to seek out pictures of two bare fat-sacks hanging from one American woman's chest. It's mind-boggling! AI post: I'm starting to wonder who my true friends are. Does anyone come here any more for the enlightening conversation? Or are you all just staring at my boobs?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jungin' Cambodia

Guys and Gals,

I lost the entire email I wrote about our trip to Cambodia, so I'm in a state of rage right now. 

I'll say that it was amazing, both the experience and the email. Just google Angkor Wat and let me get on with killing my brain cells with shitty beer to forget the last hour I spent writing jokes.

To say the email was a literary gem would be to downplay the nomination from the Pulitzer commitee that was sure to follow.

I'll say that Ed and I are complete idiots and are really learning a lot about the world, but not much about how to plan a trip properly. We never planned a visa into Vietnam (which you need for you future SE Asia explorers) and were going to be stuck in Cambodia for another three days. Fortunately we hired the cabbie who picked us up at the airport to be our personal driver for the three days we were there. For $40 a day we also hired his friend who is a certified tour guide who took us around to tour the temples. And they knew people who knew people who knew people.

We are wasting so much money on flights, and then rebooking flights, then rebooking the rebooked flights due to visa restrictions. 

Angkor Wat, fuckin amazing!!!!! Google it, wikipedia it, basically save, beg, borrow or quite frankly steal the money to go visit it. I won't bore you with some shit you guys are probably gonna skip over anyways. If you're interested, check it out. If not, gafuckyaself.

Now since the boys had been hired by a couple white kids they were pumped! So at night we offered to take them out for drinks both nights in Siem Reap. Whats amazing is that Cambodians aren't like us fat stupid white people. They buy some beer, and everyone shares it. They pour glasses for everyone and you cheers every time you have a drink, so that there is no "cheating" by one person drinking more than the other. Since Ed and I paid for everything, everywhere we went, we were still being ignorant fat idiots crushing the 9% stout we were drinking. But nevertheless it was quite interesting to cheers 400 times in one night. Ed and I were even cheersing ourselves as we kept chugging the beers while our counterparts were still putting their glasses down.

The wonderful part about paying for everything including food, drinks, and even a hotel room for our boys one night, it all cost maybe a hundred bucks for three days. A meal that would consist of a bowl of soup to start, maybe some spring rolls or some other ish, an entire chicken, and maybe two veggie dishes, rice and drinks for 4 people would be like $20 total.

So these boys were stoked cause we paid for everything, one night they took us to play pool which I was looking forward to since I've been known to win the occasional pool game in the past. Of course when we get to the pool hall there are no pool tables only snooker tables. For those who don't know the difference. Snooker is for people who are good at billiards. The table is WAY bigger, and the balls and pockets are WAY smaller. Needless to say drinking 9% beer and trying to play snooker against semi-pro locals is a recipe for disaster. Thank god for Ed cause I think I hit two shots all night. They kept laughing at me and pointing at the beer cans every time I took a shot.

The second day the two of them took us to a river that hundreds of years ago the Khmer people carved the river bed with thousands of symbols that stretch downriver for over half a km. Out here I can barely WALK half a km without searching for shade and a water stand let alone spend a hundred years carving the river bed. Thankfully the water level was low enough we could see the carvings as we were told in the rainy season you can't see anything.

So we found out we weren't gonna be able to get into Vietnam while we were high in the hills of Cambodia from our cabbies cell phone. We were told that our passports never made it to the airport on time to be flown to the capital and if we couldn't get it done the following day we would have to wait another three days since it was national buddha day coming up. Since we had flights to India to catch, time was running out, and we needed to secure this shit ASAP.

So after touring the beauties of the ancient world, we raced back to Siem Reap, (not before stopping and unloading the fuck out of some M-16's and Kalishnikov AK-47's) cussed out the travel agents for crushing our dreams of visiting Vietnam and managed to get our money back. Our cabbie who might have been one of the coolest guys I've ever met in all my travels pulled me aside and quietly said "listen Jason, I got a friend in Pnomh Penh (the capitol of Cambodia). I can drive you to Pnomh Penh tonight and in the morning I'll sort out your visas."

Always up for adventure, Ed and I said lets do it!

We left Siem Reap for a 5 hour drive to the capitol. Now to say the road to Pnomh Penh was absolutely shitty, would be a complete lie. These roads are the reason that tire companies are still in business. I'm not sure if any of it at all was paved and since our cab had no shocks or struts left in the back we felt every single bump. At one point we hit a bump so hard Eds head hit the ceiling, the ipod and speakers went soaring through the air, all our shit went flying all over the back of the cab and I said, sheepishly "Ha Ha, I uhh sure uhh hope we don't have to stop and uhh change the tire out here", as now it was pitch black and we were hours from any town. The cabbie turned around while driving over a hundred on the worst roads I've ever seen (and people I've been to Jamaica many times where pot holes have been known to swallow entire families whole) and he said "I hope so too, since I don't have a spare tire." When he dropped us at the airport the following day, I also learned he had no insurance either.

Thats the kind of situations I roll in.

As we were driving I noticed out in the fields that there were what appeared to be hundreds of purple flourescent lights out in the fields. Not a house, street sign or any evidence of civilization for what looked like eternity in every direction but there were hundreds of purple flourescent lights in the fields. So I asked our boys (insert gay joke) what the lights were all about and they said, "oh thats to catch crickets, grasshoppers and locusts to deep fry and sell at the market." Lawd a mercy! I was witnessing the mass harnessing of disgusting fucking insects for human consumption and there are millions of people in this world who won't eat pork? 

Help me with this one people.

At one point Ed says "hey asshole, turn down the music the cops are pulling us over." I was passed out after smoking a cannon of some brutal Cambodian weed (which the locals don't even smoke, they put it in soup, thats how hurtin it is) and woke up at an army checkpoint. The army was pulling people over looking for guns which apparently since the war ended in 1979 are everywhere. So I'm half asleep with a flashlight in my face trying not to make eye contact (growing up in Nova Scotia you learn that one at an early age) as the cops are talking to our driver. They yell some shit at him and he gets out of the cab. I start thinkin, oh shit, what if they look in the glovebox and find the bag of garbage weed. Well thankfully in Cambodia the kind of guns they were looking for can't fit in a glovebox unless its the glovebox on a jumbo jet. They popped the trunk, looked in for a split second and off we went. In a fit of laughter our cabbie looks back while reaching take off speed and says "good thing they didn't look in the glovebox eh boys?"

I often question my decision making and the answers I get back are astonishing.

So we got to the capitol, got hotel rooms for Ed and I and one for the boys. They joked that Ed and I should get separate rooms, so I was expecting some kinda you guys are gay comment but his comment was "what if you want whores?" I laughed, shook my head and said, "lets go get drunk, we'll meet you in the lobby in half an hour." For the record, prostitution around the world is considerably more accepted than it is where we come from. As if I'm gonna bang some hooker in Cambodia, but the boys were telling us that one of the signs of power in Cambodia was "being able to go to THE GIRLS every night."

So we go to a Cambodian club and it was basically some girls or guys singing karaoke on stage in Cambodian. It was like total mellow lame-assed music and when the people finish singing, some people clap, but it was lame as hell. However, our boys were stoked, it was like they were at a rock concert. Ed and I just kept crushing stout while checking out all the gorgeous girls singing, who of course were all hookers too. Ed's comment was "Canada could learn a lot from Cambodia. How awesome would it be if every club you went to in Calgary there were 12 hookers greeting you at the door?" I thought about it for a second, and what can I say, the guy is doing a masters degree, you can't argue with logic like that.

In the morning, our cabbie took our passports, pulled some strings, and for an extra $30 got us bumped to the front of the line. Our guide took us to the museum where the Khmer Rouge tortured and murdered thousands of people between 1975 and 1979. It was crazy, there were only 7 people who escaped the prison and one of them was standing next to us at one point. He pointed himself out in a photo from 1979. He was now in his late 70's and told us about how they broke his fingers while torturing him. Man, we've got it so easy it's insane.

While at the museum we got a call from our cabbie saying, not only had he secured the visas, but another friend of his had got us a dirt cheap flight to Vietnam for $50 less than we would have had to pay if we booked it ourselves. If you're ever in Siem Reap call our cabbie Punna. He's the man!

They dropped us at the airport, we tipped them largely, and got their phone numbers which of course I lost. If I find them I'll include them in a later post, for the three people who are actually reading my incessant ramblings.

All in all, Cambodia was beautiful. The people have nothing, but they have smiles on their faces. They will never see where I come from but the little girl begging money outside the temple knew our Prime Minister was Stephen Harper and we had 10 provinces and 3 territories. I realized the little girl was smarter than half my friends so I had to give her a few US dollars. And while the weather was hot as hell, it rained a few times so it was temperate.

No fuckin opium though. But on the positive, I hear its legal in India!

People I need guidance. 

Love you all, and I'll fill you in on Vietnam if anyone gives a shit.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jung is back

Boys and Girls,

I talked to my mother on the phone from the Bangkok airport on the way to Cambodia and I was informed that she didn't need to receive emails about her only son's sordid tales of Asian whorehouses and opium dens.

I'm not sure if she needs to just "suck it up" or if I'm a complete jerk-off for including her on the email list? After a few seconds thought, I agree with all of you reading this now.

We left the islands in Thailand and flew to Chang Mai, so Bealer I don't know what bus you're talking about. We've planned this trip so poorly and are trying to accomplish so much that we are forced to fly everywhere. Great for saving time. Not so great for saving money.

If Morgan can come back from Asia fat, then I'm gonna be able to come home broke. Both of which seem impossible to the average human.

In Chang Mai we decided to splurge on a 4-Star hotel. Splurging in SE Asia means it was $11 a night with breakfast and airport transfers included. After getting settled we decided to go gambling on more muay thai fights. Of course this time we got cleaned out by the locals who were lookin at the two white boys like we were food.

Prior to the fight we booked a car and driver to take us into the hills to see how the hill tribes live (read try and smoke opium). But at the fight this young kid named Terry told us he was a trekking guide and that he would organize for us to rent motorcycles for $5 a day and we could drive motorbikes up into the hills in search of the uhh tribes, yeah thats it, the tribes. He also promised some of the opium I'm chasing this entire trip.

He arrived on one motorbike at 9 am and thought Ed (who is about 6' 2" and 200 lbs) and I were going to fit on the bike with him. He was serious too. I laughed and told him to come back for me. While I waited I started really watching the motorbike traffic and I swear to god (Morgan will like that one) I saw a family of five on a scooter. Father driving, infant child in front of him, two kids behind him and mom bringing up the rear barely on the seat, as they maneuvered through the cities (pop: 1.3 million) insane traffic. Man did I feel like a pussy. I've since been told that seeing 6 people on a scooter is also quite common.

So we got bikes and drove for 6 hrs into the hills. For those who have been to Thailand you know that not only do they drive on the other side of the road than Canada, but they drive like complete lunatics with little regard for road rules or regulations. The term right of way also is not in their vocabulary. Ed lives in Australia and owns a motorcycle so he was stoked, I'm not gonna lie, I was scared as ****!

Plus, the helmet they gave me is made for little asian heads not my big fat assed head, so I had to roll for two days with no helmet. 

I think its good mom is off the email list.

So our guide Terry took us way into the hills as we passed rice paddies and cabbage fields he stopped and showed us buddhist shrines that were 600 yrs old I realized that I could quite easily move to a place like this and live forever quite happily.

The first village we stopped at we were greeted by about 15 women who were enthralled with our tattoos and who were wearing beautiful multicolored outfits. We were informed that once they were married they wore the colored ones and if they were single they wore white. If only life were that easy. Levi probably thinks its easier.

They immediately offered us food so we sat with them in their huts which were high on stilts devoid of any furniture save for a few mats which they slept on and ate fried pig skin, rice and some kind of cabbage soup that was kinda fucked up tasting and hotter than fire with chilis.

We were told by Terry we had to finish it all if we didn't want to offend them. If I ever eat a pound of fried pig skin again in my life, punch me in the face.

We walked up the hilll to a little "corner store" that one of the tribefolk operated and bought a few items as gifts for their hospitality and left them to trek further up the hill. Now when I say the hills, I'm talking BUSH, ladies and gentlemen. 

The "roads" we were driving on, were foot paths. The only way to get to the village we stayed the night in was by motorbike. Because Terry told us not many people are willing to drive a bike out of Chang Mai, let alone 6 hrs, we were the first people he had taken there in almost 6 months.

The village had 11 huts and 50 inhabitants. When I say primitive, I really need to emphasize it. This village was out of the dark ages. No electricity, no nothin, PRI-MI-TIVE!!

So we helped the women pound the husk off the rice, tried to shoot birds with the tribes elder who laughed as the fat white boys could barely operate the slingshot while he hit one of our empty beer cans from about 50 feet away, and helped prepare dinner.

While Ed and I played a game of crib we broke out the ipod and portable speakers, and all the kids in the village came and sat with us. It was an amazing experience as Terry told us the kids would have never heard any kind of western music before and might never again. We also pulled out the 40 of Johnny Walker scotch whiskey Ed brought along. 

When some people from the other huts came over to meet us, Terry asked if we wanted him to call another village and have them bring some beer? Stupid question.

As night fell we decided to move out from under the lean-to to try and continue the game under the full moon when we were told by SOOMPOOM the tribe leader, "don't worry, I bring candle."

Well in the hills of Thailand, a candle is long sticks of pine wood which are so saturated with natural sap they burn hot and bright, just like a candle. The little children ashed the "candles" for us and we had light to drink our piss warm beer and whiskey and water. Of course fat stupid white people are awesome and Ed burned the shit out of his hand trying to ash the candle, so we left it up to the three year old to keep us well lit.

We ate again late at night, this time, rice with beef which was cooked with chilis and lemon grass. We were informed you don't eat the chillis or the lemon grass so we did as we saw and dropped them through the bamboo slats of the floor because the villages pigs would eat them.

So we offered the tribe leader a drink of whiskey which he was more than happy to have. We then offered him another, and another and another, and before long, he was piss drunk and broke out a thai guitar sort of contraption with 7 strings and proceeded to play some really incredible music. Sure he was slurring the hell out of whatever he was singing, but he was happy, and so were we.

Terry our guide was also really happy because he said a lot of times tourists don't interact with the tribes people. If he takes large groups they have to go to closer villages and the white people stick to themselves. Our tribe leader spoke limited english but once he was good and sauced kept singing "no woman, no cry" over and over again. Bob Marley is in this guys mental playlist and he speaks 100 words of English and goes to town only once a month. So we listened to Bob and smoked some absolutely brutal Thai weed and drank our piss warm beer late into the night.

When I stumbled out of the hut to our sleeping quarters I could hear Ed singing some cowboy honkey tonk shit with the tribesman and figured it was a suitable time to call it a night.

In the morning, we bid adieu to our new friends. I left the strap for my camera case with the leader and he was thrilled as he would be able to use it as a strap for his gun which he uses to hunt flying squirrels. When I drop my camera in a river hanging off a boat somewhere I'm gonna ask someone to punch me in the face.

The drive back was intense to say the least, going up was crazy as hell, coming down was something else all together. At one point my foot slipped off the foot brake and since the hand brake didn't work for shit, I started really flying down this steep, rocky goat trail. I mean FLYING. I kept trying to hit the brake, but would miss or get it with my heel for a second enough to lock the back tire and send me sideways for a split second. Long story short I stopped, but not before I kicked a passing tree while doing mach 7 down the sherpa trail. Two days later my fuckin foot was so swollen I had to hobble like an invalid around one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I was forced to start taking random pain pills from the random pharmacy by the handful and washing them down with beer just to be able to walk.

Does any of this surprise you?

No fuckin opium either. I'm still determined that if I'm comin to the other side of the planet, I'm gonna try it. Not that I'm into drugs or anything, but it just seems like something I should do if I've flown 23 hrs and its been a part of asian culture for centuries

After we returned to Chang Mai and returned our bikes Terry wanted the equivalent of about 12 dollars for showing us the experience of a lifetime. So when we gave him about $75 he was ecstatic and we also told him if he wanted to show us around Chang Mai at night we'd buy him some beer.

Well if you've been to Thailand, you might have drank Chang beer. If you're going to Thailand, don't drink it. We pissed the night away crushing Chang like it had the antidote in it (word to Chris Rock). I bought tequila shots as usual and Terry passed out in the club. Well in the morning we had a flight to Cambodia to catch and for the life of me I barely managed to sit
up. After about 20 minutes of moaning and groaning I got my fat ass off the bed. I barely made it to the shower, and thank god there was no bathtub or toaster around, cause I'd have been Bill Murray in groundhog day. It was the weirdest hangover I've ever had. The room was kinda spinning, but it seemed like I was still dreaming or some shit. And a headache couldn't stand a chance against what I was dealing with. The cab ride was weird, trying to buy a ticket to Cambodia with a ticket agent who barely spoke english was surreal too.

At the airport we were informed that Chang might soon be outlawed in Thailand since its loaded with amphetamines. If i'd known that, I sure as hell wouldn't have even considered... I'll stop that lie before I even finish the sentence.

So we flew to Cambodia, and once again, we landed before I woke up with my seat and table tray in the upright position as my drunk ass passed out before take off again.

We landed with no entry Visa that we were apparently supposed to have. Thankfully it was all good as long as you have US dollars you're straight in this world.

Cambodia was pouring rain, and it was a wonderful respite from the crushing heat of Thailand.

I'll just say that the cabbie who picked us up, was one of the coolest guys I've ever met in all my travels, and the next three days were some I'll never forget for as long as I live (feel free to insert your gay joke here). But i'll leave that for another email as I'm sure 98% of you stopped reading a half hour ago.

I'll fill you in on Cambodia in the next email we were only there for 3 days enough to see Siem Reap and Pnomh Penh before we flew to Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon), Vietnam.

Its hot as hell here too, we've been here for only a few hours and I've already been asked by two different girls "you American? you want go boom boom?" So I told them "hell no, how dare you talk to me like that?" I told her I'm insulted that she would talk to a person like that, and in my country we feel we should lock people like her up. I told her that NO I was not American! But how much for a boom boom?

Kidding mom.

Love you all long time!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Second Inaugural Podcast!!!

Well here it is, the second inaugural podcast, back after quite the hiatus.

Binio's been employed at two jobs. Biberous has been employed at none. So obviously it's been difficult to get together to record a follow-up to the first inaugural podcast. This podcast (er... broadcast?) was put together last Thursday.

In this episode, Binio and Biberous inexplicably hammer some of the CBC's top radio and television personalities -- for the sole purpose of entertainment, of course. And they talk about their recent trips to Cuba, with different perspectives about their 'vacations'.

Hope you enjoy.

See you soon for round three (hopefully after another jaunt to Cuba.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

the recession has officially hit Yellowknife

While I have grown tired -- and somewhat cynical -- of all this recession talk (because we all know the rich are somehow going to get richer off this whole sub-prime mortgage/foreclosure/cheap real estate thing that's been happening) I must say, I'm starting to become a firm believer.

No, not because the jobless rate keeps rising, or because stimulus packages are being hefted out by any country with a conscience or even because the NBA salary cap is said to be dropping in 2010.

Nope. I am becoming a believer because even Mother Nature is taking heed, and as a result has given us the saddest freekin summer I can remember here in Yellowknife. The living poor in the capital city, who should be enjoying the one month where it actually pays to live here, have had to paddle through some pathetic, drizzly, cloudy and windy autumn weather this summer, when it should be skin-singing hot.

Case in point: I wore a toque when I hit the batting cage with a friend of mine today.

Yes, friends. A toque. A god-damned, motherfucking winter toque in the middle of July.

The mercury hit a whopping 8 degrees today, when it really should be non-stop, unabashed sun and summer in Yellowknife. People should be outdoors biking, walking and smiling their lives away this time of year, without a thought about the miserable weather and winter which beats us down most of the time.

Instead, Mother Nature is storing her coal away for the cold season, because she's even bought into all this recession mumbo jumbo.

I think we should start protesting.

I think we should get a bunch of fed-up Yellowknifers together and walk down Franklin Avenue in bikinis and bermuda shorts and demand we get at least some sort of summer.

Because, for me at least, this recession is becoming depression.

Monday, July 6, 2009

may i introduce to you... Jung

Good afternoon, slinginlinguists. Hope you're having a great Monday? Is it Monday? I can't really tell. Feels awfully similar to yesterday.

Retirement is going well, my friends, although my tolerance for alcohol is increasing. I kind of anticipated that a little bit of partying would accompany my entrance into commitment-free life, and with it being summertime and with baseball tournaments abounding and all, that has really been the case. However, I do feel as if I need to curtail these activities and get down to some business of some kind. A new hobby? A comfier hammock? A darker tan? These are all serious questions that need to be addressed.

One question that I will attempt to answer right now though, is what is the point of slinginlingo?

Nearly a year into the life of this little blog, the body of slinginlingo has very much come out turd-like. Filled with half-digested peanuts of ideas and corn-kernels of jokes, herbiberous used to post every day making for a nice, healthy and consistent output. However, now as he tries to recover his brain (for instance, this morning I couldn't remember which toothbrush was mine, even though I'd been using it for months) the mass of matter excreted onto this blog has tapered off, much like a log being dumped.

So it was with delight that slinginlingo recently received an unsolicited proposal from one of its most devout -- and most critical -- readers, to post some of his travel stories and perhaps some random musings about life. Herbiberous obliged.

For those of you who reside or have spent any time in Calgary, the man needs no introduction. For those of you who don't know Jung -- aka TobasKO -- his name is known in questionable establishments across the globe, he has been known to cure narcolepsy just by walking into a room, and he is the only non-plumber I know who has carried around a toilet plunger in the backseat of his car for months on end.

And because over at slinginlingo, we never claim to do more than just trying to push the boundaries of good taste, crack irrelevant jokes, compare the qualities of people and objects to fecal matter and to do our best to entertain, we thought what better way to take our readers into the heart of depravity than to share some of Jung's sagas with you to persuade/dissuade you from doing some of the things outlined in the tales.

Without any further ado...

Here are the stories Herb said he was reading about my travels through Asia.  If you like them, maybe he'll let me post some of the other incessant ramblings that float through my head on a daily basis.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Where to start? How about I've been sweating non-stop since I landed in Thailand.

I left Calgary on 20 minutes of sleep and flew to Tokyo where we were quarantined on the plane for four hours while they checked for swine flu. I was the only white boy in sight, and the only one not wearing the stupid mask they gave us. I can't imagine swine flu could be any worse than the dysentery I got in Lebanon a few years ago.

Landed in Bangkok where I met up with Ed. For those who don't know Ed, he's quite an interesting character I met at university. He met me at the Bangkok airport wearing flip flops, a three piece suit he had tailored for him, drinking a 1 litre beer and holding up a huge sign that said DRUNK -- that was how I knew I was where I was supposed to be. I had a feeling this would be interesting.

I'm literally pouring sweat out of every pore in my body. The mercury is at 40 degrees right now and india was 48 yesterday. What am I doing?

For the record, all of those who said Bangkok sucks to me over and over, you're all idiots.

When in Rome? Well, when in Bangkok, we decided to do all the stuff you're supposed to. We went and saw a Muay Thai kickboxing fight, and after going backstage to meet the fighters I found a kid who looked like he'd slap the green off army fatigues. So I bet on him, and won! Then gave half the winnings to the Thai kid that did the translating and bet-placing for me after he informed me that they would have scammed me if I had placed the bet myself.

From there we had to go to the live sex show/ping-pong show where girls stick ping pong balls in their you know and then shoot them at random people in the audience. Then another one stuck a banana in her ya know, shot it out and caught it, just as some dude was walking in. She offered him the bannana and the poor bastard hadn't seen where its last resting place was and did what only an idiot would do -- he ate the damn thing. I nearly puked.

On our way to the ping pong show our cabbie wanted to show us another "club". Well this "club" was the biggest whorehouse you could imagine. It was lit up like Las Vegas! I couldn't believe it, there were about 75 women all wearing numbers, sitting behind glass and pointing to Ed and I, claiming we could have 5 at a time if we wanted. It was complete madness. Thank god we had a ping-pong show to go see and managed to get out of there before any stories I couldn't tell here happened. 5 at once? Not even Levi has stories like that.

My shirt is now off in the internet cafe and my shorts are soaked.

I proceeded to drink more alcohol than the human body should ever attempt to and barely woke up in time to catch our flight to Phuket. We are currently in Ko Phi Phi an hour ferry ride from the mainland which is where the Beach was filmed and it is beautiful. There are no roads, so it's all foot traffic and hot chicks galore. Google it, I'm serious, the tsunami crushed it but it's been rebuilt and it's amazing!

Had a Thai massage from a little girl who couldn't have weighed more than a hundred pounds and it feels like I was in a car accident. These little broads are crazy strong and know how to really kick the shit out of you.

We went Marlin fishing in a 20 foot "longtail" boat, but only caught bait fish before the seas got so choppy I thought we were gonna get tossed overboard. I wasn't scared but to say I was on the verge of fear wouldn't be a lie. If the seas had of risen another half inch we would have been fucked! With land barely in sight it would have been a long way to try and swim before drowning.

The h key is working intermittently now as sweat is dripping on the keyboard every time I reach for my beer.

We went rock climbing on a pretty gnarly overhanging limestone face with two girls from Denmark and Sweden, and I think its safe to say if I ever save enough money to afford to visit there, I'm gonna have to. As Ed had only slept for 2 hours the previous night and had a bottle of Red Bull for breakfast, he proceeded to puke at the crag and then got his ass handed to him by the little girl from Sweden as she flashed the route Ed fell on before begging to be lowered. 

Went snorkeling, saw crazy fish and coral and then our guide dove down to show us a giant clam. He put his hand in it, and it started closing slowly then BAM, the thing bit his finger and blood was EVERYWHERE in the water. Old Rambo needed stitches to close the damn thing, but we were hours away so he wrapped part of a plastic bag around it after packing tobacco in the wound for the rest of the afternoon.

Then in an act of absolute vengeance he climbed back in the boat, told us he'd be back, and went back to get the clam. The damn thing was heavy as hell too -- it must have weighed 50 lbs. So him and the boat pilot fought the beast into the boat, and Rambo proceeded to gut it in front of us. One of the english girls puked off the side of the boat when he busted open the intestines and what looked like black ink was goin everywhere.

Ed took the night off as he was in rough shape from the previous night of boozing, and today I wish I had of stayed home too. They sell these things here called "buckets" they include a pint of whiskey, a bottle of red bull, and a can of pop. Like a complete idiot, I drank the better part of three of them, didn't puke, but this morning, I didn't need Tylenol, I needed a shotgun shell to deal with the hangover. You know the kind of hangover where you stand in the freezing cold shower for half an hour and pray that you slip and fall and die? That was me this morning.

We are never gonna be able to do all the stuff we're supposed to in the amount of time we have left. 

There are probably a hundred tattoo shops on the island doing the traditional thai tattoo where they take a piece of bamboo and poke it in your skin by hand over and over. So we put on some serious heavy metal in the tattoo shop and Ed proceeded to get an enormous dragon that took 7 hours to complete. I got one too, not a dragon, but a big middle finger on my neck (kidding mom, relax) because it seemed like one of those, when will I ever be in thailand again moments. Amazingly it hurts way less than the gun tattoo does.

Well, we're off to Chang Mai to go see rice paddies and smoke opium (just kidding mom). For the rest of you, you know I'm not kidding, (just kidding).

Hope you aren't late for work in the morning... HAHA Sorry.

Til next time, may the sun be shining and the wind at your backs


Thursday, July 2, 2009

slugging it out

As of 5 p.m. MST, June 30, Herbiberous voluntarily became unemployed -- a very logical and wise choice, considering we are in the midst of the worst economic times in 86 years.

While a couple things around town will keep me somewhat busy, my life is a blank screen right now. I'm mulling volunteer work overseas, internships in Canada and abroad, a broad, a road-trip through the Eastern US this fall to watch ballgames, some mad travel, teaching ESL in Asia or a government job. I feel I won't have any solid plans by Sept. 1.

Here are a couple things I'm pledging during these two months, while I do some work on my parent's house:
1) I hope to read a book every week on my hiatus from normality. I haven't been able to finish a novel in something like 10 months.
2) I'm going to catch up with old friends who I have not seen in months and months.
3) I'm going to learn some new recipes and try to cook for myself at least three or four nights a week. It's kind of embarrassing that I'm on a first name basis with every pizza delivery driver, Chinese buffet guy and fast-food worker in the city.

I spent my first 24 hours as a jobless slug within a 20 metre circumference, napping in sweatpants, no shower, watching NHL free agent frenzy with a blanket over my head, and never leaving the house. And I learned something already: tomorrow only exists for those who have jobs because for me right now, every day is just an extension of today.