Expat@Large

The Bruce Bits, etc…

Posted in Bruce, old blog, writing by expatatlarge on April 5, 2012

I am currently trawling through my old blog (again), as well is this one, looking for bits and pieces I can cobble together – not necessarily into anything coherent or internally consistent – something about Bruce, and/or taxis, and/or the Mouse, and/or Kopi, and/or hotel breakfasts and toast…

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There are maybe 700 posts and perhaps 250,000 words over there place (approaching 2 milllion hits btw) and with the 740 post here, god knows how many words.

There must be something I can do with it all (as people have been saying for years) rather burn my few remaining hours over something new that is not taking the shape I want it to.

I will need to redo a great deal of the earlier risqué E@L stuff retrospectively as Bruce stories, to give a semblance of character continuity.

Plot? Don’t make me laugh.

Watch this space. (If I don’t run out of steam…)

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Do you think I should I should charge you guys for the effort I am taking to do this, as Dick Headley does, or let it run free amongst the wolves on the internet marketplace, as Mercer Machine does?

E@L

Iced Green Tea Latte

Posted in Starbucks, voice, writing by expatatlarge on February 20, 2012

“I’ve got no voice. I don’t know how to write like me.”
“Paul Kemp” (Johnny Deep doing a much better job of Hunter S. Thompson than he did in Fear and Loathing)- Rum Diary (2011)

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Funnily enough this morning, before watching this movie tonight in which, serendipitously, I heard the above line and pressed pause on the laptop and opened Evernote to jot it down, I headed to Starbucks and ordered an iced green tea latte because I thought such a drink would be disgusting enough, and it was, to grant me extra time in a relatively comfy chair while I bashed away here. Because I wanted to check something out.

I had something in my head, in my bowels, somewhere, where-ever gut feelings and brilliant ideas reside. It was about my voice, my literary voice. E@L’s voice, the voice I want to have when I write being me trying to write like I’m writing like E@L – yes, me too, fuck it, I get so confused trying to emulate myself that it all comes out like the shit you have after a night on the piss and curry.

And you know, advice from a whole lot of good people over the years has been perfect: Get onto it, if you want to write something, write something that E@L would write, write like you do in your blog. Obviously that is your voice, they’d say.

As they should. And I tried. I wasn’t ignoring their advice, I was trying but I couldn’t do it, horn blast, failed. No matter how hard I tried I didn’t sound like E@L. It didn’t even sound like me.

Despite nodding and saying “Yes, yes, I understand” when these well-meaning people abused me and threw rocks at my head trying to get some sense in there, I still had trouble putting E@L’s tone and voice into these pieces. Perhaps I was thinking that this writing would be associated with *me* rather than E@L, that first-draft wunderkind whom we all love and know so well. Or is that meant to be other way around? Ah, I’ll fix in the next draft.

Last few weeks I’ve glancing over some of E@L’s old posts from this and the previous blog and thought, hey fuck, this guy is good, do I know him? Wish I could write the way he does.

So today, for some reason, I just said fuck all that self-conscious literary shit, I’ll get E@L himself to do the writing for me. I’ll let him write a blog using my imagination, let him tell the story of the story behind the story that I have been trying to write for years. Which is not, as some have been whispered to, the Bruce stuff at all (well not completely).

Trying hard hasn’t worked, I’m going to try easier from now on. That is the plan.

So E@L sippped his drink, yuck, and banged out five pseudo-posts for me, a whisper over 2000 words, before the green tea latte ran out. I hope it sounds more E@L’ish than last year’s NaNoWriMo stuff.

Here’s one from today…

++++++++++++

ICED GREEN TEA LATTE

Disgusting.

But E@L is sitting down in Satrefucks, he needs time to think about this news, needs to write it down to see what it looks like, so he can think about it better and he has an iced green tea latte on the table, next to his laptop.

A nicely horrible drink like this will allow him to sip slowly, to shudder, then write something while he waits ten minutes, and sip, shudder again. You get the idea. How long can he stretch this poison out? There is nowhere in the hotel to sit like this – he needs white noise of people doing those various things other people do in order to concentrate. He needs something, though a critical mass of someones is better, to ignore. Satrefucks, perfect for venting anger. Ice green tea latte. How horrible does tha sound? How horrible does it taste. He’s got about an hour here he calculates.

Life for the gullible is always teetering on the edge of disaster thanks to the indifferent hearts of psychopathic grifters, con-men and investment brokers. Bastards left and right are out to insert a hand into the wallet pockets of the vague and upstaring, to rip out their financial guts. E@L, gullibility made flesh, is pretty fucked up at the moment in this division, as the more perspicacious reader of this blog may have assimilated by now.

Some fresh news has filtered through about The Prick’s disappearance and the evaporation of E@L’s investment, sigh, from one of the other poor suckers investors. It seems, according to that source who’s name cannot be remembered and perhaps should not, that The Prick not only took E@L and his fellow gullible’s money, he also drained his wife’s bank account. Swear to god. And not under the most pleasant of circumstances. Aptly did Birdman create his cognomen.

E@L has only met the short-suffering woman (the wife) two or three times, not enough to maintain her name either in his leaky sieve underneath the dripping glue form his rotting memory banks. Fuck what is it with E@L and names? Heard she was sick, but The Prick never told E@L of what. Him? Tell E@L anything? Turns out if was freakin’ breast cancer. Oh my freakin’ christ. The death-worthy prick. The lump was scanned in their TST office by a friend of E@L’s, he hears now, someone in his old company another source of gossip, as a favour to The Prick who apparently had charmed her at one of my parties . “Get to a freakin’ real Doctor immediately!” That was fair to middling unprofessional btw, but we are in Asia.

Listen to this, those who have computer screens to hear. Story is she had gone back to Germany, she’s half kraut, old Blighty’s NHS not quite the ticket, for some treatment or other involving loss of hair and a small snip. Didn’t lose her whole breast, it was early/small (not necessarily significant, but that’s not helpful in the medium term E@L’s recent casual studies have concluded – a kick in the butt for our screening machine, but sshhhh, don’t tell the customers).

Wifey, victim in so many ways, had refused the well-meaning ministrations of those who peddle their varietals of soups and teas composed of a menagerie of endangered species and bits of garden clippings that is TCM. Thankfully, [You’ve all remember Steve Jobs? Sorry bit of editorial intervention here. E@L will be blogging about this in the far far future. OK I’m gone.] she went the Western Way.

So, scarfed and don’t-touch-my-boobies sore, she gets back home to their mansion of a flat on The Peak, but The Prick is not home, the fridge empty, except for some vegetables turning to soup in the bottom drawer (good for TCM?) so she wonders where the slave hired help might be hiding, not there either, pops down to grab a bucket of Beluga and, WTF, her card is rejected. OK, the bit about the caviare E@L is offering some mere conjecture there, but the card rejection was real. She had no money in her account. Nada, zip, not a Standard and Chartered buck. You don’t need E@L to explain what The Prick had done with their joint account.

This was at exactly the time we all lost contact with that massive prick, The Prick.

Sound familiar? E@L’s investment account. As previously described. All the money from the sale of his post-divorce 50% of the Olde Sweete Homee. The Prick is a total cunt. I think was can all rest our joint agreement there.

Sip.

Shudder.

Groan.

Finished for today.

E@L

++++++++++++

That will all be for this transmission. His work is tough you know and it starts again tomorrow. Around lunch time.

Finished for today.

E@L

Instant Phuket

Posted in holidays, packing, Thailand, writing by expatatlarge on November 9, 2011

Just quickly (which means he’ll probably write for the next three hours), E@L has decided over a period of not very long, to drop tools and fly to Phuket. Internet, Wotif, Tripadvisor, Singaporeair, all dot com’d and here he is, packing (and what essential item/s will he forget?)

Work is quiet as a Bangkok trip has been postponed (duh) as has the replacement trip to Kuala Lumpur. And the rain here at breakfast time yesterday meant E@L couldn’t get a taxi to frackin’ Tampines, so he spat the dummy and sucked it up, emailed his intent (the boss is in Vietnam, so no-one really cares if he is in the office or not, plus he has 40 days of leave to shed) and did all those bookings.

Over the next few days he will be working on writing (it’s that immensely disheartening period of NaNoWriMo again, and fuck E@L/Fyodor writes like shit when he tries hard and he comes way too close to the true stories of his buddies and himself, and are probably libelous as well) and reading in a comfortable hotel in a quiet part of Enchanted Isle (Surin Beach), as opposed to reading and writing in a comfortable apartment in the Disenchanted Isle (here).

OK, look, E@L has finished this post already! Like an effort for his NaNoWriMo efforts, it’s shorter than expected and leads to nowhere interesting.

Well, moderately interesting…

E@L

Yes

Posted in writing by expatatlarge on September 14, 2011

I’m blogging a bit more recently because I am supposed to be doing something else.

E@L

Unforgivable

Posted in books, dysfunctional families, French, writers, writing by expatatlarge on February 24, 2011

…is the situation re: Philippe Djian. My copy of the book arrived from some sub-dealer with Alibris and it had a black pen across the pages at the bottom – remaindered, right? Yet I paid for an unmarked ‘NEW’ copy! Anyway, finished it tonight…

Well, should a) I send it back, or b) learn to read French in order to catch up on all Djian’s untranslated stuff, or c) was this the only one worth translating over the past 20 years, or d) why can’t we just get over the Betty Blue thing and translate some more of his brilliant stuff into English, and why, while we are in a cataloging mode, e) can’t we just dump Michel Houllebecq – he should delay no more and get his merde out of our visages – we want more Djian!

More about Unforgivable

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I know that this blog rambles from nonsensical book reviews (case in point) to the cataloging of the sexual exploits of various people called Bruce, to para-seditious mumblings about Singapore’s taxi drivers, coffee purveyors and the spookily ubiquitous Lee family who run the city of Singapore like a fascist state. Well big deal. Blogging is dead. These digital pages are for me and my handful of necrophiliac lurkers and zombie friends. And I don’t care if you’d rather read about Clive Cussler, Clive James or Clive Barker – what I’d like to talk about tonight is what I talk about tonight.

And I really had trouble deciding what tone to take in this book review type post tonight. I chose the ‘pissed ramble’.

~~~~~~~~~~~

You’ve never met such an arsehole as the narrator in this relatively short novel (212 pages, large type). Not that he is violent (much) or your classic anti-hero as such, not a likable rogue who gets away with it, not your Ripley/Alfie type. No, he is just selfish to the point of pathology and as grumpy, narcissistic and insensitive as anyone you’d ever have the misfortune to meet – in short, he is French. Or English, in the Kingsly Amis, Philip Larkin mold.

‘Curmudgeon’ is a word you might associate with such grumpy, intransigent old men as this, and with the previous generation of angry young/old men writers like the above-mentioned insufferable (at least to his son and wives) Kingsley Amis. Well the protagonist of Djian’s recently translated novel is also a curmudgeonly old writer, an ostensibly (and perhaps essentially) unlovable, fastidious and unloving, old fart. Self-centred and misanthropic? You have no idea. Makes the infamously arsehole-ish Kingsley look like the unflappably affable host of a Sunday morning TV chat show on the shopping channel.

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The elderly writer Francis (please Lord I hope this is not based on Djian, surely on Amis) has one surviving daughter, Alice. When she was a teenager, her mom and sister were incinerated after a car accident in front of their eyes as she and Dad, who both survived the crash, looked on, helpless. To illustrate his insensitivity and self-centredness, at one point, just after the tragedy, Djian has Francis come into her room and tell the desperately grieving Alica, that hey, he has writer’s block and needs some sympathy.

Alice has grown up to be a (willful selfish) famous actress, who is rather alienated from dad (duh!), and shagging the likes of Brad (while denying it – “Angelina is my friend“) and/or Shia LaBoeuf, while her ex-drug-abusing banker hubby Roger and their adorable twin girls (one with two less fingers thanks to a stoned Roger) look on with great confusion.

Then Alice disappears.

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Then it goes downhill. New wives, PIs – amateur and professional, old girlfriends turned lesbians with suicidal sons fresh out of jail, and writer’s block, and homosexual dog-murderers, and guns (and lovers) [good name for a band?], misunderstandings, massive jealousy and a web of little white lies… as Francis’ long lost passion for writing comes back…

One of the reviews calls it “cinematic”. I guess that is because Judith, Francis’s second wife, is a real-estate agent. And because someone fires a gun at the end. But the frequent and often un-noted time shifts (paragraph by paragraph sometimes) swerve the narrative back and forth, it might seem like something you’d see in some Stephen Soderburgh directed/edited flick (the person dying in a burning car is another link) like ‘Crash’, rather than having the conventional linearity of the dysfunctional family in ‘American Beauty’.

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I downed the last 80 pages of ‘Unforgivable’ in a rush, along with a bottle of Coonawarra Cab Sav and a medium-rare rib-eye, and was sitting in the low red ambiance of the Rib Room of the Landmark (got upgraded to a suite, so thought I’d give them all their money back) and was stunned (by the book, not the wine, though it was bloody nice too) and considering that if this is what it takes to be a writer, then I don’t want to go there…

Francis’s aunt had a solid affair with Ernest Hemingway (she knitted that thick white jumper you see him wearing in some photos, and sent him a load of anchovies [wtf?]) and he is Francis’ writing hero. He has his aunt’s couch, one that Hemingway slept on (he keeps reminding us) and a framed card thanking her for the anchovies (brilliant!). Was Hemingway an arsehole too? c.f. ‘Happy Birthday Wanda June.’ Discuss.

Francis knows almost nothing about his fellow human beings and seems to care only as far as things affect him, at least with those is in his immediate family and environs. He reminds me (another film allusion) of the Jack Nicholson character (Alice would never sleep with Nicholson!) in ‘As Good As It Gets’ – someone who can write amazing stuff but cannot live or act in the emotional real world, completely unlike his characters or his authorial self. High functioning autism.

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But despite the chaos, the anger, angst and emotional dysfunction (here’s another film allusion that is not a million miles from the mark – ‘The Royal Tennenbaums’) I still am fond of Francis. “Am I not allowed a sexual life?” he asks his angry (packing her bags, leaving with the twins) daughter when, after years of abstinence/impotence (he was incapable of making love with his second wife), he surreptiously, he thought, brings home a lady he met in a bar. She (Alice) breaks down and cries on his shoulder. “Forgive me”, she says. Yet, hell, holy fuck, HE should be asking, pleading, begging, gnashing his teeth, cutting off his arms in pleas for her forgiveness for HIS unutterably bad parenting (which made her turn out this way).

[Addendum: now I think back on it, with the perspective on literature one gets after two or three hours, I’d say there is only one unequivocally nice person in the whole goddamn book (and she… no, won’t spoil it), not counting the sweet, almost interchangeable and digitally challenged twins – but counting their always crying newborn baby brother!]

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And the pains of the writing process he describes; the concentration and dedication required to get the rhythm of one sentence right, let alone the clarity of a paragraph or a page and the solitude one needs for this task, and the pressure that this intolerance of distraction puts on the demands of family life… No, not a writer’s life for me. Just keep me blathering away incoherently and unedited on this blog till the wee hours (again).

And stay well paid in my day job.

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More than recommended. Unforgettable – an emotional kick in the guts. As was that Katnook Estates Cab Sav!

~~~~~~~~~~~

Some writers produce books so that you have something to hold in your hand as you pass the time (and be “entertained”), and some so that you have something to think about when you put the book down.

E@L

(also highly recommended for those times you are wandering around Chiang Mai in a daze – The New Yorker fiction podcasts. Short stories from the NYer archives, read by other writers. Awesome. Free. How I got onto the incredible Denis Johnson)

Rain

Posted in blah blah, bored as fuck, dying any minute now, long time no post, rain, writing by expatatlarge on October 2, 2010

It is raining; a long “shhh” that is both distant and near. There are memories dull and deep that this sound evokes*. It is hard to place where the “shhh” comes from, the present or the past. I turn my head this way, that way. The rain’s loud hushing is coming from everywhere, everywhere outside that is; the trees and bushes and flowers, from the pool surface, from the paved paths, from the air itself. The rain’s hush is so loud, so continuous, so all-enclosing that it takes an effort to hear it, to realize that there is a sound. Water for fish.

Golf is out of the question, I guess. Did I bring my full set for nothing?

Thunder grumbles loudly, ignoring the rain’s request for silence. I want to write something, I want to sit outside while I write it. On the balcony, pebbles have been laid in white in a single large floral pattern, maybe a tree shape, against brown background pebbles. Half the balcony is exposed to the weather, half sheltered under a rendered-concrete, not quite terra-cotta, more peach-coloured roof. There are four narrow windows in the wall at the left side, spaces between columns of the concrete. The wooden chairs and their single green, square cushions are wet however, as is the wooden table. Even though the furniture is several feet from the rain, splashes from the large drops that fall from the edge of the balcony’s roof onto the pebbles are leaping back at the table and the chairs, or they sneak through those narrow open spaces between the columns, hopping from the pebbles on the floor of the balcony next door. The roof-drops make a cracking sound as they explode against the pebbles, a sound like turned-back knuckles. There is no rhythm to these drops, they fall at random. After I wipe the water away with my bathroom towel and pull the table and one of the chairs even further away from the open half of the balcony (hardly a balcony really as the three steps at the end take you down to pool level, there must be another word for it – porch?), I move them toward the glass door to my room.

The splashes continue to leap at the table, at me where I sit, even at the laptop. There are splashes like tears on the screen as I type. You should see them. It is raining heavily now, then it becomes softer. The “shh” is almost a shout, almost a whisper.

Thunder rolls from the clouds like a god turning in his giant creaky bed and the rain picks up again, heavy and inevitable, like death, like metabolic syndrome.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wanted to write today, if not on some novel or short story at least in the blog. Be funny, be grumpy, amuse, but nothing comes easily this morning so I describe things. When I am not writing, internally heard passages of fiction-like observations come into my head, but I have no chance to write them down as I am walking or shopping or drinking beer or eating or getting a blow-job in a massage parlor. I can never remember them later. Mostly.

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“Is it off season in the back-lanes of Hua Hin around the Hilton? The many beer bars are sparsely populated, only a few customers in this bar, one in that bar. Many bars are empty. The girls who are still awake, who have not given up hope at 10pm, these girls call to me, bar after bar. (Are there more bars here than last time?) Hello, they call. Welcome. Hey mister, come in.

Some girls are pretty, most are not.

Taxi!”

~~

“The blustering wind scatters leaves like seed on barren ground, it bends the trees in supplication. I stop the cross-trainer, take a breather, look out the gym window to the road by my flat. I see a yellow bird, a small-to-medium sized bird. The strong yellow, makes it easy to find and see it skitter from a branch on this tree to a branch on that tree. A yellow bird. How beautiful.

Maybe it eats its own weight every day. Steven Wright wonders: how does it know how much it weighs?

I start the cross-trainer again. My heart rate is displayed. It is in the fat-burning zone.”

~~

“The roar of cicadas, I notice this roar finally. It is amazing, it has built up so gradually that I didn’t notice it, like a frog in heating water. It is deafening: If I was talking to someone, if I was with someone, I would have to shout.

The eye-burning vapour of eucalyptus leaves. I walk on soft sand that has been spread across the prepared walking path through Litchfield park. Hardly natural up here on the top of escarpment. Scrambling across rocks not strictly on the trail to get a better view I observe the thin waterfalls, the deep pools at the base of the cliffs. There are safe cascades sometimes, where girls in bikinis and men in surf-shorts bathe languidly. Dry season, low water, no crocodiles. It is safe for those sybarites in the pools. No-one will be eaten today.

I did not bring my bathers, my togs, my swimmers on the drive from Darwin (speed limit 130kms/hour! Outstanding in a rental!) The bathers are in my room. I berate myself as the dark water looks so cool, is so inviting.”

~~

“Under my big toe, on the ventral surface of my right hallux, something feels uncomfortable, a slightly piercing pressure, a princess’s pea. When I lift my foot and prod under the breach at the font of my sandal there only a small leaf caught underneath, a soft and innocent leaf. Soft? The neural sensitivity is returning, perhaps; a leaf like this shouldn’t bring such pain. Maybe the drugs are losing their potency in my system. This makes me a little bit sad, makes me a little bit angry. The drugs stabilise my mood as well as try to kill the pain. Every emotion is a little bit.”

~~

“The siren sounds and everybody – 100,016 everybodies – take a large breath in. How can so many people be suddenly so silent? It is like a film, unreal and false, believable despite its cruel unbelievable essence. Some players fall to ground and lie on their backs to stare at the sky. Clouds are gathering, I wonder if they notice. The players who are still standing place their hands on their heads and walk around in a stupor. Some are crying, some blank-faced. Even the players lying down have their hands on their heads. Why? Is this the response to frustration, to disbelief, to resignation, to the realisation that 140 minutes of grueling, body-breaking effort, of continual effort, of hard non-stop running up the extensive playing field (amazing fitness), of leaping and crushing and fast twisting, turning, slipping away from the ball-hunger of the opposition team keen to bash you down and steal the Sherrin – all this has been in vain. OMG, has all that hard physical and psychological preparation of the entire year been wasted? A draw in the Grand Final? It cannot have happened, yet it has.

Rain falls within a whipping wind as we walk home from the ground. Appropriate.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am still getting splashed by the rain. It’s heavier again. The roar of the hush continues everywhere around me, like cicadas in the bush, like the birds (are they yellow) in the trees on Orchard Rd.

I wonder what to write about.

E@L

* plagiarised from Ogawa’s “The Diving Pool” which I am currently reading while not typing this.

Not Self-Aware (I Am a Tourist In My Own Life)

Posted in autobiography, tourists, travel trouble, writing by expatatlarge on July 10, 2009

I have real trouble turning off my internal narrator. The enthusiasm of this continuous monologue is what first made me think I should try my pen at writing/blogging. Then I found out most people have a voice inside their heads who comments on the action, that other people have their own internal narrators and that I was not unique after all. How disappointing, I thought it was just me. But no, we all have one.

Except for those people who, as Izzy insists, are Not Self Aware.

Like the guy tonight that everyone in our cheap Outback style Chiang Mai restaurant found out was from Las Vegas. He lives here, we all leanred, but those people he was with before, they were not his FREINDS, they were his NEIGHBOURS. The Vegan guy would not shut-up. He kept talking continuously at indiscreet volumes to the two Thai girls at his table. On and on he goes. “That happened to my mom, who is,” he leans forwards and speaks slowly, “EIGHT EE SIX YEARS OLD.” They kept eating, not looking at him. Wondering, what the fuck is he yelling at us about? No doubt. He then sends back his steak because it is “a touch more medium than well done. I prefer it more WELL-DONE/medium than medium/well-DONE, as I requested, so could the chef please JUST COOK it a little bitty MORE, thank you sir, I’d appreciate that.” The blank-faced waiter nodded and took the meat back to the kitchen, shrugging his shoulders to the chef.

My waiter rolled his eyes. Tourists. Not self aware, as a species.

This guy could not be self-aware as the voice in his head would not be able to get a word in edgewise. I often wonder, are people who talk incessantly like this capable of… like, *contemplating* anything? Can they ever stop… and just… think? Ever? Are they afraid of what their inner narrator might tell them?

I’m trying to get rid of my inner narrator. I was once told he is slowing me down. Then again, other people say that I think too much. I’m not doing any thinking, of course, I’m just listening to the inner narrator. I’ve been presuming he’s been doing the thinking for both if us and therefore knows what he’s doing, and ergo facto, so do I.

Perhaps I should study my Eckhart Tollë a little more, eh? BE in my present. Stop listening to that inner voice. Stop worrying about the future and regretting the past (which is what my inner voice is or should be talking about, according to Tollë, rather than saying mundane things like “Long shot: Phillip picks up his fork and examines it for traces of dirt”).

And keep those cheques and money orders coming in, says Eckhart.

Yes, I should stop being an actor in the movie that is my life and just live it without awareness. Like a brain-washed new-age zombie. Like a tourist.

As long as I am alive to live it that is.

I just hope that they way to achieve this inner calm is not by talking loudly to uncomprehending people in restaurants, like a total wanker.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The country town of Nan was a bit quiet last night.


Street market at 9pm. More street than market.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My narrator was haranguing me on helium for the drive back from Nan (on the Nan river, same river that flows through Phitsanulok from two weeks ago) to Chiang Mai; he was having a field day. I only wish I could recall some of it for you. Passages of great descriptive power, episodes of dramatic irony and then some of irony and drama by themselves. Discourses of great social and political import. All of them concerning feats of dangerous driving even more harrowing than earlier in the week. Feats to leave you gasping. More knife-edge curves and split-second swerves… More good luck than good decisions on the corners… It got to the point were E@L had to say, “Please DON’T text while you are driving at twice the recommended speed, on the wrong side of the road, going into a blind curve, with the setting sun right in your eyes!!”

Reply; a pleasant “Hoka-ay. No ploblem. Solly.”

As I couldn’t sleep due to anxiety for the first hour of this trip and due to a full bladder for the last, I also wish that the pictures from my mental camera could be downloaded to share with you. Other than close-ups of oncoming trucks, I mean. Snaps of rice paddies reflecting the burnished clouds of sunset and the silhouettes of the hills.


Oops missed the rice paddies.

Snaps of the teak jungles draped in a suffocating omnipresent vine infestation. Snaps of village markets, rickety shanties on those hillsides, plus large modern mansions with satellite antennae. Snaps of the weather-beaten, lined and tanned face of the man pushing a tractor-tyred cart to the market, or the weary grandmother in traditional hill-tribe dress keeping a hand on the exhuberant children under her supposed control right by the road-side.

I think next time I’ll go by bus.


This bus pulled up next to us at the lights in Lampuang.


Somebody, please explain.

E@L

Novel Idea

Posted in autobiography, writing by expatatlarge on June 19, 2009

I have decided (another decision made at 2am when I couldn’t sleep due to the new meds being pathetic and making things worse) to stop writing on this blog before lunch and twittering away on Facebook and to spend at least two hours every morning – 9am to 11am, for example – writing a novel. Not necessarily my novel, mind you. ANY novel would do. Even a story, short medium or long. This enforced sitting with a pen from my new writing kit (see above) in hand and my novel-writing notebook (a present from Mercer Machine almost exactly two years ago) in front in me seems to be the only possible way I get to make a start.

I think that if I get to the office on time, this would the ideal place to perform this task. I can’t do it at home as I probably just keep organizing my pron files, cataloguing them by number of participants, number of observers, language (mainly Japanese), flora, fauna and the amount of squint-eyed defocusing that allows me to perceive the relevant anatomy through the typical Japanese hatching. I don’t know what Japanese genitals actually look like. Fuzzy things with anti-aliased chequered outlines I can only presume. Having a cock with all those edges must hurt. No wonder the girls (dogs, horses, etc…) all go “ooh, ooh”, and look away, their eyes closed in pain. I don’t know how the Japanese manage to find the will to procreate, it seems such an unpleasant experience. Plus by the far the majority of their spermatozoa seem to end up in procreatively neutral places, a finding that explains the current downturn in birth-rates in Japan.

So with blank paper in front of me, not pron, I hope soon to make a start. I think it might be best If I follow the sage advice of many wise dead writers and “Write What You Know About”. What DO I know about? Japanese pron! I might start my novel with a story about two (or more) fuzzy genitaliated Japanese people who have weird sex on public transport. Now, at last, I’m in my comfort zone…

E@L

Less Majestic Decision Deconstructs Harry

Posted in Harry Nicolaides, Thailand, writing by expatatlarge on January 19, 2009

Yes, as DH pointed out in his comment on my last post (he obviously got up and wrested his Bangkok Post from the hotel-room door-handle before I did), Australian best-selling author (5 copies was it?) Harry Nicolaides coped it sweet with a three year sentence.

From the photo on page 1, he doesn’t look too happy about the prospect of more time spent in the “Bangkok Hilton” and I don’t blame him…

Because I am actually in Thailand at the moment I’ve just deleted a large section of criticism of Thai legal stupidity and the anachronistic monarchic systems… The arbitrary way this law is applied is just too scarey – everyone knows what is going on with the royal family, yet the author of an obscure novel gets punished for saying it… Many of the readers comments to the Post article pretty much say how I feel about what a tragic farce this is…

And because I don’t want to join him, I’ll shut up right now…

E@L

(p.s. I notice that the once ubiqituous yellow t-shirts on Monday have pretty much disappeared as wearing one would be considered a Political statement rather than a royalist one.)