Friday, May 15, 2009

Of landmasses and conversations with ancient gods

So, I have had to cut my extended world trip short after just one month because I was afflicted by some damn disease called dengue fever and it rendered all my plans futile for now. In truth I really did not have a well laid out plan, I'm not the kind of person who does that. I don't have plan B's for most of the stuff I take on, and this one was really spur of the moment because it dawned on me that I should have been doing this shit already and I did not have any more time to waste. That coupled with the fact that I had to get away for a while made me come out here. The plan was simple:

  1. Fly to Cambodia.
  2. Do an intensive 5 week TEFL course which includes practical teaching as part of the course
  3. Volunteer with the school as a teacher for 3 months after that
  4. Find a volunteer opportunity in rural Cambodia and do that for about a year in exchange for food and shelter
  5. Learn the language (Khmer)
  6. Find my way into a monastery for another year or so after that, hopefully teach English there as well
  7. Strike out with my new found wisdom after that and explore the continent, using my teaching skills to fund my travels.
  8. Go back home after 5 years or so.
  9. Do the occasional doobie wherever I could find it

The overarching goal of this was to simply work my way through my bucket list. The hope was and still is that; I will return wiser, I will change someone's life for the better, I will write some stuff to inspire others and generations that come after, I will save a life, make this brief existence meaningful and dedicate it to one who has gone before. Anyway, the dengue ensured that I couldn't complete the course and that I also run out of money in a blink. Now that I think about it if it had all gone according to plan, I would have probably caught something else in the rural areas because I didn't get any of the relevant vaccinations and the list of the ones I need doesn't fool around. If I got one of those, I wouldn't even have the time to pen off a quick goodbye. Briefly; there's Hep A, B and C, some Japanese Encephala-something* and a few others guaranteed to literally kick the living shit out of you. At least now I know, I do not possess Wolverine's healing factor.

The good thing is that I still have a place on the course and I can do it in either August or Jan as long as I get my ass back here. Hence I'm coming home to probably do some boring stuff and hopefully gather enough green to strike out again in Jan. Um...hopefully I will have a plan B this time round but I doubt it, some habits persist.

I am still upbeat; I have now set foot on two continents and visited one house of worship. It was Wednesday afternoon that I decided to go to the post office and send some post cards and it so happens that it is near Wat Phnom from which the city gets its name. I knew it was going to be an emotional day because I wanted to find a local who spoke a modicum of English and have a conversation. Instead I found myself sitting before an array of Buddha statues and statuettes, lighting a couple of incense sticks and having a one way conversation with one who has gone before, a prayer if you will. There is something wrong with me these days; I find that I am easily overwhelmed by emotion and so I find that thinking about certain things opens the floodgates. I was reading jiny23's blog post about his friend's loss and when I went to comment on it I let loose about a litre. My machismo is down to zero for now. Anyway, I had a long conversation in that temple; I prayed for peace for those who have gone before and those of us who follow, I asked for guidance in my endeavours, for a light to show the way back and for the strength to overcome the myriad of obstacles. All the time I could not stop shedding tears and I hoped that the sweating disguised them from my fellow pilgrims. All in all, I said my bit and I left. There is a tree with the loveliest red flowers here, I don't know if I have seen it elsewhere but its beauty strikes me every time I see it. I said my goodbyes to the city, promised to return and left a few hours later. I have now been stuck in the Bangkok airport for 2 days and I feel a fever coming on. Which reminds me, the song "Fever" is forever spoilt for me because if someone gave me that fever, moreover in the morning, day and night, there would be murder!


lulu said...

hi rhino, whats up, i added you to my blog roll and shall be here more oftemn i envy your tour, sorry about the fever, hope you better now

Shishi said...

i envie your travels man, you so lucky...

Rhino said...

Um...not much to envy now seeing as I have to return home and plan a 2nd bite at this apple in Jan. Thanks for following!