If you're reading this, you're one of the chosen few whom I trust and whose friendship I value.
As most of you know, I've been tossing around the idea of going private with my blog for some time now. It was a tough decision struggling with my ego of getting a bunch of hits on my site and finally breaking the 20,000 hit mark, or deciding to go private and rid myself of some of the stalkers and weirdo's who were following my postings.
Another reason for going private is the rash of arrests and subsequent incarceration of individuals like me who choose to blog the truth. Governments here in Southeast Asia tend to get upset when the general public utilize the media to write about the truth, so they've begun arresting the offenders under the guise of said individuals being a threat to national security or some such bullshit.
Laws in Thailand, Malaysia, and other Southeast Asian countries are often archaic and set up to protect the government, not the people. But from what I've read in the newspapers and online, the general public is no longer taking these injustices in stride. Now they are speaking out against these harsh, antiquated edicts, and in many cases, pressuring the governments to either release those individuals in question or change their passé rulings.
It is said Westerners are more concerned with privacy issues than in other parts of the world.
Perhaps, but I've noticed many Asians simply have a different concept or definition of privacy, than Westerners.
An example is seeing Thai women bathing outside. They sidle up to a communal water barrel wearing a wrap-around sarong and manage to bathe in the thing without exposing any more flesh than is absolutely necessary. Or they hold one's hand up in front of the mouth to hide picking their teeth after a meal. Just a couple of things that immediately pop into my head.
Thai's are pretty universal about these things, but in direct contrast, they don't think anything of walking right onto your land to pick a flower, take a piss, check out something they are interested in, hang their birdcage on your electric line, or drive their motorcycle into your driveway to park it while attending an event nearby, all without ever asking permission.
Gossip is rampant in Thailand. Even more so than what I witnessed while living in China.
A FARANG (the disgusting noun Thai's use in a spiteful manner to indicate a foreigner) like me cannot leave the house, go into town, visit the local pharmacy for some antibiotics, and go back home without the whole village knowing about it within a few hours.
"The farang is sick!" transmitted in Thai through mobile phones, SMS messages, and word-of-mouth within minutes of the event.
Jesus! Get a feaking life why don't cha?
Even though I've had a few run-in's with Thai's due to privacy issues, their lack of appreciation for our culture's version of privacy doesn't hold a candle to the underhanded, evil deeds other nutso foreigner's pull against their own.
So, here we are! All private, snuggly, comfy and forming a nice little friendly community!
So without further ado....I'd like to welcome:
- The Skelchy sisters, Annie and Simone from in and around Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Annie is an accomplished writer, story teller and philosophical thinker, who speaks at least five...seven? languages, while her sister Simone is a truly wonderful, modest, engaging individual with an extremely interesting job that I hope she'll tell us about in a future posting).
- Chris Allen, (a.k.a. Mysterioso) from Belfast, Northern Ireland, is a sensitive, talented musician and one of the most intelligent, talented individuals I know.
- Jenni Kossack from Michigan, USA...crazy, berserk, beautiful, extraordinary, my sexy love muffin! She says it like it is and isn't the least bit afraid to do so. She's bold, brash, and turning over a new leaf in life recently. A cartoonist with an edge, her humor is exactly as I like it....In your face...down and dirty....and RUDE!
- Mr. Robert Watson and his wife Diane from Tilton, New Hampshire...an old, seasoned friend of mine and former fishing buddy. Bob and I used to work together, and we've seen each other go through many different phases of life. His life experiences are such that most people wouldn't want to ever have to experience, but which has no doubt strengthened him in ways I cannot possibly describe. While Diane calls a spade a spade, Bob is the laid back member of the family, chosing to pause and observe, saving his opinions for later, well thought out and often sarcastically accurate.
That's the score for now folks. Possibly more people to be added in the near or distant future.
But, I can promise you this....
I've got a lot of plans up my sleeve, like interviews with my followers, the addition of collaborative works by my blog members, short stories for submission and review, comments, and many links to more exciting blog links.
I hope you all will enjoy this experience and stick with me through the easy and the tough times!
Hail to you all!