Tuesday, January 29, 2002

True tests for the obsessive-compulsive.....

Last minute bookings for a 4 day 3 night tour in north Vietnam. What the hell happened to Bangkok? Chinese New Year . . . . Songkran . . . . must book now . . . . Cripes. Everything in Asia sounds wicked expensive to the cheapskate American.

A mere Twenty-thousand bahts? Hey, what's that? Crap, I haven't even received my tax refund yet and here I am dickering about a few measely bahts. Get a grip man, it's only money. Hanoi or no Hanoi I'm gonna go . . . and I'm gonna have a good time dammit. My friends say, "Go with the flow Jim." Is that upstream on the Chao Phraya or downstream? Sans paddle?

I received an e-mail from my good friend in Kuala Lumpur the other day. It brightened my day. Seems a cultural nuance, combined with some stubborn American pride had parted us for a while. I learned a valuable lesson from this. Sometimes you just gotta bite your pride. Being right or wrong is NOT the issue where friendship is concerned.

She sent me a travel log exerpt of her Morocco trip. Anne has a way of painting a picture in my head of her travels and adventures. I shared her log with a friend.....one of those staunch New Englanders who have never left the boundaries of New Hampshire and think the world is still flat, risking falling off the earths crust into an abyss if you venture beyond the Connecticut River. She loved it and had a hundred questions, ninety-nine of which I could not answer.

I need to learn to go with the flow, but to me, it's like a fine balance. On one side of the balance beam is uptight and on the other is lack of responsibility. Another one of life's hurdles. You either sail over them, trip on them, or cheat and try and skirt them. If you cheat, you pay the price bigtime. It's an adventure full of risks. I think I'll have some Durian fruit . . . . -Jeeem-


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