Monday, January 31, 2011

364 days till 40

so i got me a year.  actually, less.  a bout of food poisoning had me spending the last days of 38 and the beginning of 39 regretting a poor food stall decision, so i've lost a bit of time in the resolutions for my last year of 30.

so yesh, one shy of 40.  never even saw it coming.  distant footsteps, always behind me so quiet, i never even gave it a thought.  and then the shock of staring up into the face of my 39th year.  but at least i have made it this far, relatively unscathed and still scrapping for a wee bit more...

 so, on this second day of 39, i shall set into pixilated stone a few resolutions that if not at least attempted, shall mockingly stare up at me from this screen:

  • spend as much time as i can with my family
  • give pittsburgh a proper chance
  • buy a place that needs work, and fix 'er up
  • whittle down the ideas into a concrete business plan
  • learn a martial art
  • road trip across the usa
  • study italian
  • a return to many of the skills i used to know and love:  snowboarding, biking, climbing, cooking, dancing, languages, yoga...
  • be a better, more communicative friend
  • relearn my social-ness
  • more blogging

Monday, January 17, 2011

no economic woes to be seen in bangkok

tourists and thais everywhere, spending money shopping, eating movies-you name it.  and random scenes like this one put on at malls:

where have i been?

okay, so i have slacked.  been slow to post, not yet even caught up with posting all the pictures and video from nepal, and now another country.  so, for my loving family, a return to the computer to recall who/what/when/where/how is necessary. 

so the cold of nepal, and my inability to cope, as well as the wait till march for the everest trek pushed me into a return to thailand.  so where?  here i sit, several days into my exploration of slack, poolside in one of the reasonable retreats that $40 can bring:

so the primary setting of slacking established, onto the question of why thailand comes to mind.  i was thinking of immediately heading to india, but needing to relax coupled with my familiarity of thailand and a meeting with a friend, enticed me to delay and head to the land of smiles.

so i met up with sophie for a few days of my favorite bangkok diversions.  first a sky train ride, then on my favorite form of bangkok public transportation down the chao phraya river:





then a quick walk:

 juice and penis postures
and then on to one of my favorite places in bagkok, wat pho:

wat pho is the birth and rebirth place of thai massage.  rebirth as it was a lost art, that was pieced back together from temple carvings created by teachers who the above statue depicts.  it also houses the ashes of many prominent figures in thai history in chedis scattered about the massive complex:

wat pho is also famous for having the world's largest reclining buddha.  this always struck me as strange, and no one has ever been ever able to tell me when, so many years ago, the monks were aiming for a record involving big buddhas, that they decided on making one lying down.  but never mind, and here it is:

it is tradition when you leave the wat containing the buddha, that you drop coins in a succession of pots.  it is said if you can make it to the end, putting coins in all the pots, but having some left for the last one you will have good luck.  like this:

another of my favorite things about wat pho is getting a real thai massage from a temple trained masseuse.  i remember the first time i went here in 1998, it was a small scale, simple affair, no ac, open air and just a few tourists.  but today, they have expanded into a largish building, all ac, which i bet pulls in $25-30,000 a day.  how things change.

we walked into chinatown, had a tea and a small snack, and took the boat back, watching the city lights reflect in the water.

now sophie was thai-fooded out, so i happily obliged with a trip to my favorite japanese restaurant outside of japan: tsu-nami.  tsu for sushi and nami for kobe beef.  we opted for nami:

a fantastic bangkok day and night!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

random videos from the trek

stopped at 234

retrace: 12.06.2010 annapurna circuit trek-day 5

Day 5:  Danakyu-Koto-Chame

didn't write this day, so words directed by pictures and video:

 just when you think that you caught a great view, another one is around the corner.

 accidentally shot, but cute

quiet beauty

same kids, playing soccer.

good old dahl bhat.  never disappoints.

big announcement.

what else can to say about these views?

ganja views.....

newly met friends:  ruth and john from canada.  they joined us till manang...good folks.

even the 'urban' trail with power lines can't detract from what you see.

mo mountains

not too bad for $2

mahendra enjoying the sun.

where we stayed.