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Published: January 25th 2006
I am writing this from the top bunk of a 2nd class cabin of a train on it's way to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. I should probably be asleep like the Korean Christian Missionaries in the bunks around me, but I slept until noon today, so I am just not tired. My Tylenol PM are in my luggage beneath the bottom bunk, and I'm afraid if I try to get them I will wake Jin-Hu and that would mean the risk of an attempt to convert, which is a risk I am not willing to take right now.
It's funny how things happen when least expected. When I got back from Peru and went to work for MetiLinx, I really thought my dream of leaving everything behind and traveling for a extended period of time was over, but then when I least expected it, things came together perfectly for me to fulfill that dream. It's been the same story since I have been out here. The best experiences have come out of nowhere. When I go out looking for something, I am disappointed, but when I have no expectations, I find these amazing little moments in time.
The last night in Koh Tao I went to have a beer and watch the sunset for the last time from that viewpoint. After the sun went down I was going to go pack, finish Bob Dylan's Chronicles and go to sleep, I had an early ferry to Koh Pha-Ngan the next morning. But as fate had it, I met 4 other people traveling alone. A girl from England and guys from Sweden, Switzerland, and England. We ended up having drinks together, then going to dinner together, then to a "Dance for Charity" at Pure. That's about as close as I have come to doing anything close to charity since I've been here. Half of the proceeds from alcohol consumption at Pure that night went to a charity to support the care of wild dogs and cats in Koh Tao. Which was a good thing, since I witnessed a brutal fight between local dog gangs that very day that almost left one dog dead. It was a great night where we drank Thai Buckets and danced until I thought I was going to drop from heat exhaustion.
I went to Koh Pha-Ngan the next day, thinking it was a party island and I would meet like-minded travelers. I stayed on Hat Rin Nok (Sunrise Beach), where the monthly Full Moon Parties (the largest in the world) are held. I did not meet or talk to one person the whole time I was there. It was a bunch of Euro Cool Kids that were too cool and messed up on one drug or another to bother with anyone. Everyone hung out in local bars and restaurants watching Western movies until it was time to go get messed up and dance to the same beats-per-minute music all night. Maybe I am getting old, but I was so over it. Dirty beaches covered in beer bottles and cigarette butts. I ended up going up the hill and staying in a resort in seclusion. I did however get sucked into watching one movie while I had dinner one night and I highly recommend Green Street Hooligans. It's very, very violent, but an amazing look into the firms that go along with football in Europe.
Tonight was another one of those unexpected moments. I am on a 12-hour train ride, and the only people sitting around me are these missionary kids. One of them decided to practice his English on me even though I was clearly in the middle of my book, but I was happy to have somebody to talk to. It didn't last long though, we just didn't see eye to eye on people coming to a Buddhist country to push Christianity. He was a really nice kid, but I decided to go find somewhere to smoke. I was told to go to the dining car. It was there I found the most energetic staff I have ever come across, and some very good looking Australian girls! They turned the dining car into a disco. The staff were dancing more than us and seemed to be having an even better time, however, if we didn't consume our beers fast enough they would turn off the music until someone bought another beer. It was hilarious. We partied there for a couple hours before the staff started setting up their beds on the tables, at which point we were kicked out. Good times while it lasted!
My point to all of this is you can't really map out what is going to happen in life. I have been getting a little agitated because my first month out here is coming to an end and I haven't had some kind of epiphany. I haven't come any closer to knowing what the hell I want to do when I get home. I don't feel like I have uncovered anything about myself that I didn't already know. But that is alright. What is supposed to happen is what will happen. I will make the right decisions when there are decisions to be made, or I will make wrong ones and I'll learn from them. No matter what, everything will be alright, nothing last forever. If I don't like the moment I'm living in, all I have to do is wait a minute and everything will be different. I am not worried about what's coming next. I will write a rough blueprint and set some goals while I am out here, but nothing concrete. If I stay in the bay, grea, if I move to Colorado or Washington or Arizona or Vietnam, great, whatever, stay in software, do something completely different, whatever, all I know is that work will never become who I am again, I will never again have 3 hour long conversations about work outside of work with anyone, not friends, family, or co-workers...work is just a way to achieve the means necessary to live the life you want to live, that is all.
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