*After university I didn’t know what to do with myself.  So I wandered round SEAsia for a few years.  You know: one way ticket, wander till I ‘find myself,’ blah, blah, blah… 

Sometimes I get sentimental about those days, in hindsight it all seemed so effortless.  But I kept journals.  And I wrote (and kept) emails.  So despite what my stupid mind today might think, my stupid mind from yesterday is there to remind me.  It’s interesting to look back though, so though I have already posted some old writings (like here and here), in the next little while I think I will post a few more. 

So if you’d care to join me, here are some words from young me, just as stupid as current me, just in a slightly different way…

Image

This photo was taken as we pushed off, still at a very calm and peaceful part of the river. After it started to get a little choppy (not yet white water), the guy in front asked to switch places with me. I agreed.  And then this happened…

– Java, Indonesia. 2002 –

<”LEGS FORWARD!!! LEGS FORWARD!!!”> roared the rafting guides in Indonesian.

Despite the raging torrents of water rushing around me I could hear the panic in their voices.  In the fleeting moments of visibility granted by the rushing river I had fallen into I could see the yellow raft and the desperate gaze of my fellow white-water rafters.

It dawned on me as I was uncontrollably dragged down river, or perhaps it was when I struck a boulder violently with my right shoulder, that perhaps falling into rapids at the top of rocky, fast moving, white water might not be in the best interest of my health. (more…)

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*** This is another old piece of writing from my big Asia wander way back in 2001-2003.  I was working as an ESL school in Yogya, Indonesiaat the time I wrote this.  I was a kid just out of school looking for something that I couldn’t properly articulate, and thus couldn’t grasp.  It was on this 2.5 year wander that I eventually picked up a camera for the first time.***

Monday 17 December, 2002

The girl who sat next to me on the bus to Semarang had the aura of one that worked in the fields of Java. It was not the way she dressed, nor anything else she carried that gave me that impression. It was her smell. (more…)

A self-portrait waiting for my flight back to Toronto in Detroit In't Airport.

So I flew back on the 20th. In the past I would have called this leg the “homecoming,” these days I’m no longer so sure where ‘home’ is. (more…)

This is the alleyway that leads to my Lola’s (grandmother’s) house.

Manila mostly smells the same.

When I first returned here in 2001 I immediately noticed that though it smelled much like the other capitals of underdeveloped countries I had visited (mostly that of diesel), it also had that a faint smell of sewage. Basically, if you want an idea of it I suggest running your car in the garage with the garage door open just wide enough so that you don’t die, and have a bucket of open sewage water at your feet.

(more…)

As Northwest 71 prepared to land at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, a wave of quiet fear crept over me.

(more…)