exercise 1

Between the long walks and the self-reflective scribbling and the twelve-thousand word sci-fi angles on Last Year at Marienbad tossed off in fits of boredom, I send e-mails to people I scarcely bother speaking to when I’m back home, telling them minor anecdotes about my time in Chiang Mai.

And one of them told me: just start a blog.

And I thought: huh.

Now I am ill. My idle hours become more idle still. I left the guest house today entirely to give the maid a chance at my room. A 7-11, and then to the pile of restored wall at the northeast corner of the old city which can be  walked atop and so I tried, for the first time in the daylight, only to run into an apparently homeless family milling through their day and be crushed by white guilt.

But I feel like I’m getting ahead of myself. Look:

Weeks ago I went to the little cluster of bookshops east of Thaepae gate and at length dug up some ballard in a place that wasn’t afraid to shelve him in the sci-fi ghetto. When I handed my little pile of purchases to the sixtyish white man behind the counter he tapped the cover of The Drowned World, then flashed a thumbs up.

I said: I’m glad you approve.

He said, in an obvious Irish accent that seemed only a little dulled by however many years he’s been in Thailand: Where are you from?

I hesitated to say “America”, thinking this other white foreigner didn’t need that nonsense from me, so I narrowed it down: Oregon.

And he said, oh, I thought you were Irish.

Perhaps this is the unavoidable cultural weight of a savagely orange beard.

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~ by ironcupshrug on 11/23/2009.

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