Thursday, May 17, 2007

and the winner is...

really, we're ALL winners at heart. except for a handful of losers. but you gotta love those guys, too. or pretend to.
anyhow, just a handful of highlights (and lowlights) of our 6 months in southeast asia...

best mutton: burma, thailand a close second
best teeth cleaning: northern thailand, chang mai
things they called joren: "hey mister!", "hey boss!", "hey joe!", "mister america"
things they called beth: "missus", "mr", "sir"
cheapest beer: lao, 80 cents for a 40 ouncer
least expensive digs: monastery in burma $1 pp, hut in rice terraces in philippines $2 pp
most whale sightings: indonesia (1)
best diving: borneo
best spelunking: philippines, nothern luzon
smelliest island: nusa lumbongen, off the coast of bali (98% of the people are seaweed farmers)
most jellyfish snorkelling: bali, about one zillion
most potentially blinding whiskey consumed: lao, wedding under a US parachute
scratchiest monkeys: thailand
best travel companions: sarah and aaron tobaben, jesus (although i think he abandoned us somewhere in malaysia)
lost: 1 swimsuit top, dive shirt, about half my hair
most commonly seen kids toys: plastic sack on head, string tied to a nail in a board, coconuts
most typhoons: 4 (philippines)
best purchases: wood carvings from borneo, textiles from northern thailand, indonesian baby
cheapest/priciest massage: $3 per hr, $7 per hr
whispered offers: black gold (opium), mushrooms, sexy dates for joren
most leeches: borneo
hardest visa to get: myanmar/burma
prettiest postcard beach: boracay (philippines)
most mosquito coils burned: philippines
worst roads: cambodia, burma a close second
most common road obstructions: small children, goats, duck herds, ox carts
least western influence: myanmar
grossest thing eaten: raw chicken (sashimi in tokyo), fish eyeball that got lodged in my throat (also tokyo)
best shipwreck diving: coron, philippines
longest river trip: mekong (thailand into laos)
worst thing to permeate my backpack: vomit (not mine), a close tie for second: fire ants and gasoline
best things i brought on the trip: headlamp, joren
most notably missed: cheese, wine, flush toilets, too many people to mention

Monday, April 30, 2007

pointy hats for pointy heads

ok. some more photos from myanmar. these temples seem like a million miles away... oh wait. they are.
we're back, god dammit.

big and white, just like my ass

this is the world's biggest monument base. the king that was building it died and the rest was never completed. just think of all that slave man power going to waste. WASTER! i'm glad he's dead.

monk on top of the world lookin down on creation

two, two, two monks in one!

more riverside shit goin on

... but still not too busy to wave at whitey!

love that wicked big collar

pointy hats for sale! pooooooiiiiinty hats for sale!

shortly after befriending this cow, joren butchered him and we ate his entrails for dinner.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

myanmar miscellany

ox cart taxi. it's smelly AND slow!

crouching boat scamp proudly wearing her "i heart america" dress. because who doesn't heart america?
we took a boat ride up a river to visit some ancient temples. imagine that.

riverside activity. a whole lot of selling, bathing and everyday life happening. yes, pooping, too.

these reminded me of the time joren went to puppet college.

razor sharp toenails. scratchy, too.

temple statue... it just goes to show that religion isn't scary at all...

Monday, April 02, 2007

get your ducks together, dammit

little burman man carting joren and his orange shirt around town. the town being mandalay.

this monk is flipping me off. what are they teaching these monks? how to be disrespectin. that's what.

big fried squares of dough, even better with goat or mutton wrapped inside. or love.

one duck

see? you can see him better because the kid is squeezing him!

two squeezy ducks! (ps. i only touched the duck A LITTLE since a recent outbreak of bird flu in myanmar)

typical street scene in mandalay, central myanmar.

little grousy monk.

monk line one morning in front of our guest house. we were eating breakfast as they walked silently by. these monks are wearing darker robes, which means they are evil.

the golden land

this is a massive temple complex in rangoon (burma). super big and golden. we did some heavy duty praying here. apparently, the way one prays takes into consideration what day of the week you were born and how many years you are. i'm a 36 year old hamster. plus, they count the year you were in the womb which is bullshit. joren was either a rat or maybe a jackass.

we spent several hours here one evening. it was really beautiful and there was some more monk chat happening.

this reminds me of the time we had our teeth cleaned in northern thailand. see the dirty teeth behind the skort? that's why it reminds me of teeth cleaning. anyhow, joren had 5 tooth holes, which he had fixed for the low, low cost of $15 each. i had zero tooth holes.

nuns. they get to be bald, too. but see, they're girls, so pink robes.

a flock of monks! or is it a gaggle? pod. i think it's a pod.

it's a super sparkly temple. to lure you in. that's how religion works. all smoke and mirrors, baby.

Burma Baby, Burma!!

well, here we are. our last country. myanmar. burma. all the same thing and all very cool. we haven't even blogged about borneo or bali, so those will have to come later, stateside. sorry, we were out riding dusty, cramped buses with chickens, having some adventures and got a bit behind. anyhow, just so you know, we get on a plane in about 12 hours for home. i keep singing "comin to america" to joren's chagrin. today! we're all neil diamond fans at heart, are we not? yes, we are.

sandalwood sunscreen on grouchy kid
i know it's hard to read, but it's about CRUSHING. personal identity, democracy, whatev.
(if you double click on it you will be better able to memorize the finer points.)

you see, you pull up a stool, choose a little piece of duck part on a stick and fry that bad boy right up.

typist for hire. it's like a koolaide stand but not as refreshing.

see? NOT refreshing.

and here's where you can conveniently make a phone call. yeah. on the street. no big woo. who needs cellphones when you have old phones with bad connections on noisy streetcorners? there was one about every half block. the government highly regulates who has mobiles. the man's got to keep the people under his thumb, you know.

another interesting burmese street business. "hey. I'VE got a scale. i'll take it outside and charge people like four cents to weigh themselves." it's apparently a real crowd pleaser. let's see how fat whitey is!

joren, mad. eating indian food. together, our meals were about $1.75. and before you judge, it was really good. beef's got NOTHIN on this mutton!

little kids dangerously carrying other little kids.

watermellon stand. they make jewelry out of watermellon seeds. yes, i'm bringing some home for a lucky few...

handpainted movie signs. we went to a few movies in yangoon to escape the heat a couple of afternoons. it's like 50 cents and the power keeps going on and off BUT they do show a cool government propoganda film that's like 50 years old at the beginning. it's probably about crushing capitalism and individual thought.

i LOVED 1996. i partied like it was 1997.