Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pre: Friend Arrival

I am lying in bed and can't sleep as I'm very excited. why so excited? Well, tomorrow my good friend Steph comes to town. The last few weeks have been filled with friends from out of town but Steph represents something different. Now, don't go getting the wrong idea… it's not like that. Steph was in my core group during my yoga training, it's more like family. But what she represents is my last self before travel. See, I've met up with my best friend on this trip and I've met up with old friends from NY days. Last week Adam and Kaja were in town, and though also like family and i love them deeply they are friends from this trip. They are friends from this stage of life. Steph is from the part of my life right before I got on the plane to start this journey. I haven't seen anyone from my SF life since I left. Email and an occasional video chat but not a real life in the flesh person. Am I still the same person? Is that life still there for me when I return? Questions like this are what's brought up when I think about seeing Steph. More than a person I truly care about and am excited to get to spend time with, Steph being here also represent a marker. A where I was and who I was vs the Andy writing this post. I shouldn't get to heady about it, but I've had a few glasses of Pastis tonight and these things can happen. Let's just say that I'm super glad to get to spend the next few days with a good friend, a sister, and a part of my life that I miss greatly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

PotD - At the wash

I'd been going through a rough period with my bike. Constant issues I couldn't fix. Tons of leaking oils/petrol and random screws loosening. So I thought I'd take my bike to the shop. I had heard of a vietnamese mechanic who knew a few things about Minsks and he worked right across the street from my place. Sounded like a winner. (side note, I pretty much only want to use Vietnamese mechanics going forward. They generally just use rocks and screwdriver but get everything to work super duperly). In the end we figured out all the small problems and they were somewhat all related. After all the fidgety work and considering all the rain and mud I had been driving through, I thought I'd get a bike wash. This was one of the nicest washes I had ever gotten performed on my bike. and the total price was both fix and was was about $7.50 usd. not too shabby :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

PotD - Let's Jam

A few weeks ago they were making jam at the house I was staying at and it seemed pretty easy so I decided to try making my own. I bought some pineapples and headed over to my friend Amy's house. After cutting the fruit in the same way I was taught from my previous guesthouse, we then started to cook it up. Amy suggested putting some chili in the mix and I thought it sounded like a great idea so dropped a few peppers in and also a little ginger. Jam is incredibly easy to make but very time consuming. This picture is of the product in the middle of being made. The final product wasn't exactly as I had hoped for but still tasty. More of a chutney than a jam but I am happy with it. For me one of my favorite parts of cooking is that I enjoy not only eating the final product but also sharing it with friends.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

It's hot here. Very hot. Humid and nasty. Long hair isn't the best in these circumstances, you sweat more especially on the back of your neck just under where your hair hangs. But I also LOVE (read: LOVE!!!!!) my hair and am very attached to it. I never like to get haircuts no matter how much sense it makes. No matter how many people tell me I look better with short hair. Doesn't matter, I love my hair. But recently enough was enough and it was time to clear the way. Move forward and let go of attachments and all that new age jazzy stuff. So, here we go. Keep in mind, I'm aware that neither image is too flattering.



Saturday, July 2, 2011

PotD - Reclinging Buddha with friends

This week my friend Sean is in Luang Prabang. The avid readers may remember Sean from when I was in Hong Kong as I stayed at his flat for about 8 days. Him and his high school friend Ken were in SE Asia for a few weeks and swung on by. It's been a great few days spending time and activities together. Yesterday we hiked up to the top of Mt Phousi to see the sunrise (too many clouds) as well as to just get to the peak and see the beautiful surroundings. Below is a picture of Ken taking a picture of a reclining Buddha. On the way up to the top of the hill you come across various buddhas as well as temples scattered around the hill with a sacred temple also on top.

Hmong Ceremony part 4 - We Eat

A week or so ago I was fortunate to be able to attend a Hmong Ceremony where a friend was having her spirits cleansed. The night would involve watching a shaman do his thing, slaughtering a pig, hanging out with a Hmong family and cooking said pig. It was an amazing cultural experience and I left feeling so blessed that I live the life that I life. (this feeling lasted even when I got to my bike to find my helmet and tools stolen).

After the pig was killed it was brought out back and had hot water poured over it. This softens the skin and hair and then we used spoons to shave the hair from the body.

guts out and shaven

hollow cavity

soon to be cooked

cleaning the organs

the piece with the head and side ribcage is given to the shaman and his family. not a bad deal for them

cutting the meat

dinner is served. the pig was sacrificed and now we eat!