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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

PoTD - My little masseuse

I wrote before about my short 64 year old masseuse, Ba Mon. Well I got a picture of her next to me to show you the difference in our sizes.  I'd like to remind you that this 64 year old, less than 5 foot tall lady, can cause immense pain into the muscles and energy lines of my body. Further proofing that size does not matter (which will make most asian men very happy to hear.)

I'll miss her amazing massages as well as her infectious laugh. She would always laugh so hard when I'd be screaming in agony (and a little pleasure), and she'd offer me tissues in case I wanted to cry and then laugh even more.  Godspeed, Ba Mon

PoTD - Bikeless

A hard part of moving is dealing with attachment issues and learning to let go of things. I had two cool bikes in Laos. There was my Minsk that I bought over a year before in Vietnam and then there was the push bike with the cool baskets.  But I can't take these with me so I had to sell them. And now I am vehicle less. Which is fine as I can't drive to Bhutan in any way, but I will miss my two cool rides and wanted to send a blog post in honor of them. I hope the new owners love them as much as I did.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

One last beautiful sunset in Luang Prabang

ok so in fairness I took this photo about a week ago, but with the slash and burn tactics in the jungles around town the sky is getting worse and worse that I'll have to settle for this as my last beautiful sunset over the Mekong.  What I planned to be 1 month in Laos quickly escalated into more… and now 11 months later I'm packing up and heading to Bhutan.  I've had an amazing time and and found myself in situations I didn't plan for. Making great friends, having a few doggie nephews who i love deeply, working teaching yoga for a top hotel and having their guests LOVE IT! (not to mention traveling to other locations with the company), finding a very cute and caring girlfriend, and, well… being here for so damn long.  But now as my time approaches I must leave it all behind… at least for now.

Today I couldn't find my japa mala (the string of 108 beads i wear around my wrist for prayers of a sort). I was looking hard for it and then resigned to the fact that it may be gone and time for me to move on. How fitting of a situation to find myself in when I am forced to deal with non attachment of my life here. My life, like my mala, is what it is. nothing more nor less.  when it's time to go, it's time and that is it.  And so I will work on my non-attachment and move forward.  though saying goodbye to people (and dogs) and a life you've lived for nearly a year is much harder than saying goodbye to a semi-sacred item of yours.

...and what of my mala disappearance. turns out my friend's sister some how got the mala placed into her purse before she left for Vientiane today. She said she'd mail it back to me but I think it more fitting for her to take it and use it and for me to move on and find a new mala. Further cementing this notion is that she just bought a Vietnamese buddha (which is very different than a Thai or Lao one) and my mala was bought in Hoi An, Vietnam last year. They belong together, and I belong wherever my new direction will take me.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Elephant Village and what would be one of my most exciting days in Laos

Well, I just wrote this very big blog about my day at Elephant Village and how it was one of the best days of my stay here in Laos. I published it and then somehow lost it all back to draft stage of pictures but no words.  grrr..  So I don't feel like spending all that time to go into all the details again and now will just summarize.  So, oh faithful readers (all 4 of you)

With less than a week less it was time to finally take my mom up on last years birthday gift, an elephant ride.  I did a half day tour and the bathing segment and at no point in the day was I unhappy or not with a shit eating grin smile.  Weather was lovely, elephants even lovelier. Elephants are my favorite animal and I loved every second of being with them. The washing was incredibly nice as you felt like you were helping them to feel a lit better. I mean, who doesn't like their back scratched?

Many thanks to my mom and Elephant Village for making this great day possible.  Elephant Village is an elephant camp here in Laos who takes pride in their care and responsibility for both the elephants and the nature around the camp. There are a lot of cruel camps in Laos and Thailand, but Elephant Village is setting the mark for how a camp should act.

and also.. thanks to the elephants. :)

PoTD - Missing Leon

What I may miss most about Laos is my friend Leon. I've written about him numerous times before and he's my go to boy for things. Well, go to dog. If I'm down he's there to support me. If I'm happy, I get even happier when he jumps up on me.  He'll see me coming and take off sprinting to hop on me, hug my leg (read hug, not hump). He's an amazing dog and we've spent so much time together.  Taking him on walks around town was a favorite past time of mine here.

I don't know if I'll come back or not. But if I do, I sure hope Leon remembers me. I can see myself coming back in 5 or 7 years and I see Leon. He pauses for a second, and then remembers me and comes sprinting after me for a hug.  It's a nice dream

A little side note.  the pup here was Honey, Ai Lit's (the neighbors) dog.  Leon loved being big brother to her and played so nicely. Sadly Honey died from a stomach bug related illness. We all really liked her and I was very sad for Leon and Lit.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

PoTD - Nice Stache

Last month I went to the wedding of a friend of a friend of a friends. (something that is somewhat common in Laos)  While there I met this fellow.  He couldn't speak English nor me Lao but we bonded over facial here.  In a country (hell, a continent!!) where the men can't really grow any facial hair, this man was an anomaly... and he looked good.  It looked like a sort of Vietnamese mustache, but nope he was full on Lao.

In a small town where everyone knows each other, no one seems to know the mysterious mustache man. He just showed up out of nowhere and disappears, adding a little pizzaz into things.

A few weeks later I would pass him on the street and we spoke briefly (where you go? I go work) and then again he disappears from my life. At least we'll always have this moment together, Mr Lao Mustache Man.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

a mixed range of emotions... and fast

I know I've been bad at posting recently. I've sort of settled into daily life in Laos and found that what others might find exciting just normal to me. Who wants to write or read about normal, right?  Well, things are going to chance soon.... real soon. Why?

Because I'm moving.... to....

(wait for it)


(if you are unfamiliar with this small Kingdom, please do yourself a favor and google it)

In a short notice, last minute sort of thing the hotel with which I work needed a yoga teacher for their Bhutan branch.


The only issue is it gives me 10 days (6 now) to get everything ready, packed, mailed, goodbye'd and all the fun stuff that comes with moving.  It's not too short of a time but it ain't too long either.

So now we find our hero with a lot to do and not a lot of time. He also has a ton of emotions, both happy and sad.. I've been here for the last 10.5 months and found somewhat of a life here to which I now have to say goodbye to. Luckily my traveling somewhat nomadic lifestyle has made this easier., but it never is fully easy.

I am so happy to be going to Bhutan and for 2 months. Most people go for 2 days, maybe a week if lucky (or really just rich) and I'll have time there. Ecstatic!! But sad to leave as well. I actually find myself in the healthiest relationship I've ever been in which makes things tougher as well. A friend of mine commented that maybe me being in a healthy relationship is more rare than the chance to go to Bhutan. So did I make the wrong choice?  Of course not, this is a once and a lifetime opportunity and life goes on. and life is good... real good.

But I've got a shitload to do in the next 6 days, and being awake at 5:30am to write blog posts isn't the best use of my time. but my mind is whizzing with what I need to do and so sleep is tough and meditation even harder. Shutting my million mile/sec brain down is going to be tough. So let's hope I get everything done and still feel rested. Did I mention I'm getting more work these days too??? Af all the times you want less work this is it.  Though the extra money helps pad the moving and last minute gift expenses so it really is all cyclical and works for a reason.

So I'm off to go out and do instead of sleep. Another busy day (after 2 months of no busyness what-so-ever). A busy day of work and elephant rides and work. Shit, it's tough but somehow I make it work.

Monday, February 13, 2012

PoTD - My Lao Kitchen

I don't have a kitchen where I live, at least not in a proper sense. No sink, or boiler, stove or range. Nope, none of the above. But I did go out and buy two essential parts of a Lao kitchen. A mortar and pestle and a tan fi (pronounced phai, it's a small charcoal stove) and a metal rack to use as a grill on top of the tan fi. I  haven't used it too much yet, only really made one grilled eggplant dish, but am hoping to do some more grilling soon and even make a big soup where I boil the bones down.  We'll see if any of that materializes. For now, I'm ok eating out a lot.