© Stephen Eastaugh, 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Did I tell you what I did on my birthday back in late July?
I woke up early in a hotel room, fell out of bed and did 100 sit ups as well as some tai chi exercises then I drank a strong coffee in a can and ate a cold Chinese pork dumpling with a purple dragon fruit. I caught a taxi to a bus station in Melaka, then caught a bus to KL. Next a train to Sugah Buloh, then a taxi to Kuang then Uber to KL. I then drank one Japanese beer while smoking a cigarette alone in a rustic Asian café. I later skyped Carolina, ate soup, drank soya milk then walked to the train station where I jumped on a bus to the international airport in KL. At the airport, I dragged my bags along a horizontalizer to gate 22 then I sat down and waited for flight 214 to Melbourne.
It is now October…. And many weeks in Australia have flown by. I flew out of Melbourne and north to Brunei for an uneventful two-hour stopover in Bandar Seri Begawan then over the South China Sea to Thailand. Mr Dan Tuffy and I both found ourselves doing a pit stop in Bangkok as we were both travelling from Australia to Europe. There we found the entire nation still mourning the death of their beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej who passed away in October 2016. Black clothing has been the fashion throughout the entire country for one year.
The wild wet season kept us sweating and moist as we wandered about the megacity and sipped the odd beer. We also managed to dine at my favourite Thai restaurant in the world called Sabai Jai Gai. One very wet afternoon we visited my friend Charlee Sodpraset who runs a fabulous artist residency in Thon Buri called The Artists Place. There we nibbled on pineapple chunks with salted eggs and my two friends managed to play a few songs together from Dan’s new album. I filmed them jamming and considered dancing like a bearded go-go dancer as they played a song from Dan’s new album titled - The Biggest Bastard Who Ever Rode the West.
Dan headed back to his home in the Netherlands and I stayed longer in Bangkok. It was great to have a laugh with Dan on the road but usually I travel alone and I end up either not talking at all for long periods of time or talking to myself or sometimes conversing with a shop assistant, a bartender, hotel staff or occasionally to objects that are nearby. Responses differ widely from the excellent retort of a
professional bartender who has heard it all before and can communicate very well to the sad annoying buzzing noise of an ancient toaster or perhaps a fancy coffee machine, neither being very good listeners or offering good advice. The social intercourse between myself and many inanimate objects is a bit one way in verbal traffic I must admit. Although there is the disturbing informative robotic chatter from modern elevators who are light years away from artificial intelligence but they can somehow protect me from loneliness so I best thank them for their limited verbal service. I also take note when I hear any cuckoo clock commotion as this chant always reminds me of how very strange the world around me is and also how very strange the world inside me is…Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo...
Out the window on way to Hong Kong I watched massive cargo container freighters way below me and I planned my trip next year on one of these vessels. Perhaps the ship I voyage on is actually in the image above...