*joke courtesy of my father. I’ve spent the last couple of days hiking through rainforest and climbing about some caves – with monks. They had road tripped for two days, … Continue reading Monkeying Around with Some Monks*
“Can I please have the “Back, Shoulders and Neck” massage?
Now, in the US, at a similar establishment, I would be led to a chair, one where you sit facing forwards, head down, back slabbed-out towards its intended opponent.
Here, I was led to a bed.
Then, a man stood on me, then sat on me, then curled me up as though your back is supposed to curl into a semiscircle – as though he were attempting to turn my previously semi-straight back into a croissant – and not a good one, one that you’d find at Dunkin Donuts.
Getting a Thai massage is like getting a lesson in being a contortionist, and instead of getting a “congrats, you are semi-flexible” sticker when you leave, you just get some filtered water to rehydrated your kneaded out, but entirely inflexible body.
Other moves included the “squish your shoulder blades down until your head is buried in a pillow and you can’t breath.” Thoughts at this point included: “Did I put on enough deoderant to not be super embarrassing when the coroner comes to inspect my body and deems it too unfit to have gone through such rigorous exercise?”
In the end, I don’t know if my back is stretched out, so much as it needs to stretch itself over to a chiropractor.
Thai Massages: for people that want to relax on the cheap, but can’t really afford a bottle of wine (here) and then end up getting the wine anyway, to try and loosen everything back up.
At one point, Angkor, the capital city of the Khmer Empire (possibly the biggest of the day), housed over a million people. Anglor Wat, the city’s famous temple was built … Continue reading Angkor Wat and the Power of Angelina Jolie
Hello from the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia: a magical place where tea gets made. 85% of the tea grown here stays in Malaysia, but I did learn about tea-making in … Continue reading Tea Making Time: Brooklyn v. Queens
There once was a colonial power named Britain.
They had fish, they had chips, and they had a lot of ships.
So, they sailed far and wide, no one could hide.
In the East they found spice; just a slice could save their dreary life.
However, there was competition for seas; the colonial powers were such busy bees.
And so, before an agreement was reached to go Dutch with the Dutch,
A man named Raffles who maybe liked waffles,
Proposed a new shore, named Singapore
Setting it up wasn’t much of a big chore,
And in 1819, she joined Her Majesty’s Team.
For about 130 years, there didn’t seem to be many tears,
And then there was a World War and the Japanese took Singapore.
Occupation wasn’t much fun, for anyone.
When the Allies defeated the Axis, the British knew it was time for take-backis.
But it was also 1945, and their Empire was about to take a dive.
In 1963 Singapore and Malaya formed Malaysia, but their union was a form of dysplasia.
In 1965, the divorce was finalized and Singapore was finally, realized.
Primates are “members of the most developed and intelligent group of mammals, including humans, monkeys and apes” – sorry dolphins, but apparently that’s what the the Cambridge Advanced Lerner’s Dictionary says.
Of course, not all primates were created equal, if they were then I’m pretty sure based on pure size, humans would not be a position to greenlight more Planet of the Apes movies.
When you start to look at the differences between us highly intelligent mammals every “upgrade” starts to seem a little like an Apple “new version” release – an upgrade that simultaneously adds something new and also takes away something useful (looking at you, headphone jacks).
The difference between monkeys and apes? Tails. The upgrade was to remove the tail. Now, I know this probably had a practical reason, but why couldn’t we just keep the tail, get bigger and learn how to exist on the ground? If humans had tails we could swing from buildings and live in trees, alleviating some of our traffic problems, and making it much easier to pass highschool P.E.
The difference between apes and humans? Walking on two legs and better hand function (and a language that we can understand). No one is going to argue with better hand function – we learned how to make tools, it’s like Apple coming out it camera upgrades, very useful for taking better selfies – which is progressing the human race. But, did we really have to sacrifice being able to walk on all fours? Like, why can’t we walk upright and on four legs. We could be our own pack animals, and giving kids rides around the house would be so much easier.
It feels like Evolution is messing with us, saying “I could make the world’s most perfect animal, and while I could do it all at once, I’m going to do it in fifty steps – and no, you’re not getting a USB port until the end.”
Feel like spending a wild Friday night in the rainforest? Is it the end of Ramadan and you feel like getting down in the jungle to the beat of Malaysian … Continue reading Suggestions for a Night Out in the Rainforest
At 2am this morning the sky was clear, the stars were out and it seemed almost ashame to let a mountain with a crying problem defeat me. So, with the … Continue reading Mt. Kinabalu, You May Have Won the Battle, But If I Were Fitter, I Could Maybe Win the War
Dear Mt. Kinabalu,
You may be the highest peak in South East Asia and maybe you’re used to hearing people say how beautiful you are, and how your views are stunning – but sometimes you need to hear from the people who you beat down, whose will power you took so easily, as though it were a muffin from a buffet table.
I’m sure on a normal day, hiking the 6km (as the crow flies) up to the lodge would be doable, and beautiful. It would be a day filled with clouds, giant trees, sunshine and sweaty people.
But, this was not a normal day – today you decided to pour out rain as though this were a rainforest plagued with a drought and you had one day to fix the problem.
Today was the day you made me question my faith in dry bags and anything sold as “water proof”. Today was a day that would have had weathermen named “Storm” out in giant yellow ponchos to report on the extraordinary amount of rain and interview the 105 climbers on whether (ha) the rain was a factor in them being cold: “do you think you would be this cold if it werent raining nonstop for five hours?” And then say, “now, back to the studio, where it’s dry as a hay stack in summer.”
Today was a day when it became obvious that cotton dries slower than synthetic material, and that all the cotton I had brought, that is now slowly dripping down the bannister in the rest house will not dry in time for the 2:30am climb to the summit – estimated temperature at 1am is -1C.
And so, based on the fact that my shoes and my clothes are not going to dry, and I don’t want to pull myself up (by rope) to an icy peak while infact, turning to ice – I have decided (and I’m sure my parents would approve) not to summit
Instead, I’m going to sleep in and retreat the 6km (more like 16km walking) down to the bottom after breakfast.
Kinabalu, I hate you, you defeated me. My feet are still cold.
When it’s pouring outside, so you go to the restaurant near your hotel, only there is no English menu, no one speaks English and as a “table for one” they … Continue reading Adventures in Dining Alone: Can’t Read The Menu Edition