My misspent youth:
I completed a useless degree, followed by a useless graduate diploma, and then I began a useless Masters course. I even had long hair and a pissweak goatee.
I couldn’t find a supervisor, I realized I had no idea whatsoever what I was doing or planned to achieve or even how to complete the research (it would require third world travel, and I had never been overseas.)
And then I did something I had never, ever done before, nor even imagined I would ever do. Read More
I’ve been wandering for about twelve years now. I’ve dragged my Tinker’s caravan across three continents. Why? What was I looking for? I don’t know.
I’ve always had the feeling that I would end up living permanently overseas. From my university days I had the sense that I was unsuited to Australia. I can’t explain it any better than that. Perhaps it is my personality. Certainly if I had been born Japanese I would have moved to Australia by now and I’d be loving it.
There’s nothing in particular I dislike about Read More
Am I the only one who notices clouds?
I pointed out a gorgeous evening vista spread out over the city to my colleague. She glanced at it and said, oh yeah, I love those painted skies, then she turned away and started rabbiting on about something else.
There is a boring part of my job that involves Read More
How exciting the Age of Discovery must have been. Men risked their lives to travel literally uncharted waters, discovering new continents, species and previously unknown peoples. They brought back unbelievable stories of Japanese with their blackened teeth, Pacific headhunters, the human sacrifices of the Aztecs, and the advanced seafaring technology of the Chinese.
Today we peoples know each other well. Maybe too well. What people, now, are still exotic? What cultural practice still surprises us? We have grown worldly.
In those more innocent times, any problem might have its solution just around the next Read More
Those of us who are strongly future-time oriented, probably because our ancestors lived far from the happy equator, always need something to look forward to.
Not for us the chipper satisfaction of living in the moment, of enjoying a hearty breakfast, a strong coffee and a good shit. Even if we are not late for work our mind is adapted to be busy elsewhere, freed during these simple tasks to look ahead to Read More
I like survivalists. I’m a bit of one myself. Of course, a total failure of electricity, water, gas, internet, telephony, television or security over here is just business as usual, so one does not have to be a Gulf War I vet with a twitch in the eye to make some basic preparations.
I feel a slight stirring in my loins when I look at my two huge Read More
One of G.K. Chesterton’s best paradoxes is that the world is small, the village is broad, and the family is enormous.
If one travels the world, one can locate and socialize with those who are very similar to oneself. In a small village we must put up with all types. And in the narrow confines of the family, we must not just tolerate but also love those who are completely unlike, and insufferable to, ourselves. Travel limits the mind; our home town and kin broadens it.
This is even more so in the modern world. Formerly, only the very rich, adventurous or desperate could leave their village. Even those who sailed to the New World often did so with their family, and recreated their old village with their fellow countrymen once they arrived.
Today, any old dipshit can Read More
I’d been out of the country. I’d fallen out of practice. I wasn’t even consistently doing the ‘Equatorial headcheck’, i.e. the instinctive glance behind one to check for plainclothes police before making a negative political or social comment. And we were in the bush, I was relaxed, and I was still in easygoing SEA mode.
This is not South East Asia.
There was a woman on our hiking trip who had long lived in Germany and had recently returned home. She asked me, ‘So, what do you think of our Equatorial Guinean culture?’
Then I Read More
Every now and then my ignorance sneaks up behind me and gives me a mighty rogering. So it was the other day, reading Arian’s history of Alexander the Great. I’d studied Stoic and Buddhist philosophy, but belatedly realized that the parallels between them are not the result of some cosmic order in the universe. Rather, once the Macedonians reached then-Buddhist/Hindu India (there was not always such a great distinction between them), there was much disseminating and cross-pollenization.
A common element in both philosophies is Read More
In another life I worked for a Korean company. We have a special kinship, we who have worked for the inhabitants of that chilly and intense peninsula. We have a code. Like grizzled vets down at the RSL club, we only talk about our experiences with others who were there. Nobody else would understand. Nobody else would even Read More
I’ve just come back from a brief, uneventful trip out-of-country which mostly involved completing my manuscript and updating the blog. Whenever I arrive back here I get depressed. No whining, Nikki! Okay, okay, but just let me say, I checked how many days I have until I completely finish this contract and I was not cheered to see that the number was two hundred and forty-fucking-five.
What is it, I’ve sometimes wondered, that I hate so much about this country? Is it the fascism? The stupidity? The petulance? The endless complaining? The lack of basic services that even Cambodia has mastered, like water and gas? The unenticing dating market?
Some time ago I realized no, it’s none of those things. It’s not even the totality of them
It’s Read More
Some time ago Piggo put out a post showing how Clementine Ford uses outrage directed at her for fun and profit, and I wrote a riff basically agreeing and expanding.
Since then I’ve begun a fun little hobby. Every time I notice a clickbait headline and choose not to bite, I Read More
A prominent blogger’s wife left him.
I’d had misgivings after reading some of his earlier posts, but I’m not close enough to him to have made any comment. What do I know? I’ve never been married. I’ve not even had a long term relationship since my twenties. But when the news came I was not altogether surprised.
What gave me concerns? Very small things. He never mentioned any children. He talked about how he didn’t need game. Perhaps there were other things I’ve now forgotten.
Just from these scant tea leaves, I could read the future? No. This and the fact that, everyone’s wife is leaving them. No one’s wife is happy. They all want out. Even if they stay, they show their man contempt. So slight tremors like those listed are enough for those who’ve been paying attention.
When I lived in Japan there was a forum for foreigners and one thread was about ‘relationships’. Mostly Western guys would Read More
I mentioned a while ago how I play a note to myself after meditation to remind myself of my goals and get myself through this difficult part of my life. For the curious, this is it: Read More
It’s time I had good hard look at myself and tried to figure out how I get into these situations. Does this happen to anyone else there in the peanut gallery, or is it just me?
There’s a lady I once hooked up with. She happened to be staying in a nearby city for an event. I had to fly there anyway for my connection so I came here a few days earlier than planned to hang out. She booked hotel rooms in both our names, so I thought, looks like she’s good to go then. But I also thought, Read More
Some time ago I pondered quitting everything and retiring into seclusion in a cheap location for the rest of my life. In fact, I’ve been considering something like it for a long time – see this post and this one. My most recent effort was greeted with a diversity of reactions from my valued commenters.
Having done the dry run and consulted with a few people who know the ground, I’ve reached a decision.
I think that I Read More
Over summer I spent a month in a certain south-east Asian country where I am considering relocating next year. My plan was to check it out before making a firm decision, as my previous firm decision about where to live has turned out poorly.
I intended to Read More
My kingdom for a time machine.
Remember these? In six months or so they may become regular again.
Bloody interesting article on Slate Star Codex about former environmental scares and whether they were alarmist, solved, or ongoing. Turns out to a bit of each.
Delicious Tacos likes white socks and his ex’s cuntflaps.
Aaron Clarey says there are only NPCs to date.
Didact reports on an amusing case of Read More
From The Age: ‘Beachgoers attacked, robbed, glassed at Chelsea as teenagers run riot’.
Even foreigners would have picked the keyword in that headline, but let me fill you in on other facts: Chelsea beach is renowned for occasionally being a bit rough as it is just south of two high-immigrant suburbs, Springvale and Dandenong. Just how rough it is at any given times depends on who’s living there – Vietnamese, Afghans etc.
Second, the nature of the attack is a dead giveaway – Read More
In prehistoric times, there were endless ways of fucking up. You could zig when you were supposed to zag while hunting woolly rhino. You could get an infected cut. You could get caught sleeping with Og’s girl and have your skull cleaved in two. You could fail to adapt when your world suddenly freezes over and your previous food sources disappear.
Even in the agricultural age a lot of things could go wrong. Most of them related to Read More