800 AD Africa is using coffee beans for various purposes but it is not yet consumed as a beverage. (OK, what else can one use coffee beans for? Simulated rabbit droppings is one, any others?)
“‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”
—Sarah Palin, Tweet, July 18, 2010. (Was Shakespeare “wee-wee’d up” when he wrote his plays or was it one of the other guys?)
Today’s news from Thailand:
Since January when I arrived here intending to retire to a “low-cost jurisdiction” the dollar has declined against the baht by over 7%. Since its high point about a decade ago it has declined more than 30%. I soon may have to move on to another “low-cost jurisdiction,” maybe to the United States.
When last I wrote, I had dropped Hayden off in Bangkok, returned to Paradise by the Sea to await the call to return to BKK and take him on to PbyS which came one day later. He and I set off together to travel from BKK back to PbyS by bus. Upon our arrival at the bus station in the outskirts of hell we needed to take a songtheuw from the OofH to Pbys.
A songtheuw is a Thai transit vehicle that consists of a pick up truck with a roof over the bed and open sides that the passengers access from the back and sit on two benches facing each other. At the Bus station the songtheuw drivers try to pack between 12 to 15 souls (you pay extra if you want to bring along your body) into the vehicle. Since we leave from the bus station, the driver departs from his regular route and travels through the back streets just beyond the gates of hell to drop the passengers at their various hotels.
After one such stop the driver surprisingly turned into a small side street. This was Soi Six, a street somewhat closer to the Gates of Hell than the center of town. Soi Six is about 200 yards or so long and quite narrow. It is lined on both sides by what in another context could have been referred to as pleasure palaces but in this case as more like a pleasure fast food court. Although it was only mid-afternoon the ladies of the evening were getting an early start and the shouted and waved at us as we passed. Hayden then turned to me and said, “Pooky (My name in Hayden talk) are they all your friends?”
The giggles and guffaws of the other passengers followed me for the remainder of our trip. And since my condo in Paradise is at the end of the route all the other passengers exited before me, departing with what I believe they thought were humorous comments to me. Luckily none of them spoke english (although they all clearly understood it) but commented variously in Russian, Korean, Japanese, Thai, German and Australian. (I could not understand this last one either.)
Anyway, for the next 4 days, I got to vicariously experience what single parenthood is like, something no seventy year old should attempt without counseling. For the first time when he departed to return to his mom, ultimately to at least temporarily pass out of my life, it was not with a feeling of sadness, but of the overwhelming need for a nap.