It rained a bit last night cleansing the air slightly. I can actually speak instead of croak today. The ppm of particulate matter in the air here reached almost 500 the highest on record. The health safety limit in Thailand (probably twice as high as the US) is 120 ppm. Over 2000 deaths in the area have been reported to have occurred as a result of the ambient air quality conditions. The head of the Thai air quality control said that there was nothing they could do about it since it was a regional issue. Translation, economic issues trump health again. Sounds like a Republican.
Anyway, I feel good enough today to be up and about. Will try to finish up the children’s tales today and get on to my other projects.
The local political situation continues in a state of paralysis. Those who want the billionaire to get his money back (the Red Shirts or Thai Tea Party) have held rallies, thrown blood at the prime minister’s office and legislative building and generally have prevented the government from operating. The ruling party, the Yellow Shirts (interestingly named the Democratic Party) has retreated into immobility hoping to persuade the representatives of the billionaire to negotiate a settlement of the crises.
Meanwhile, in my little bit of suburban paradise, I found a Thai shop located in the subdivision that bakes bread and sells it fresh from the oven every morning. Given that bread is not considered a Thai staple food I am curious about it. I have no way of knowing if it is made from wheat or rice until I taste it. Will do so after I finish my cafe latte and go home.
Should the air pollution levels rise again to the levels of this past week, I am considering taking the children away and to the cleaner air at the beach. Chiang Mai, although located in the Northern Thai mountains, sits in a valley and recently has been industrialized and so air quality can deteriorate quickly.
I realized that several weeks ago I began a photo series of my morning walk to the school and left off at the turn onto the street leading directly to the school. So here is the continuation:
The first photograph is of the largest of the putrid canals that criss- cross the subdivision. It passes under the road to the school and goes off somewhere probably emptying into the Ping River that bisects the modern city of Chiang Mai. Sometimes we see fishermen fishing the canal. Some with poles, but the most interesting swimming in the water laying out nets.
The second photo is of the only building between the Putrid Canal and Hayden’s school. It has an interesting story that I will leave you to speculate on until my next post.
FROM MY JOURNAL LEADING UP TO POST:
WEDNESDAY MARCH 17 2010 2PM
Sent Amanda her birthday story. Kesorn has not arrived. I still feel ill.
Yesterday found a great website actively attacking Judeo-Christian beliefs.
THURSDAY MARCH 18 2010 8:30 AM
I wonder if I am getting bored writing this journal/diary or distracted with responding to emails and my other writing projects or this miserable air pollution makes everything unappetizing.
The smoke and haze make it appear as though a fog has settled over everything. But there is no moisture in the air. I feel edgy. Edgy is probably a good word for how I feel. Not nervous per se, but as though it is too difficult to think of finding anything in the past to hold on to. Like trying to stare through the haze and giving up because it hurts your eyes. The same with looking forward. I really can,t see anything clearly. On at least persuade myself that I can–ennui.
Need to pay school today. I should not answer N.’s phone calls for a while. No predictions of rain to clear the air. My skin feels itchy.
Enough for now.
Rained. Breathing possible for a while. Smells like a sewer back up.
COMMENTS ON POST:
right now i wonder what you are doing. i am turning over the thought as to whether you perhaps actually took the brood down to the shore to get away from the smog and are now reclining on a beach chair with what resembles a pina colada in your hand but is probably some drink made out of kiwi fruit and fish juice mulled by a monk.
this photo is of the apartment building we lived in when residing in westwood in 1966-68, the balcony upstairs shown is where i use to lean out and make sounds to the people below. aside from finding my first job opportunity (actually second – i was offered a job as a social worker in watts which i turned down out of fear that i was too white) in orange county, the smog condition was a major factor in moving out of la; now i wish i was back there. what good is 5000 square feet if you don’t enjoy it? although i admit that the cleanliness of a suburban area is somewhat more comforting than the scum in an urban area – i guess it’s the activity that makes urban living weigh heavily in my mind as an attractive life style. you obviously are past or still undergoing the emotional-physiological change from living in exciting san francisco to experiencing the slow life on world cup; although wearing a flower in your hair would perhaps be appropriate in either locale, there may be a difference in wandering up the crowded boulevard in north beach with a coffee latte in your hand stepping over a homeless person as opposed to crossing the dirt path in your far-east subdivision so as to avoid treading upon a cobra or burned-out burmese. let me know your feelings when you have culminated the transition enough to be clear and certain in your conclusions.
it’s sunday here in fountain valley, no rain but not much sun and i haven’t accomplished a great deal today (although why should sunday be any different than another day of the week?) except spend minutes this morning composing condolences in response to an obituary notice. the recent dead in southern california includes a 97 year old woman who i met in orange county during my working career who was always very nice to me (one of the very few people who have ever called me periodically to say they were thinking of me). not that she would know the difference now, but i felt i owed it to her to write a few words. in my remorse at never having called her “periodically” to see how she was when she was alive, i could not take my usual afternoon escape-nap but rather went over to visit my mom at the old folks’ home a couple of miles away. i didn’t want to be awaked by a phone call this evening telling me that mom had died on the day when i usually do but didn’t go to visit. not a good day for guilt. so anyway i wheeled mom out to the outdoor patio in the center of the seaside terrace retirement community facility and we sat there and dozed. she in her wheelchair dreaming of who knows what and me in a pink patio chair dreaming that i hated everyone who was going to be successful today, and then i opened my eyes and realized i wasn’t dreaming. i figured that the fresh air was good for both of us.
yesterday was the nationals vs. the oriels. a three inning t-ball game of some interest to grandparents in attendance. i have forwarded below a few pictures of the event. what sports does hayden aspire to play? soccer? golf?
if I would have had a third base coach like this I would have hit a lot of triples!
this last week i decided to ruin my primary care physician’s day so i went for an appointment carrying with me a seven page abbreviated listing of my physical complaints for the last 36 days. he was so terrified at the sight that he refused to read the document and tried to distract my attention by showing me my vitals on a computer screen alleging that maybe there was some porno to come. after deciding that i was most complaining about my runny nose and even tho we have tried almost every drug known to mankind he gave me a prescription for an adrenocortical steroid. i had one or more steroid prescriptions before but i think i may not have had this particular one (methyprednisolone) which sounds like it might be found as an integral part of a gallon of gasoline. it’s too soon to determine if it’s working (and if it does what happens when i have to stop taking the stuff to keep my dick from disappearing) but i do not have high hopes; however, it may be that when i finish the prescription regimen i will be able to bench-press 450 lbs.
best (ดี ที่สุด),
irwin the barbarian
Joe to Nikki:
I hope things are going well for you. The awful air pollution in Chiang Mai remains and they project it to linger for another month. Although Hayden has appeared unaffected until now, he began coughing tonight. If it gets worse over the next few days, I will take him to the doctor.
I on the other hand have been sick for almost 10 days now. I went to the Hospital today and got some medicine. I hope it works.
I think it would be a good idea for Hayden to leave Chiang Mai and go to the seashore for a few days to escape this dangerous situation. Perhaps when you come here you can take him instead of staying here. Go directly to the beach. Bangkok would be no better for him.
Tonight Hayden told me some very interesting and disturbing things while we were eating dinner. He may be making it all up as he often does but I will pass it on to you anyway.
He asked me how many daddies does he have. I responded “Why do you ask?” He said “I used to have two and now I have three”. I asked “How was that?” He said, “You used to be one of my two daddies and now you are my grandfather. My third daddy has no hair”. I asked Haden if he knew the name of this daddy. He said “yes, Hazim”. I asked him if he knew where he lived, “Washington DC” Hayden answered. Then he said “No South America”. Then he said “He lives in Phattalung” and put his hand over his mouth like he said something he was not supposed to.
I pried a little more by asking if he visited Hazim in Phattalung”. Hayden said he had. He also said that Hazim has a 5 year old girl living there also. He said that he sometimes rides on the motorcycle with Hazim when he is in Phattalung. I asked him if he liked Hazim. He said yes and that when he is six he is going to live with Hazim in Phattalung. “But you can come to visit,” he added.
I would appriciate your thoughts. I do not think Hazim actually lives in Phattalung, but that Hayden saw him there when he visited.
I ll probabibily do that maybe taking him in pattaya with me but anyway let me see if i can visit first cause i will be busy for the next 2 months for training and i don’t want to let a long time before i can see him.
Another choise is to let the both of them visit me in Zurich while i attend the training i got an hotel room payed by the company so no problem for me but it all depend on the mother.
i really like the school summer program and now he is happy with his little friend so i should not interrupt the program but she told me the school ends on the 14 of april for a while so i am considering to have them here in europe.
Meantime if your financial situation permits u could take a break urself and staying in pattaya or cham am waiting better air quality.
I saw her signal on skype once in a while so means that she is chatting with some people faraway no reasons to use skype for local calls who knows one of the daddies????
I don’t think no farang can stay in patthalung longer so maybe this guy is just an hayden story perhaps he was there during on of her trip to the south with her dugther but we will never find out the thruth
Personally i think all this crap leaving the baby and staying in the pub is to date undercover this hazzim or other guys she is not ashemed either of her father or family because she come up with lies like partners or businness associate shit like that
But the more hayden grow up and understand sthe more we can get the real facts.
The only goal for me is to protect him and keeping him safe in a clean enviroment the rest is relative and not relevant.
I am still in nyc tonite ill fly back with my brother to milano as a captain of the flite so should an be interesting trip
My other son is going to vietnam in may to visit his family i ll think about to see him there if i can u can always join me if u want.