I really don’t want to get into this whole ‘2016’ with you….but I’ve had something of a revelation in regard to the passage of time and such, which involves 2016, so bear with me. For me, 2016 was roughly broken up into 2 sections: an action packed travel section featuring Australia, Denmark, Greenland, Belgium, Germany, & The Netherlands, and a static work section based out of London. Let’s say the year was roughly divided into two halves, for sake of the example. Both periods had their highs and lows, pros/cons.
Personally, I am not really an advocate for staying in one place and swapping time for money as a lifestyle choice (especially inefficiently, the way I usually do), but in this case I was looking forward to the respite from wandering and I feel the time served me well. As one would expect, that static period of the year was, generally speaking, much less exciting and action-packed than the adventuring period. Being constantly put in new and unknown situations, an endless stream of new characters and languages and stimulus. Every day presenting fresh unexpected challenges. It’s thrilling, but also exhausting.
Staying in one place, on the other hand, one has the opportunity to establish routines, spend regular time in the same places and with the same people. Looking back at the year, I think that does something to your brain. When I first arrived in England to ‘settle in’ for a while, I was weary. I felt as if 2016 had lasted FOREVER. And not because of anything to do with dead celebrities or primates. My brain was just crammed full of powerful memories, unfamiliar sights had become the norm. Looking back at the year in my mind was jumping from peak experience to peak experience, featuring strange unscripted moments. Many of those moments can never be replicated, they were perfect little imperfect snowflakes in time, which have now melted. And those kind of snowflakes stand out strongly in the memory, like bookmarks in the mind. But as I began to spend more time in the same spot, I noticed something odd ; time began to speed up. Months just kind of peeled off the calendar, and before you know it, we’re in 2017. I think when we find ourselves in familiar environments, doing routine activities, the brain somehow clumps those memories together easier. Less book marks in the chapter, so to speak. So, even though time does fly when you’re having fun, for me looking back, the mundane section of my year passed much more quickly than the adventure section. Which, as someone looking to squeeze every last drop of life out of life, I find to be curious. I’m not saying one section of my year was ‘better’ than the other. I needed some routine and stability. I was tired from whirling about the globe. Maybe I’m getting old?
But as much as there are tremendous benefits to routine and consistency, there are dangers and concessions also. Putting this into the context of travel is something of a dramatic example, but the theory can be applied even if you do happen to stay in the same part of the planet most of the time. Regardless of how you do it, I believe bringing new stimulus into your life and brainspace is extremely healthy, and seemingly adds years to your life. Or at least a deeper perception and appreciation of the passage of time, which is probably better anyway. So, perhaps it won’t come in the form of a trip to Greenland or hiking the Himalayas in flip-flops or swimming alongside Orcas off the coast of Japan with Brad Pitt…. But our world is absolutely overflowing with new exotic stimulus. Our brains can only process so much at one moment, so a lot tends to get blurred into the background. In making the effort to disrupt that process, bringing the background into the foreground, we change the details, making new memories and our fabulous brains are less inclined to go clumping things together. So this year, I’ll be aiming to have a balanced approach between consistency and chaos. Familiar and exotic.
And whatever kind of lifestyle you lead, I hope you can find a way to bring in some new stimulus, and be open to whatever changes come with it. Perhaps something as simple as keeping a diary, or taking ballroom dancing lessons. Maybe trialling a different position at work, or switching up your BJJ game and becoming a butt-scooter for a month. Ways lead to ways, and sometimes a little change takes you a long way.
Happy butt-scooting boys and girls,
Until next time
Peace, Love, Triangles
Sitting in a hostel in downtown Copenhagen, the past few weeks are somewhat surreal. Whirling from Australia to Greenland to Europe in a few short weeks. Exhausting. Exhilarating. Expensive. And only possible due to the wondrous technology of the 21st century, which I so often take for granted and even ridicule. Probably because I’m basically a glorified talking monkey going about this complex world in a near-constant state of confusion. I often find myself longing for simpler times, where my caveman-like brain could concern itself fully with simple matters: like what to eat, or who to hang out with; instead of trying to understand how my keyboard works or why we do the things we do…
For me, those ‘things’ have been whirling through Greenland, exploring, and practicing martial arts with strangers all over the world. And then swimming with them in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Or spending 8hrs hiking to a glacier….
….just so we could eat some of it. Huzzah.
But the story goes on, on to the glorious Copenhagen! Capital of Denmark. City of Vikings. Home to a whole bunch of fantastic, warm, smoking-hot Danish people. Ohhhh boy…. I do love Scandinavia. Copenhagen has been a fantastic place to spend a week, continuing my exploration of self & humans, on & off the mats.
On the mats found me heading to CSA , the original birthplace of the BJJ Globetrotters, which seemed a fitting place to drop into and roll. For anyone looking for a place to train in Copenhagen, either short or long term; I could not recommend this place more highly. I turned up with a friend who trained Muay Thai, & both of us were given ONE WEEK of free training. One fucking week?! I’ve been to gyms in London who wanted 30£ for a trial lesson. Crazy. But at CSA the mat space is amazing, the people were incredibly welcoming (making the effort to be kind to the new guy, & speak his language) and very well trained. I got my ass kicked & made a whole bunch of new friends. Just the way it should be.
In less than a month I have met people/rolled with people from Greenland, Denmark, America, Canada, Latvia, Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Ireland, Scotland, Germany & probably a whole bunch of other places. They all had lots of things in common. Probably much more than any of us really think about on a regular basis. But one of my favourite common points is a curiosity & love for other human beings. I know ‘love’ is a big word to throw about for some, but it’s fitting. That desire to see the people around us energized and happy; I think everyone possess that. We might express it in a whole gamut of different ways, or even be nervous about putting it out there sometimes, but I truly believe it’s in all of us. In some form or another.
And lately I have been fortunate to experience the excitement & enthusiasm of being alive through a host of different muses, heroes, heroines, & apertures through which the wonders of human experience have flowed. A little too hippy? Well, maybe. But give me a break, I have been spending a lot of time in Christiania recently…mostly giggling happily in the sunshine.
But today I fly for Frankfurt to re-unite with friends & investigate the open mats of ze Germans. Stay tuned for more ponderings & poorly formed sentences.
Until next time
With happy, floaty thoughts & mental images of rainbows & pretty butterflies…
Peace. Love & Triangles
Greenland BJJ Globetrotters ‘Karma’ Camp
For the past week or so I have lived in Nuuk, the Capital of Greenland. I am being (very kindly) hosted by a local family and experiencing life here first-hand, amongst real people. I say ‘real’ people because the experience of befriending and interacting with locals is much different to navigating hotels & tourist traps. No one here is interested in me because of money or to be a dutiful employee. I am not handing over cash to a stranger with the expectation of gaining a certain experience. There is a time & place for touristic pleasures, but generally I strongly prefer to mix in with the locals (like this babe & her sweet pet Polar bear).
In this case, I was invited to do so; which is pretty unusual. It’s not everyday you get a message from someone inviting you to Greenland. Let alone inviting you to Greenland to train BJJ, (in what would turn out to be the country’s first gathering of international BJJ artists) with hosts providing you lodgings. The invitation was completely unexpected, and it found me sitting idly in a small coastal town in Australia. About as far away as one could possibly get from Greenland. I would love to tell you that I seized this opportunity immediately without fear, the way every motivation speech ever suggests you should. I’d love to say that. To tell you that life is filled with opportunities, for those bold enough to take them. Opportunities & ice-cream. Or something.
But to be honest, the first thing I did upon reading this invitation in disbelief, was absolutely shit myself. Some quick researched showed me flights to Greenland are spectacularly expensive. In my case, I would also require a flight from Australia to Copenhagen. Not cheap either. And totalling over 30hrs in travel just to arrive. Closer to 40 including stopovers in airports. I knew nothing of the culture or language. The other people going were strangers & much, much better at BJJ than me. I didn’t know why I was even invited, if I could really afford it or what I could possibly contribute on such a voyage ( which included 4 international BJJ Black belts, gym owners, hell… even people taller and more Australian than me!). So it certainly was not a comfortable decision. But it was a tremendously exciting one. And one of my best to date. Whilst here I have made friends with Greenlanders & fellow martial artists from all over the world. Invitations to visit other exotic locations/gyms were made, and are now potential adventurous chapters to be lived. Just like every other BJJ Globetrotters camp; the networking and socialising aspect has been absolutely ridiculous.
I was lucky enough to witness the very first Greenlandic BJJ belt promotion; and then be the first person to roll with him as a blue belt. We even ‘braved’ (I use the term lightly, some of us screamed more than others) the cold & swam in the freezing waters off Nuuk on a windy -0.6 degree day. Together we explored local Fjords & saw a whale off the coast of Nuuk. I even got myself a free haircut from my kindly host’s daughter, who works in a local salon. I will go into all the glorious details in another post.
But the point I wanted to make today was that none of this would have happened if not for the one decision a few months ago, alone with my computer on the other side of the planet. That moment was the catalyst that allowed all of this awesomeness to unfold. And it would have been so easy not to do it. I had a thousand reasons not to go. It was not the safe route. Or the practical choice. The responsible decision. And if am totally honest, a part of me was afraid to go because of so many unknown variables. That’s coming from someone who delights in the unknown. But the more I pondered the choice, the more I felt my initial gut reaction being reinforced; not the fear part. But the adventurous spirit underneath that was screaming ‘fuck yes!’ Sometimes that scream is so covered by nonsense it might just be a whisper. But I think whenever we have an option that resonates with our deepest desires, some part of us always sings. Even if it’s softly.
So for you, maybe it isn’t an invitation to Greenland. Maybe it’s starting a up a new Cafe. Or accepting a promotion in a new town. Or quitting a job which grinds your soul. Or telling that attractive human about your messy human feelings. Or deciding to start showing people your creative work. Whatever choices lay before, just do me & yourself one favour. Be honest. And be brave, even if you shit yourself in the process. I guess that’s two things…but hopefully you catch my meaning. Go out there & shit yourselves in the interest of living a life in accordance with your inner mojo. Shit yourself in service to becoming a better version of yourself. And on that strange note, I shall leave you.
Until next time,
Peace. Love. Triangles
Much has happened since my last writing. Months have passed. Love, disaster, summer, laughter, weddings, heartbreak, sweat, more laughter, tears and lots of other things. Like Belt promotions….
It doesn’t matter now, it’s in the past. Let us concern ourselves for now with the present. And the near future.
The present moment finds me jet-lagged and hungry in a terminal of Copenhagen airport, awaiting a flight to Greenland. I’m having trouble concentrating my foggy brain on anything in particular, so this probably won’t be my most eloquent post of all time. But it’s a exciting one nonetheless. I am heading to Greenland to meet up once more with The BJJ Globetrotters, for Greenland’s first ever Brazilian Jiu Jitsu camp. History in the making! Glorious, sweaty, pyjama party history- featuring (for better or worse) yours truly.
I arrived yesterday from Sydney & still have hours ahead of travel, so I’ll keep this brief & poorly written. But stay tuned fellow campers, fantastic once in a lifetime moments are coming soon. Until then, I’m going to try not to fall asleep & miss my flight. Pretty sure there is a awesome metaphor about life in there somewhere….
Until next time friends, be kind to children & enjoy flowers. Stroke a kitten. Call your mother. You know, the good things.
Peace. Love. Triangles.
from a very tired
So here it is, the day before hopping onto a plane to fly ( one way ) to the other side of the planet. Back to the very spot on the planet that I started from to be exact. What many people would describe as returning ‘home’. I’m not sure I know how to feel about that. The past two months have been spent working away as a Live-In Carer in Hampshire, England. Planned to be a easy cash grab, it turned out to be a challenging and draining stint of work. Sitting in here in the kitchen, on my last night shift is somewhat surreal. Everything will be different tomorrow. I may never return to this place. My future is largely unplanned, the only real plans being those outlined in this blog. I want to explore the world, and I want to explore myself through martial arts. Of course, I have a thousand other goals, plans and aspirations but they are all being molded around those two commandments.
Step one: Stay awesome
Next stop Australia, away from the English Winter and back to my hometown of Wollongong. There I will find old friends, cherished family & my much loved MMA gym; the place where I took the first hesitant, clumsy steps of my passionate journey. But what else will I find when I return ‘home’? How much will have changed? How will people have changed? And what about those who have not? What old paradigms and Demons of the past will return to haunt me? How will I fit into the puzzle now? Who knows?
Only time will answer these questions dear friends. I am excited to see, but strangely hesitant also. I have so much to do, so many adventures half formed in my mind. Everytime I set out into the unknown, I get another glimpse as to how vast, strange and impossibly wonderful this planet is. Whenever I show up in a new place, friendless and alone it seems so alien; but a short time later I have been welcomed and loved upon by some unexpected and incredible humans. Wherever I find exotic differences in human behaviour I glimpse the similarities too. Like the same story told a thousand different ways, with a million different tongues. And I so long to hear those stories! To join in the telling and add my own flavor to the delightful dishes of the world. I have not yet even arrived back home & a part of me is already restless! What an awesome problem to have…too much awesomeness.
No doubt this time away will allow me to view my home with a fresh appreciation. I will be able to examine familiar sights & see them anew. Perhaps also with old friends? Perhaps even with you? Oh how exciting.
So what is my point? I’m not sure I have a point today, I just wanted to express where I am at right now. It’s a unique moment in time, I am excited about the future. And I promise you this gentle readers, glorious and fantastical things are afoot. Next year will be magical and adventurous in ways I have not yet even fathomed, with characters I have yet to meet. Action, adventure, romance….and a quest! Yes, I can feel it! More on that as it comes in, for now I must finish my packing. Good luck to you today human. I hope you discover something wonderful, it’s a fantastic day outside.
Peace. Love. Triangles
From a rather exhausted and dishevelled
OK OK OK,
It’s been some time since my last update….I don’t have an excuse for that. Excuses are lame anyway. I won’t try to fill you in on all that has happened between now & then, too much life has gone by to be contained in one little blog post. Instead, we shall focus upon the here & now.
HERE is Farnborough England, specifically in a tiny little cafe drinking a giant Mocha. Yep, I am being that guy working on his blog in public space.
I have returned to my old post working as a Live-In Carer 7 days per week. Once again experiencing the grind of working without days off & the enduring the challenges of social isolation. The plus side being I am once again earning currency & have no real expenses. Also, I have a lot of time to pursue personal development. Or not. The purpose of this stint it to merely refill the coffers before heading home to Australia to spend time with family over Christmas. Because it’s all well and good being kick ass at life & gallivanting off into the sunset- but maintaining the relationships that are meaningful is a super important part of life. For me, I am due to spend some quality face-time with loved ones, not just for my own enjoyment but to actively invest in those relationships. I have such beautiful people waiting for me back home & I am eager to sow into those from whom I have reaped such rich harvests. And no doubt will do again.
But fear not gentle readers! This is not a post about me hanging up my gloves & settling down into normality. Far from it! When I return I will be headed to one of my favourite MMA gyms on the planet to train with the fearsome creatures at Windang Fight Gym, where my MMA journey truly began. I am beyond excited to roll with all my old training partners & hear my coach’s voice again over the din of training.
As for settling down…well I have a thousand and one ideas, aspirations & adventures rattling around my mind. All of which should be given life if possible, it is simply a matter of putting them into order. I say ‘all’ because I think taking an idea out of the ephemeral world of thoughts & bringing it into some form of tangible existence, that’s a sacred thing. It’s great to accomplish large, worthy goals, of course, but I also place great value on the little things. The little ideas. Little things often turn out to be big things, don’t they say? Hug your cat. Lick a puppy. Choke your training partners. Live those wacky little side plots & bring those tiny ideas into life. It’ll help programme that big powerful brain of yours to remember that you can do cool shit. Good to remind yourself of that one.
Which brings us to the NOW. Other than training & socialising, I don’t exactly know what I will do when I return home. I do not know which direction to take my life once Christmas is done. I do not know which adventure to pursue. And that is totally fine. It is 100% OK. Planning future adventures, scheming world domination, & pondering future possibilites are some of my favorite things to think about. However, as my recent Thailand adventures & complications have firmly demonstrated, life’s twisty & strange. Plans fail. Plots change in an instant. That’s OK too. You don’t need to know all the time. You don’t even need a plan all the time. Sometimes you just need to do. Or not do. So, for now, I’m just a guy doing the work thing. I train. I sleep. I eat good. And I am happy in the now. I feel pretty confident I’ll be happy in the future too. And sad. And all the other things. That’s part of the ride my lovely friends. Hope you’re enjoying the ride today, if not….well just remember we’re talking monkeys on a chunk of dirt flying through nothingness, & that one day this chunk of dirt will be engulfed by a giant fireball as the sun explodes. And on the Universe will roll. So enjoy the ride my monkey friends.
Until next time,
Peace, Love & Triangles
BJJ Globetrotters Leuven Summer Camp
6 days of training, over 200 grapplers from all around the planet & a wide selection of Belgian beers. It certainly was one hell of a week. For me, getting to finally meet and greet the BJJ Globetrotters was a victory in itself after my earlier failure to do so in Copenhagen. Naturally, with all the dramatic build up, I had pretty high expectations. I had read the book, followed along on social media & was more than a little bit excited. I was not to be disappointed. Over the course of the week, I was choked out by people of different sizes, ages and personalities from all over the world. The variety of experience and styles was incredible. I rolled with belts of every color, Division One wrestlers, Lutra Livre specialists, UFC fighters, I even met a teenager who was having his very first day of BJJ (that’s parenting done right!). I spent a lot of time on the bottom…
For me it was a combination of many of my passions; getting to share that & see it mirrored in such a huge group of (initially) complete strangers was incredible. I mean, I am a people person; for me interacting with new and unexpected humanoids is one of the best parts about traveling. And ordinarily, when by some twist of fate you happen to meet a new person & they also do BJJ, there’s always this kind of mini-celebration. You don’t have to awkwardly explain that you enjoy rolling around on the floor with people in strange positions trying to strangle each other. At this camp, everyone was there for the love of BJJ. Upon check in, we were given a camp shirt, which became the visual signal throughout the town for meeting a new friend. I met so many interesting and combatively terrifying people in such a short space of time, my head nearly exploded from all the awesomeness.
The only other times I have seen such a large gathering of BJJ folk is during competition; and as much as I have had great experiences and made new friends at comps, the vibe in the air is totally different. People are always tense before their matches & constantly searching for people of similar size. This was nothing like that.
Free hugs for everybody! And enjoy my example of how not to do side control defence.
Everyone was just here to roll, learn things & make friends. The instructors included. Spending time with the higher belts, on & off the mats, realizing that even the Godlike Black Belts are people too…I learned a lot at this camp. Seeing people living the kind of life I long for, having BJJ as a intrinsic part of their lifestyle, & getting to know them as real people. Not some kind of genetic superheroes or rich playboys. But just normal people doing really cool shit with their lives. Attending the camp would have been worth it just for the social aspect alone…which is a pretty crazy thing to say about a sporting event.
Training several hours everyday, trying to memorize dozens of names, a head full of crazy new techniques, and then nights of socialising on top was utterly exhausting. Classes ran from 10am to 7pm most days, even training mainly with no-gi, I was overwhelmed. So many interesting classes and instructors, that getting to do them all was just physically impossible. Especially with the effects of last nights tasty Belgian beers. My muscles and internal organs took an absolute beating that week. But it was so, so worth it. I was on such a euphoric high for those 6 days that I actually fell into a little depression post camp. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. It seems like such a short period of time, but there was so much incredible shit crammed in. My own personal highlight reel of BJJ & life brilliance. I want my life to be more like those 6 days. More training, more human interaction, more love. Maybe less beer? There was an awful lot of beer, seriously, one night I only drank varieties of beer exclusively brewed by monks…
In short, if you ever get a chance to attend a BJJ Globetrotter camp, do it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t panic. Don’t rush. Just crush. I’ll explain that some other time, my point is; Just fucking do it. I will be going again the very next chance I get, doesn’t matter where it is, I’m going. My expectations were unreasonably high coming in and they were exceeded by everything that happened at the camp. Hopefully you take my advice & we can choke each other in some exotic place somewhere in the near future.
Until then, stay awesome boys & girls.
Peace, Love & Triangles.
So after a brief stint of Workaway volunteering in Verviers, I have arrived in the city of Leuven, Belgium. I am probably totally under-prepared for this week, my partying skills are much sharper than my grappling at this minute. But I don’t care. I’m finally getting to meet the BJJ Globetrotters.
It’s about damn time.
Leuven Summer camp Day One
Pace yourself they said. List to your body they said. It’ll be fun they said. And they were so, so right. In typical fashion I turned up to the first class of camp: early, enthusiastic, & somewhat hung-over. Not the most intelligent start, to be sure. An excited exploration of the town upon arrival turned more drunken than expected as I failed to take into account the strength & tastiness of Belgian beers; some being in the 12% range & all being super flavoursome. Under these circumstances, I waded into the fray with about 200 other grapplers from all over the world.
First round: introduction & speed dating. This went well. After a brief welcome speech from Christian, things went ‘full-retard’. A free for all social introduction amongst 200 BJJ enthusiasts, broken down into 1 minute rounds. Hilarious, absolutely hilarious. I’ve never done speed-dating before, I certainly didn’t expect to be doing with a group of 90% men, most of whom wore tights & could pull my arms out of their sockets. Fantastic. Really really fantastic.
Next was ‘G-Spot’ guard passing & with the step into physical exertion, my hangover really began to shine. I flailed like a small child out there, my sweat smelling of rum as my hazy mind struggled to focus on the techniques. It wasn’t pretty. But it was pretty amusing.
As the day wore on, I slowly powered out of my malaize. I had the pleasure of being ‘Twistered’ by Nick Dalby. I joined an open matt with over a hundred other grapplers. I was submitted by white belts & blue belts. I met a 15 year old attending his very first BJJ lesson. I laughed, I tapped, I rolled. And all was well in the world again.
That post training feeling, ahhhh nothing like it. I feel more like my true self somehow, like I’m spending my time the way I should be. Acting like the man I want to be. I stumbled out of the stadium sweaty, exhausted & grinning from ear to ear.
(This is what a Twister looks like btw. Go the Korean Zombie!)
Being connected with your passion, it’s truly beautiful. Do what you love kids, even if you suck at it. Aligning hard work with the things you love, I think that’s how you win in life.
Hopefully tomorrow, I can actually move, because I’m kinda sore right now. My new grappling friends are heading out drinking tonight. The voice of reason in my tells me to stay home.
Whatever will I do?
Peace. Love. And Triangles, finally! Finally Triangles!
Bonjour from Belgium! Plot twist!
So, I AM indeed taking the slow road back to employment; I intend to return to my old post as a Live in Carer & regain my functional rhythm whilst earning gold coins. Not as exciting as riding about SE Asia…but should set me in good stead for 2016. Fortunately, I liked my job, which is a great thing to be able to say. I will have had nice break from the grind, so I think I will be ready when the time comes. But, before then, there is much adventure to be had. Firstly in Belgium, of course! The land of Beer, waffles, fries & chocolate. Seriously, that’s what this place specializes in, I mean….well done Belgium. Getting here on short notice was a bit of a challenge, involving planes, trains, buses & getting totally lost in a field in Germany as I took the cheapest possible route via Frankfurt. A sleep deprived adventure from which I have not regrets. And now, I am once again Volunteering, this time living with a Belgian family & renovating a home in the countryside that will eventually become a Bed & Breakfast. A much needed break from the chaos & grime of Bangkok, a slower pace, with hopefully much less madness.
Let’s hope Friedrich, let’s hope.
But what of the martial arts? What about trying to make friends with people who choke you & being turned into a human pretzel? I’m glad you asked, for I have a plan.
A plan to shake free of the mental funk & physical flabbiness I have found myself shrouded in. First step, dramatic change. Hence flying from Bangkok to Frankfurt, then night busing to Aachen & catching a train to Liege, then a second train to finally arrive with my host in Belgium. Dramatic.
That’s right, back to where it all began; The BJJ Globetrotters. Rolling with these guys was to be the first port of call on my (somewhat ill fated) trip. Now, it is the spark of hope that has led me halfway across the planet. I was crushed with disappointment after missing the camp in Copenhagen. And that is the point in time where my lifestyle began to turn from athletic pursuits to partying as I consoled myself with mischief. And now, a flabbier, combatively rustier version of myself get’s to try & right that wrong. From the 10-15th August, in the Belgian town of Leuven, I will join in with these badasses from across the world. And remember what it’s like to be a martial artist. I am unspeakably excited. The chance to snatch the prize which slipped through my fingers is ever so tantalizing. Rolling with BJJ enthusiasts from all over the world, seeing a host of different techniques….and actually getting to do BJJ again. Ahhhh, it’s fantastic. I have 9 or so days in which to prepare myself for what will be an absolute assault on my body & a huge stretching of my limited combative abilities. I don’t hold any illusions about what I can accomplish in that time, I know I (sadly) won’t walk into the camp a chiseled modern day ninja. But I will use the time wisely, something I haven’t done in far too long. There’s a time and a place to be frivolous. A time to party, a time to rest. I have certainly enjoyed both lately, probably too much so. Now, for me, it’s time to work. Work towards making a stronger version of myself. I must attempt to regain my momentum & restore the mental fortitude I once held.
Wish me luck eh?
With great optimism & strange Belgian cheek kisses, because that’s a thing here.
Peace, Love & Triangles
I’d like to say that despite my inability to train, I remained focused and determined. Afraid it just isn’t so. From the very day I left England, I began sliding on slope lubricated by alcohol and mischief. As injuries plagued my campaign to become a sweet, real life ninja, I continued to slide. Inch by inch. Meter by meter. I left Phuket with a motive to sit tight and gather my thoughts. This also did not go to plan, I found myself swept up in a inexplicably frenetic rush. I flew from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur, flew from KL to Bangkok, flew from Bangkok to Phuket, bused from Phuket to Bangkok, bused from Bangkok to Pattaya, Pattaya to Bangkok….and now here I am panting in semi-exhaustion and severe confusion. There is so little sense in the above travel routes that it makes my face hurt. Especially Pattaya. Never will you find a more wretched hive of scum & villainy.
So it turns out that Pattaya is the sex capitol of Thailand and home to a thousand old white guys and a numberless horde of young Thai girls. My brief time there was a fascinating insight into the stranger side of humanity. I (perhaps foolishly) went for a massage & in the space of an hour I had two different guys have sex on the mattress next to me. My masseuse was genuinely confused by my lack of sexual intentions & greatly amused by my reactions to the comings & goings of the establishment. Even though I don’t like Pattaya, I don’t want my opinions to seem high & mighty. I have seen and done many strange things in my time, and no doubt have many more wacky and unpredictable adventures ahead of me. Being human is an ugly business. It isn’t neat or pretty all the time. Even simple matters like eating & mating for us inevitably are messy and often embarrassing affairs. These squishy meat-puppets endowed with consciousness are imperfect things. And fascinatingly so. I’m glad I went to Pattaya, even if I never intend to return.
One of the best parts of the past few crazy weeks was (against all odds) my return to Phuket. It was brief and very expensive, but it allowed me to watch 2 friends hop into the ring & flail their enemies with Muay Thai. It was amazing to watch my Thai trainer/ drinking partner (weirdest combo ever right?) absolutely decimate his opponent in the first right using a vicious combination of angry right hooks and horrifying elbow strikes. I had drank and smoked so much with the man that I was secretly doubting his combative abilities. How wrong I was.
I also had the pleasure of watching a Swedish training partner jump into the ring & fight like crazy for 5 rounds. I love to watch fighting, in all it’s forms, but the experience is enhanced so very much when someone you really know is in that ring. I cheered and screamed like crazy, I was spouting absolute innate drivel by the end of the fight. I think I actually proposed to her from the stands at the end of round three. Sadly sporadic marriage offer was lost in the din and roar of the crowd, but we did laugh about it in the post fight drinking.
Ahhh drinking. Too much drinking. Be warned if you ever come to Bangkok, this is a dangerous place for thirsty folk. Fun, but your wallet will take a savage beating. I know mine has. So much so that, I must change my initial plans and take the slow road back to paid employment. A heartbreaking notion, but I think that’s where things stand. I have not wanted to admit it, planning has been slow and reluctant. Perhaps that is why I have been so sluggish in typing this blog. It all stings, right in the pride.
From the shadows amongst broken dreams, with a great weariness & much failure.
Peace, Love & a hope of one day seeing Triangles again…