2 THONGS DON’T MAKE IT WHITE

If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.  – Frank A. Clark

thongs

The Path of Perseveration

I don’t mean to perseverate on anything. On thongs. On poop. On tats. On rice paddies. On Starbucks. On Buddhas. On mountains, oceans, doors. Bridges. Fairies. Miracles. These things just seem to find a way of perseverating in my reality, in my travels. At least that’s what I thought until I recently read an article—only part of the article, actually, as it was long…and it disturbed me, and I got distracted. The article said if you have frontal lobe damage, you could exhibit particular behavioral problems.

The article also mentioned that some of these problems may appear as ADD, which in previous posts, I’ve faux-facetiously quipped about having—because why else would I be so…effectively erratic? In another article I read years ago, it listed all the symptoms of ADD; I had every single one of those symptoms. They have no accurate way to diagnose ADD, and even if you exhibit symptoms, or even all the symptoms, you may or may not have it. I had no other excuse for being who I am, so we just had to go with poster child for ADD.

However, in this new article on frontal lobe damage, they also list the possible behaviors on frontal lobe damage. Get this, I exhibit most of the effects; here are a few examples:

poor planning (sound familiar?),

indecision (decisions are for sissies),

impaired attention (um…what were we talking about?),

asocial (bite me).

Oh and this one—perseveration (you think?).

But I particularly like this one: chronically irrelevant (They now have clinical proof that Listerine actually does cure gonorrhea of the throat).

girl with fish

Mural at Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi

So now, I’m beginning to imagine I may have frontal lobe damage. But how do you find out if you have frontal lobe damage or not when you’re in a third world and half the world away from home and real doctors, and because it doesn’t show up in an MRI in any country?

In the past, I could always tolerate, even embrace, my…um…being the way I am, believing I was slightly quirky, endearingly quirky even, and perfect in my quirkiness, possibly even superior—just so you know “delusions of grandeur” is not on either list. But now? I don’t know. If I’m damaged, and I’m like this not because I’m different and cool and endearingly quirky and superior (if maybe slightly narcissistic)…but damaged. That doesn’t sound so cool and quirky, or superior.

I’m unsure I even want to discover if I have frontal lobe damage. And how would that have happened anyway—fell out of my crib? Hit my head surfing? I was thrown off my horse, Kriya, once but went to the hospital for the shoulder injury, not my head. The article states any number of causes, even simple reasons like the “effect of anesthesia or some illness”—huh…you get brain damage from removing your tonsils or blowing your nose?

Here’s a scary thought: what if I have it, and they cure me—who will I be then? Will I set goals and plan and follow through; will I begin to give two shits about stupid stuff; will I —GASP!— be normal? See, this is why I don’t read newspapers and articles like this. It never turns out well for people who lean towards reality, common sense, or paranoia.

face with travel guidebooks

Badfish believing he might become normal

OUT OF THE LOOP

Since I don’t read newspapers, have a TV, or follow news online, I’m out of the loop regarding most news. I get most of my news reading weekly magazine covers and tabloids at checkout counters. I do know Brangelina broke up, but no details of why. I know Kim Kardashian got robbed, but no details of how or where or when. Prince died, but I don’t know the story. Princess Leia died. Prince Harry is dating someone I never heard of. Someone attempted a coup in Turkey. And that Trump thing—I know very little about that.

The first time I heard anything about his even running was when I stopped off for water while driving from Bagan to Mount Popa in Burma. I’m still calling it Burma, call this what you want—perseveration, asocial. The old man behind the counter speaking poor English asked what I thought about Trump. I had no idea what he was talking about. But several months later while watching news in a bar on Valletta’s Strait Street (formerly the red light district, now a throw-back bizarro ally) on Malta, the one thing I heard Trump say was something like we never should have invaded Iraq. You gotta hand it to him for that kind of honesty. Probably no other politician, not even a Democrat would utter those—brutally honest, perhaps politically incorrect—words, if only out of respect for our troops.

Since the trips to Mt Popa and Malta, I have read that some people, perhaps the ones with a modicum of intelligence, say an IQ over 60, might harbor a bit of fear regarding the new president. They believe it could all go haywire. The grandness of America sinking into a morass of folly. But really, how different could it be between him and, say, Reagan or Little Bush—both on The Atlantic’s short list for “worst leader of all time”, right up there with Hitler. Stalin. Lord Voldemort. I mean, did those Presidents lead us in the right direction? Perhaps, it’s simply that they didn’t warn us ahead of time. So, we had nothing to fear until we were knee-deep in poop and hindsight. At least with Trump, we know what’s what. We may or may not savor it, but we know what he’s thinking.

We may not know how good a leader he is yet, but Trump apparently is not a good politician because obviously good politicians keep the herd in the dark, unaware. Good politicians don’t scare people. Good politicians don’t say things like ‘I’m going to bend you over that barrel for the next four years, dude.’ Good politicians sneak up on you, make you believe one thing, while they do another. Good politicians would say: mind if I take a selfie with you…um… perhaps you could lean against that barrel there … no ,no, turn around.

I’m trying to stay positive about all this political stuff. The way I’m trying to see things is like this: at least we know that the guys who are actually pulling the strings now are the guys we’re seeing in office. I mean, do any of us actually believe Reagan (or even GWB) had his hands on the reins at any moment of his reign? I’ve been so apolitical all my life, that it doesn’t seem possible, to me, for one President to do any more damage than the others before him have done.

I could be wrong, but for me, it couldn’t get much worse. To me, there is one main harm these previous presidents have caused: they spoiled traveling. Especially if you’re American. A few decades ago, it was truly marvelous to be an American out traveling the world. People loved Americans, honored you, bought you drinks, wouldn’t let you buy the next round, took you home for dinner. These days, you might get a shiv in the gut just for standing next to an American in a bar on Strait Street. Presidents in the past created some bad juju for travelers.

Strait Street, Valletta, Malta

Laundry day on Strait Street, Valletta, Malta

What Some People Say

I’ve read that some people think Trump is an ass. But, show me one politician or leader who isn’t an ass on some level. You may not know this, but the etymology of the word “leader” comes from the Uzbekistan word for donkey. Most politicians try to hide their assness, but Trump seems to be just fine knowing that everyone believes he’s an ass. It’s rather refreshing. Maybe we all should simply try to imagine this as mighty-fine stand-up comedy, or Season 2 of his reality show.

I recently read this ditty: he’s filling his cabinet with his (what some people in the media are calling his “scumbag”) buddies who screwed us all in our collective butt, under those other presidents we voted into office believing we were safe and secure in a great nation. I don’t know who they are or whether or not they’re scumbags, but those guys, those (perhaps, scumbag) buddies with all that money and power, were the guys running the show before. Maybe it’s best we know who is running the show, instead of having them lurking in the shadows and pulling the strings from behind the curtains with impunity and collecting millions of dollars in year-end bonuses and building contracts, after screwing us in the butt—without the cherry-flavored lubricant.

Any argument always has two sides; otherwise, it’s a soliloquy. I say, let’s wait until something happens before we begin to worry. No President can just go down to the Texas border and build a wall, you know. And really, would that be a bad thing? OK, political correctness, mental acuity, common sense, and all aside. I mean, if what the weeklies say is true, they now want us to teach our elementary schools in Spanish, too. This is Amurica. We have one national language. Thousands of people a day are sneaking into our country illegally. Thousands a day. And staying here. Illegally. And raising families. Illegally. And then demanding stuff. And getting what they want now because there are so many of them, they now hold sway over elections. Is there something wrong with that picture?

And don’t get me wrong: I love Mexico, I’ve traveled extensively through Mexico, I lived for two years in Manzanillo, I love Mexicans, I’ll probably retire in Mexico. Two of my best friends are Mexican—they call me Paco. One of my ex-wives is Mexican—she calls me another name, as that didn’t end well, but it wasn’t because she was Mexican. That woman could make a mean fish taco. And my daughter is half Mexican. But there’s always a line drawn in the sand somewhere for us all, isn’t there?

If you’re a lawyer, you might care to introduce the notion of precedent: remember FDR? Who doesn’t love FDR? Everybody loved, still loves, FDR. Maybe one of the greatest Presidents of all time. I’d bet if there were a top ten list of most-popular Presidents, FDR would be in the top five, right up there with Kennedy, Lincoln, Washington. FDR did not build a wall at the border after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. No, he issued Public Proclamation Number 1 and rounded up the Japanese Americans—all of them—stripped them of all their belongings, and stuck them in huts they had to build themselves in a holding pen with thousands of others surrounded with barbed wire and machine guns “for their own protection” in some desert with no sewers or toilets. And the funny (not funny ha-ha) thing is that when that happened, many folks in America applauded the action. Some senators, for crying out loud, wanted to ship them all back to Japan. Americans, apparently, have always been Amuricans: each of us from someplace else, and fearful of others from someplace else—a smoldering streak of redneck lying just beneath the surface in us all.

BELOW THE TROPIC OF CANCER

But we’re here today to talk about thongs. So let’s talk about thongs. This is why I now fear I have frontal lobe impairment: impaired attention, poor planning — do you see any relevant straight line of reasoning in the diatribe above leading to the tropic of thongs? And what’s with the lady with the fish photo? And what’s this Buddha from Burma photograph doing here in this rant?

Buddha with sky

All I wanted to do today in this post was perseverate a bit on the topic of thongs, mostly because some commenters recently seemed to be pursuing the topic of thongs. But somehow, I got side-tracked. On a topic I obviously know nothing about, and care nothing about. Chronically irrelevant…indeed.

The thong photo at the top depicts my own personal thongs purchased on my most-recent trip to Bali, worn only a few times in Ubud. The two photos below were taken by Alison over at Adventures in Wonderland and display her latest artistic-style photography. She and Don are presently hanging out and posting at Playa del Carmen in Mexico’s Yucatan. Alison and Don do not perseverate on thongs. But they noticed our thread of comments and perseveration and what was happening in comments here, for instance, this one by Carol at The Eternal Traveler:

2-carol-eternal-thongs

And Alison and Don thought they’d share their artful take on thongs with us.

bikini thong

photo credit: Alison Armstrong

I like both of Alison’s artistic photos, which depict two different versions of bikini thongs—skimpy and uber-skimpy. But I especially like the photo depicting both kinds of “thongs” —foot and bikini— in one shot. In a shot like this, nobody needs to ponder just which kind of thong do you mean—you see the thong, and you see the thongs. A no-brainer, no need for discussing just what is what. A built-in perseveration blocker.

bikini thongs & fisherman

photo credit: Alison Armstrong

But I will admit that for some reason, I prefer looking at the other type of bikini thong, the ones with a little more material. Perhaps because the type with less cloth forces you to acknowledge that it’s a thong; you see the waistband, and then you watch it slither into the abyss. And even though it should be more sensual because there’s less material and more skin, it forces you to realize that there’s something being bunged, or rubbed or perhaps even chafed, in there. And you know it can’t be comfortable.

And then you start pondering the idea of waxing all that area down there just so you can wear the thing, and how uncomfortable and extremely painful that must be, and then you start thinking what a woman must endure not only while she’s wearing a thong — physical and emotional — because you don’t just slip into a thong and forget you’re wearing it like you would a sweater. And there’s all the trauma she endures before she can even put the thing on. And just what is the protocol for trying one on in the store. Talk about ick factors. And then you wander down the dark chasm of impropriety of a woman not waxing before wearing a thong, and it takes a while to get that picture out of your head.

So then, rather than be entertained by eye-balling a beauty in a thong, you just begin to feel sorry for her, and you begin to feel sorry for yourself and uncomfortable, and your own butt begins to feel a gnarly sympathetic-wedgy bung, and then you begin to get annoyed…thong-riding-up-your-butt annoyed, so now you can’t even appreciate the humor in the sight of such a white moon glaring against her previous tan line.

So I suppose we should all be glad that we’re not sitting on the beach at Playa del Carmen on the Mexican Riviera with Alison and Don and being forced to look at that stuff all day. Apparently, there really are two sides to everything.

Over the past year, we’ve perseverated thoroughly on thongs, Buddhas, poop, and other bushwa here at Café del Malceviche. What topic could possibly be next for us to languish on? Perhaps, the Uzbekistan word for “politician” which—you might find this interesting—from the Uzbeki language translates quite literally to “soiled thong”.

___________________________________________________

Almost forgot:

For those of you who missed—or those of you who miss—the persevation on poop, you might like this site: POOP HUMOR

See more DP Photo Challenge:     Resilient

See more posts on Malta:  

Malta

Another Side of Malta

See more at Lucile’s: Photo Rehab

STROLLING THROUGH PRAGUE: ONE FINE DAY—PART II

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.   –Albert Einstein

einstein in Prague

This is Part II in the series. If you missed it, visit Part I here.

 

4.  ASCENSION

antique car--Prague touring

About now, you might begin to feel like the fairy dust is wearing off, and perhaps you should have popped for a ride up the hill in one of Prague’s (in)famous, stretch, convertible, authentic-reproduction-antique limos. Continue reading

10 FUN WINDOWS in BLARICUM: PART I

1 ManBikeDog1503 crop

YOU MIGHT WONDER JUST WHY THERE IS NO STARBUCKS IN BLARICUM. And no other franchised eateries. And no hotel chains. The busiest place in town, and favorite local gathering spot, is Ijssalon de Hoop, a family-run, home-made ice cream parlor, operated in the same location for generations. People line up all the way around the corner sometimes and cordially wait their turn to buy a cone and top it with real whipped cream; then they sit outside—in sun, in rain, in snow—at the over-sized picnic table or atop antique, metal milk churns and discuss the daily news, or the weather, which constantly changes from blistering sun to cloudy to chilly to monsoon downpour and back to sun in one afternoon. Or, they debate just how their garbage truck works, and they wonder if their glass actually gets recycled into three different colors—um…I made that last part up. Continue reading

LAST SUPPER IN KATMANDU

If you just go with the flow, no matter what weird things happen along the way, you always end up exactly where you belong.   —Tom Upton

1 Hard Yak 7028

FIRST, YOU HAVE TO GET THERE. MY DRUK AIR FLIGHT was supposed to leave Bhutan at 0900 hours, but they cancelled the day before and gave no reason. Lotay and Fin warned me this might happen. And it happens more times than you might imagine in a country with a king who hits the bulls eye with a bamboo bow from a football field and a half away, with airlines owning a monopoly on flights, where the former king supported four wives (all four sisters), and where nobody panders to backpackers. Continue reading

Time is a State of Mind

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

 

 

SEASONS OF OUR DISCONTENT: PART II

You can read Part 1 here:     PART I

In this photo, the season is late summer, the aspens have not turned yellow yet. When Ted Bundy escapes from the Pitkin County Courthouse at just about the time this photo is taken, he works his way through town, by-passes Tom’s Market, then climbs Aspen Mountain and hikes over to the back side. He runs across a cabin, breaks in, steals some food, some clothes, a rifle. Continue reading

SEASONS OF OUR DISCONTENT: PART ONE

Many years later as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.                                                     —Gabriel Garcia Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude

 

Keith+Kriya Aspen 1977 E1

Small fry Badfish with Kriya, Aspen, Colorado, 1977

 

It is late summer 1977 in Aspen, Colorado. Pluto is still a planet. Nobody wears tattoos or pierced lips. Hair is long and bell-bottoms, wide. Jimmy Carter pardons all Vietnam draft evaders. “Tonight’s The Night” by Rod Stewart is the year’s number one song, but receives no Grammy. Star Wars plays in theaters. Rocky wins the Oscar for Best Picture. Apple begins selling its first laptops.

The first MRI image is produced. Pink Floyd performs the first quadrophonic concert in London. I am reading Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia. Patty Hearst is sentenced to five years. G. Gordon Liddy is released from prison. And Ted Bundy leaps from a window in the Aspen Courthouse and escapes into the Rocky Mountains. Continue reading

HOW YOUR LIFE IMITATES ART: Finally, a short read

“Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.” – Maya Angelou

1 Spur3258ESM 

SAY YOU’RE A SPANISH CONQUISTADOR LIVING IN BARCELONA in the early 1500’s. Candle wax is more expensive than oil. Maybe you like the taste of salt, but you may never taste black pepper in your lifetime; it is too expensive. Coffee will not reach Spain for another hundred years or so. But you will be one of the first Europeans to eat chocolate, perhaps believing it possesses magical powers—which as we all now know, it does. You will sail away from the turbulence of the Atlantic Ocean and discover another calmer (seemingly calmer) ocean and name it Pacifico. Continue reading

THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF TRAVELING LIGHT

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to BADFISH … ONE YEAR OLD TODAY! YAY!!!

 Badfish’s first post on 17 January 2015:   Serenity  

 1 Kerala T 7063sm

Most everyone aboard the 90-minute Air India flight from the Maldives to India is heading home on vacation. There are perhaps ten other Western travelers onboard. The plane is not large, and surprisingly, little more than half full, a rare and enjoyable event when traveling these days. There is one toddler aboard; he riddles the plane with squeals and tramples the toes of one man’s patience. Continue reading

A CIRCLE IS NOT PEAR SHAPED

 

1 Anklet 3836

A silver anklet encircles a woman’s ankle, Kerala, India

WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG, the Brits call it “going pear-shaped.” I don’t know the origin of that idiom, but I’m guessing that if everything is going fine, it’s shaped like a circle or round. When things go awry, maybe things get loopy and elongate into a pear shape. That’s my American take on the British vernacular. I could be way off on this. Continue reading

AN IMPERFECT EYE

 

1 EYE Iguana 6495SM

A perfectly perfect imperfect eye

 

My eyes are off. They’re not symmetrical; one seems larger than the other. Or maybe one eyelid is lazy, or heavier and hangs lower. It’s not a huge difference. Maybe you wouldn’t even notice, certainly nothing to give a child nightmares. I don’t see it when I look in the mirror. I only notice in photographs of myself, and only in recent photos. Maybe it’s like the Buddhists say: life is change. But that’s not the point. Continue reading