Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Just Like a Swiss Watch


“May be going to hell in a bucket, but at least I’m enjoying the ride…”  

I read in Dave’s blog that he moved out of his sick room and into the jungle. As he put it he said goodbye to his concrete walls. Reidi, me, and up until recently Dave live in concrete cells on campus that were designed to house sick boarders. Life thirty yards from the hostel can be hectic. Overall students respect my privacy but several visits occur each day. Mostly students wanting help with homework or looking for Karlos. The real issue is the noise and boys peeping in the windows through the curtain. I feel like a lion in the zoo. There is a lot of hooting and hollering, singing and shouting as you would expect. I also share a thin wall with Karlos and Sonam and endure Sonam’s antics as they endure my Ratdog. Late at night after lights out the sounds of nature return. Good on you Dave for escaping. Today it rained hard and my students were being silly. My eighth period was simultaneously interrupted by a teacher wielding a sign- up sheet for another baby shower tonight and a teacher who was quizzing my students for a competition thus cancelling my class. Things happen without notice as any BCF teacher can attest, WTDL.

It was great talking to my dad this weekend and hearing about his “Bucket List Trip” or was it his “Hell in a Bucket” trip? That’s a classic biker Bobby song for those uninformed cats. Ironically my life revolves around buckets in Bhutan and my nickname as a child was “Drool Bucket” Here’s a little known fact, My first word was bus! As in Furthur bus, as in bus come by and I got on, as in Cowboy Neal at the wheel, as in The Greyhound WOOF WOOF!  Anyway, my father remarked that one of his Milwaukee friends was interested in Bhutan and gave him a copy of Beyond the Sky and Earth. Jamie your book is an international sensation. For us teachers it’s a holy scroll but it is also a fine piece of travel literature. The copy sitting next to me is from our school library and falling to pieces from use.  I was sad to hear about my mom’s shoulder surgery only being a moderate success. The decay of the body is the pits. My mom is so active and I hate to see her suffer. This was a hard lesson I observed when my dad had his stroke. Seeing him in the hospital barely able to move or speak was the worst moment of my life. Watching him recover and endure has been the most inspiring thing in my life. Although he may never reach 100% physically he is 100% mentally and can still drive a car and fix things. Two things I will never do. From birth we are all breaking down. Lord Buddha always preached the impermanence of life and getting old is our reminder. After death some believe we blast off to heaven, others say we zip into the bardo, but all agree our deeds are judged by god. Except those pesky and rational atheist who accept the truth with firm resolution. Back on earth my day was brightened by two friends. I briefly chatted online with Allison who hopefully reads this; I am happy you are still teaching in Sonoma. Also, thank you Sabrina for the kind comment left on Tiger. Sometimes I forget how much I do love this country and will try to stay optimistic. Brina, I know you will take the lessons Sonam and Jimmy taught you to heart! For those of you confused read Dave and Sabrina’s blogs to catch up. All the BCF blogs are awesome and I enjoy the glimpses into others lives in the Kingdom, they can be found on the Bhutan Canada Foundation website. Ours is a wise and passionate GROUP, two epic qualities found in teachers.    

Another dinner for another baby shower let me set the stage. The men and women sit on the floor Indian style in separate rooms. I am usually requested to sit near Principal La. Some of the women serve the men in this order. Tea, beer and Ara, and then a buffet dinner. Almost all the talk is in Dzonka until I become the topic of conversation, this time, the rural myth of my midnight masquerade to Tsangma.  Sometimes I feel uncomfortable and an outsider but you already know that. At these moments I just observe the culture wishing I had large print subtitles. They seem to talk a lot about how much things cost and the internet. I walked home alone in a Scooby Doo episode past the slumbering village, with the question where am I? Rattling around in my overactive brainpan. This is your brain; this is your brain on Bhutan, any questions!

(U.S. Blues Interlude)

“Back to back, chicken shack, son of a gun, better change your act”

 My favorite U.S. blues was at the Wiltern LG in L.A! Seeing Bobby in downtown Los Angeles was a big deal and on December 10 2005 Ratdog was flying high. They had a geared up psychedelic lightshow projected on a huge screen warping and woofing all evening, in a fractal third eye treatment. (see Cleveland Mandy story) U.S. Blues was the final tune of an epic dervish between the band and audience the likes of which may never be seen again. Such characters as Todd, Heather, Mandy, and of course Julie were in attendance. During the encore Weir had a twinkle in his eye while his handlebar mustache tickled our noses. Meanwhile Hippie Bill waved a huge stars and stripes behind the stage. Summer time done come and gone my oh my…

Dark Star (2nd Verse)

“Shall we go, you and I while we can, through the transitive nightfall of diamonds”

The rain pelts my tin roof as I plummet deeper into this dream. So far in fact that my life prior to Bhutan seems unreal. Is this the bardo? The realm between life and death or one though and another. Or the timeless moments of orgasm. Music and love now a faded photograph in the storage locker of my mind. Only nature remains and therefore love never goes away, rather transforms. A teacher must have the capacity for love. But what of romantic love, the ultimate illusion. My cousin and I used to debate on this topic. He served that relationships are merely self indulgent for the ego. As a romantic I volleyed that lovers attend the universal body. It was always a draw and we’d settle for Jack N’ the Box at dawn. Cousin Larry if you’re reading this have a Bacon Burger Basket extra crispy for me. Yes and yes. Here in Mepos its Billybobkas and emadatsi, oh what I’d do for a BACON-BURGER-DOG!  I gaze at the sky but when I look through Becky’s cloud portal all I see is that damn pink elephant spinning in Seattle and hear you and Ty laughing… 


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