The Art Director has landed back in Perth. I'm in Fremantle today, to be exact. Blowing the cobwebs off my recently repaired motorcycle, after an horrendous smash on the horseshoe bridge which left me scarred for life. Mental scarring, at the thought that Mayhem might not get back on the bike with me, after this latest demonstration of self-barbarism. The 650, at least, is repaired. It's amazing what you can do with a welder and infinite patience. I'm out enjoying the sunshine and the great ocean roads once again.
The local Perth roads aren't as hairy and scary as the ones i was riding around on last week. (See snap of Art Director, above, about to head out onto the wild backstreets of Bangkok, on a lovely 1960s Suzuki 125.) In fact everything back home now seems a bit dull, like, unsaturated. As if somebody's gone beserk and bombed the town with a tin of clear matte spraypaint, and taken the gloss of everything. Is this just coming back home syndrome? Or something more fundamental? I mean, Fremantle has gone completely to the dogs, let's face it, ever since Notre Dame University took over the beautiful, historic West End. Now it's the weekend, and Freo is chockablock with tourists. Tourists from other suburbs, even. The Fremantle sidewalks are so pedestrian. And the roads are jammed with fools doing bog laps in their hotrods up and down the cappucino strip. Not to mention poseurs on motorcycles, on the road and on the sidewalk. And yes, the irony is lost on me.
Oh well, let bogans be bogans, i say.
Yesterday I had a small task to do, hiding Mistress Kallista the dominatrix's dungeon. She has a rent inspection Sunday morning, and it just won't do to have signs of a commercial enterprise in a residential area, particularly an expensive status-driven suburb like Mount Lawley. Her yuppie landlords are subject to fits of epilepsy. Mistress Kallista's boyfriend slash bodyguard is busy processing dirt from his goldmine, and doing very well thank you very much. So he wasn't around to help. "Call Motorcycle Mark," he said, when Mistress Kallista asked him how the hell she was going to dismantle the den in only a matter of hours. "He knows his way around a set of tools." That's true. Meanwhile Mayhem is filling in as Kallista's bodyguard. Apparently Mayhem is handy with a set of nunchukas. There's something about that girl...
What else is going on in the world? I'm glad you asked. The Ig Nobel prizes have just been awarded! Welsh Engineer Howard Stapleton took one home for his teenager repellent. An electrified device to drive young people out of public spaces. Is this going a bit far? Isn't this just a bit ageist? What about youth rights? Having said that, i wouldn't mind one of these teenager repellents. Annoying little shits, aren't they?
Even more inspirational than the Ig Nobel Awards is the missive i received recently from Hai An. The girl genius is travelling in Vietnam and Cambodia, so i didn't manage to catch up with her in Bangkok. But she writes. (In about five languages).
"While waiting for things to settle down a bit [in Bangkok] I've been traveling first in Cambodia and beautiful beautiful Angkor. Quite an inspiring place! Full of power and vibrations and energies. Interestingly enough, stronger in the hold of the forest over the ruins than in the stones. Then Phnom Penh. I've confronted myself to the barbary of human beings, their ignorance and shed tears for humanity and my family. What a shame! Shame! (it is so much the appropriate word!) To choose darkness rather than light, fear rather than love, pain instead of well being. All that out of fear! Fear kills, my friend. It is what we could teach our children instead of the multiplication table. I still feel so sad, so angry, I feel so much. Sometimes I feel like an alien lost on this planet. But I swear I'll meet everyone of them with love and this world is going to change!!
Did I read to you the inaugural discourse of Nelson Mendela? It has supported me when I felt down. Beautiful inspired word from a master: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are all powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually who are you not to? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us. It is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.'
Isn't that beautiful? Every time I read I feel inspired to master my fears, be courageous. And rather than show our children that fear leads the world, show them that with love we can overcome our fears. I confronted another of my fears lately. I went to Vietnam. I was so scared first of what I would find, of how I would be welcomed, of what it would do to me. It moved me deeply for sure but it wasn't that bad and I love it in fact. I shall be spending a few more days here before deciding on going to Thailand or not ... and if you feel too much down go to Wat Pho and get a massage at the school! They are the best in SE Asia so far (in my opinion of course!)"
Hai An is wholly and objectively correct about the What Pho school being el supremo in the art of massage (in my opinion of course!).