Campuchean Border

I started viewing the photos I took last week in Thailand and didn’t really intend to start editing yet, but this one sparked a memory. I took this shot out the window of our truck as we passed by – the little boy was washing off the sidewalk and brandishing a mysterious ping pong paddle.

The Thai-Cambodia border was really just too hot to be pleasurable this time of year, and I was glad we put off our trip to Angkor Watt until next time, preferably in December or January when it’s cooler.

I’m finding the few pictures of me quite entertaining because my trademark black t-shirts are all encrusted with salt rings. No wonder all those fuzzy forest animals were so friendly… I’m a dependable source of iodide! Ah, but that’s a different story…

a damn good trip

My friends, I just came back from a most excellent vacation. It was so good, here I am writing about it instead of answering the 1,106 e-mails in my inbox, for fear I will forget the highlights before having a chance to write them down. Just a note before I start: Between the auto-downloaded TV torrents I previewed last night and the ever-dull CNN feed before work today, it is apparent that the only significant news I missed during my respite is that JACK BAUER HAS SINGLE-HANDEDLY INVADED CHINA (presumedly to direct attention away from historic Japanese atrocities by creating a new American one), and that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
OK, so the big news for this trip is that the girl and I got engaged!
I went shopping for an engagement ring and T (who I met up with on Khaosan Road) introduced me to the shop where he bought his a few years back… To make a long story short, I was able to buy a totally awesome ring without having to mortgage my left nut, via my superior skills of mental ninja persuasion (“These are not the droids you are looking for…. now give me a 70% discount, imperial scum, and there shall be NO VALUE ADDED TAX, EITHER!“). I proposed to the love of my life the very same night, and the facts that we were completely hammered on cheap cocktails and that she said “yes” were completely separate issues, I assure you. I awoke the next day a very happy man, greatly relieved that being engaged to your girlfriend of twelve years is much like having a girlfriend for twelve years, except with a really nifty ring (although to cover my bases I should probably acknowledge that there may be a bit more to it than that). Hey, I have to leave a few nuggets of wisdom for the shorties, so that’s that.
After a couple of days in Bangkok we (me, the girl A.K.A. Nam, T, Go-kun, and Nutty A.K.A. “T’s ex”) went on a roadtrip to Nam’s home province of Mahasarakham. We are planning on moving there next year, so I was mainly there to do two things, scope out business opportunities, and to ask for Nam’s hand in marriage.
We arrived on the night of her father’s birthday party, so I held off on having the big talk for a few days since things hadn’t gone so well when Nam tried to talk to him alone previously. I decided on a head-on, no-holds-barred strategy early on and just decided to wait for the right moment. Also, luckily, I had the foresight to present him with not one, but two bottles of single-malt scotch for his birthday, so everyone was quite amicable when the moment came. I know by now I must seem like a real bastard for solving all my problems with booze, but what can I say? Alcohol is legal, beeeyotches (Note: Kids, do NOT try this at home or without parental supervision. The intentional misuse of alcohol is for RESPONSIBLE ADULTS ONLY.). And, more to the point, her parents agreed to our marriage! (Note to shorties: Wuteva works, works. Wut. Eva.)
Photos shall follow in the days to come. During this trip, I took one of the best photos I have ever taken, and I’m extremely proud to admit that I took it completely by accident (the miracles of modern technology and worn out shutter releases, et al). And now I must return to my unread e-mails, which from the look of it are fornicating like fuzzy rabbit-monkeys on crack, in heat.

Notes for Thai Trip

Nam should apply for an account so she I can use Mahasarakham University’s new wireless network. “The areas which people can use this service are Computer center, MSU Plaza, Academic Resource Center (AREC) and Borromrachanakarin Building.”
I wonder if her brother can use any parts from my computer graveyard in his new net cafe.
Last year, a trip to the vet ended in death for Nam’s pregnant wienie dog mutt – her family suspected that the vet sold off the litter, but couldn’t prove it. I was dismayed to stumble upon a similar story of neglect here… It also infuriates me seeing animals for sale kept in small cages on the side of the road when traveling around SE Asia. Oh well, maybe sometime I’ll be in a position to actually do something about it.