“In a few years I’ll marry and have children” says the Cambodian cliche gay guy while he is cuddling with his comrade. Almost everybody has it and most everyone wants to enlarge and pursue it. Family is a global phenomenon, essential for humans; without it life seems hardly imaginable. Yet family doesn’t have to be father, mother, child. Family is a way of life that you can carry into the world.
Insurance broker, row house, and two-kid family aren’t your thing? You have a hard time finding alternatives? Sure you do! Because these are all great ideas. Home, family, and job aren’t randomly chosen concepts according to which the entire world has ended up living by chance. They are best practices confirmed and perfected by evolution. Living without them is very hard indeed and not advisable for 95% of all people. Still a job doesn’t necessarily have to consist of sitting through your time or sudorific, nerve wracking labor; a family doesn’t have to be father, mother, and child. How to keep your life colorful and happy by evaluating and considering traditional values – read it now in our new series A Vagabond’s Guide to Life. Not just for vagabonds! Today’s topic: home. Read the rest of this entry »
Exactly one year ago I wrote an article on painful breakups and more specifically on methods for getting over it. Therein I also mentioned a rather radically sounding means that is being formulaicly prescribed by the pickup community: FTOW – Fuck Ten Other Women! All right, it sounds stupid and certainly it isn’t meant to be taken literally. Still: I have done exactly this – and it has worked, even if differently from what I thought. Here is the story of my healing, illustrating once again how perfect and wondrous the Universe is. Read the rest of this entry »
Gisbert zu Knyphausen says: You can go wherever you want – yet you remain! Don’t you have any dreams? Aren’t you unhappy with yourself and the world once again almost every day? No lame excuses please. We do both know the simple truth that you can really always go wherever you want to. It’s all just a question of price. How much are you willing to sacrifice for the prophetic star they call freedom? What’s keeping you trapped in your single-lane life?
The other day I got stuck once again. In a small town between nothing and at all in Laos. No ATM in the entire town would spit out cash. No money for gas meant I’m stuck. No money for eating and sleeping however meant difficulties. Once again the Universe was gracious to me and sent me a tour guide who first wanted to buy my motorbike for a ridiculous price but then incidentally remarked that he’d love to learn German. So it came that I gave him and his friend a few days of lessons for a few dimes for bread and bed.
Now I could have left town at this point. Who needs money? Give up my motorbike for a few Kip, stick out the thumb and stand at the side of the road. But I really had no reason to. I wanted to take my chance to get an impression of everyday life in a Lao small town. For once live my life in Lao rhythm with Lao finances. Moreover Sa Lor, the tour guide, had become dear to my heart, and I was attached to Betsy as well. More than enough good reasons. On the other hand, moving on held little promise.
In a moment the whole situation tipped over. Sa Lor suddenly had no time for lessons. Thus my minijob was over. On the other hand I could surprisingly pull money out of the wall again. So everything was back to normal. Just move on. Or not? Although none of the original reasons for staying existed anymore, I simply couldn’t get used to the thought of moving on. The everyday life I had wished for was keeping me trapped by now. I feared I would miss Sa Lor, the market, or the begging kids that I shared my daily fruits with. What I needed was a kick. A little help that should arrive in the form of a new friend whom I eventually moved on and experienced great adentures with.
So even within one week everyday life can lead to cowardice and lethargy. How is that with you? How long have you been stuck in your daily grind? When was the last time you thought about what brought you into your present situation and what became of those reasons? Most people’s reason for remaining in their position is safety. Dangerous, because safety makes you stupid. Safety is nothing but an obstacle to broadening your horizon. A dangerous conglomerate of cowardice and lethargy that is self-conserving.
Think about it: What happens when you burn down your house, leave everything behind, and start a new life on the other side of the world? Right: Nothing! I do not recommend to anybody burning the bridges behind yourself, yet you should remember one thing: You have built a life out of nothing before. The only difference is that last time you didn’t have the wealth of experience that is at your daily disposal now. You can do this better and maybe this time you won’t end up in a blind alley.
The second main reason why people get stuck is fear. Mainly fear of being wrong. Imagine you leave everything behind and then you realize it was a mistake. Embarrasing, isn’t it? Only for idiots. For everybody else it’s necessary now and then. People strive for happiness. And they are curious. That is their nature. No need to be ashamed of that. Least of all before yourself. Shame is just an excuse. But why are you reading this when Christian Zuebert has filmed it in his masterpiece Lammbock already? The first inspiring, philosophical five minutes of this video will now escort you back smoothly into the real world. Enjoy the I-am-never-content-man. May he inspire you to find satisfaction.
So, you wussie; been smoking too much again today? Been drinking a few glasses even though you promised to be the driver? Thinking about sex all day again? But it’s not your fault. You can’t do a thing when the addiction comes up. Or can you? Of course you can. So listen up closely to the following three principles that will help you poor victim mastering your life.
In order to break your ego completely and get you in the mood for rebuilding please listen to my old friend Gisbert zu Knyphausen.
The first thing you’re going to do now is reformulating your problems. You are not addicted to anything nor dependent, you are simply doing it a lot. You don’t have to do anything, you don’t need it, but you do it. Having to, needing, addiction, dependency: All words that only serve to cover up your weakness. In this first step it is important to take full responsibility for your actions. It’s not the addiction doing anything, it’s you! You are the one that acts. You are always the highest authority. You keep the cards in your hand, the cigarette, and the glass. Formally, this alone vanquishes the addiction already. Yet these are just words, changing your behavior takes a little more.
Watch yourself. Watch what you are doing, how you are doing it and look for reasons. Even though most people are idiots, it can do no harm adjusting yourself to the rest of the world from time to time in order to forestall drifting off completely. Why did you drink last night in spite of everything? Because all your friends started drinking and you couldn’t resist it, or because otherwise you could not have borne sitting alone in the corner? Or is nothing coming to your mind? Think about it. If you feel base motives why not punish yourself a little. Torture yourself and your body by not doing what it says. Use stick and carrot. You can get used to everything. Even withdrawal can be addictive.
Accepting is key. Accept that you have a hard time getting into this way of thinking. Accept that it takes you a long time. Accept that your body is resisting. It is used to your old way of thinking and has to be gradually persuaded. Sometimes you satisfy his craving, sometimes you don’t. Someday you will both be used to the fact that moments of pleasure come and go. That you don’t have to force them. In its core this way of thinking is very similar to abundance mentality, even leading into the direction of enlightenment. A big piece of wisdom that you can put into practice right now.
In Vietnam, tour guides with fat Harleys keep asking tourists “You want Easy Rider?”. Fuck Easy Rider. An ode to the dirty feeling of the Ruff Ryders. For attunement to the following text please enjoy this epic meditation on masculinity by the grand American master of sentimentalism, DMX:
We have just met Denise again. Denise is Irish. We had met her in HCMC’s funny expat scene. When today in Mui Ne we stepped onto one arbitrary bus among the thousands that go north each day, suddenly she was there again. Yesterday in Mui Ne, Julian met two expats that he had been boozing with some days ago in HCMC. But the greatest miracle happened the day before yesterday: When we dragged out of bed at 9 this once because of the heroic 35th anniversary of Saigon’s liberation, I was singing the beautiful German schlager Wunder gibt es immer wieder (There are miracles again and again). Indeed: When I went down the steps to the living room of our guest house granny, who sat there but Caroline and Anne-Laure, the two French girls we had once met in Rattanakiri, Cambodia, the official end of the world. Among the thousands of guest houses in this city they had actually booked the one remaining room besides ours chez granny. They had been living here for days. It was just our entirely different sleeping rhythm that had kept us apart.
What do these miracles want to tell us? Apart from the realization that the traveller trail in Vietnam is apparently as narrow as the country itself, to me it says a lot about the abundance in the Universe: The world is a benevolent place for those who live in abundance. Read the rest of this entry »
How dare you, you swines? Only a fool or a whore would not choose his favorite khmer pop song! Read the rest of this entry »
When we arrived in Sen Monorom (the Capital of Mondul Kiri province) at about noon, we were astonished. The busy hustling otherwise known from even the smallest Cambodian townships didn’t seem to happen here, in the mountains at the end of the world. Rather, it appeared to us like a piece of scenery from a western: We were trotting past houses along an only main dust track, and all heads were turning towards us, the white strangers. Not even the normal steady PA orgy out of megaphones from market and temple that Cambodians seem so fond of happened here. No, it was quiet, and the heat was bearable. That was one reason why we had come to Sen Monorom. The mountains. A few degrees less than in the dusty hell at sea level.
There were two other reasons. For one, we had planned to teach English to kids and monks somewhere in the countryside. This really shouldn’t be a problem. But our timing was off: In a few days it would be Khmer New Year, and the entire country was in a state of emergency. No thought of school. Well, Khmer New Year was the third reason. People had told us that it is best celebrated in the countryside. Everybody was heading home to their families. The cities orphaned. But there was a timing problem here as well: Nobody ever knows exactly when Khmer New Year is happening. Sometime between 11th and 16th of April it seems. So there might be a few days left. A few days at the end of the world.
Time for starting a project that we had had in mind for some time: Sitting on a chair and watching the street. A classic diversion not just for old people in countries like Morocco, Greece, or Cambodia. We had witnessed this quite a few times, and Julian had even tried it before in Greece. Sen Monorom seemed the perfect place for this.