Sweet Potato Pie – Email Duplicate

Friends, Family & Minerals,

There is a lot of pressure on my neck right now: this goes down, officially, as the largest email that I have sent in the history of my twenty-three years.  If I know more online people than the eighty listen above, please forward them this email with my apologies.  I am going to do my best to make this a clean and presentable update, though I do make few promises.  Ready?  Let us actually begin, then.

For those of you beyond the know, I have not seen you in quite some time (thanks for noticing).  Instead, I’ve been living in Thailand under premises pedagogical.  After having trained and co-taught on the southern, paradisiacal tip of Phuket Island (chased with an even heavier dose of color in the nearby tropical province of Krabi for a pair of vacational [read: astral] weeks), my self and his refreshing, upbeat “counter-part” (probably strikingly accurate nomenclature, wouldn’t you say?), Kelly, have found themselves sweltering in the ancient climes of Ayutthaya.  This is where we’ve been for the last one+ week and where we’ll continue to remain and subsist until the official date of March 3rd, if not longer.  Right, so that’s that.

Since arriving in Ayutthaya, I’ve been up and down quite a bit.  In little time, I faced two enemies not previously encountered in such hostile accoutrements: dogs and fish sauce.  The dogs here have been mashed and scraped and molested and starved in such a way that these days, they hate all human life.  We are the enemy, and if there wasn’t such a question prior, it was cemented last night, when an unprovoked canine terror came within a diseased, bloody hair from sampling a little bit of Eric.  A few weeks ago, while still living in Phuket, I saw two unnamed Thai bikers slow and resteer their piss-scooter with the pure and successful intent of flipping that squealing little pooch into the air.  There was a time when I found that to be a ghastly, almost neo-Republican disregard for life.  After having spent a more significant chunk of time, however, with these disgraces, I can understand the bikers’ sentiments well.  One step closer to Cheney, I should be kept away from Keesha by the time I get home.  A shame, really.  Also, fish sauce renders my nostrils turgid with disgust when dealt in the otherwise-dreamlike outdoor markets out here.  Dogs and fish sauce: you just can’t escape.

Alright then: teaching.  I’m performing this action five days/week, waking at 5:40 (returning at 5 or later), to tiny classrooms of 40+ hellions without much of any sort of curriculum or direction to discuss or understand.  They speak, they play, they shout: all of these things are fine, if they are in English.  They want me to have fun with them as they speak The Queen’s Tongue, and that is cool and great and seemingly simple.  Why though, I posit, would they dole such charity out to a curmudgeon like myself?  Eh, I guess I’ll be alright.  Next week I’ll bring the old gurtar in for a little bit ‘o Buddy Holly.  I gots the glasses for it, I suspect.  In any case, man, this week was a tough one, a true test of will and grit.  So no, I am not simply trying crazy foods and dodging tuk-tuks and sitting on the beach: teaching is a tough gig.  Go figure.

My current ear-melter is an old one: “Ballad Of A Thin Man”, off of Highway 61 Revisited.  Holy Dylan, that is an amazing song (incidentally, I’m Not There is playing in my DVD player, so I guess that helps).

Last weekend I went to Bangkok for the day.  I had a meal of grasshoppers with some impromptu friends in the bed of a truck, I walked around, dodging creepsters and natties on Khao San Road, I cruised back to town in a ride normally one hour out (until my van pooped out and sat beside the soot road for too long), etc.  In Phuket, a nice memory was girding up two friends onto my rented scooter to ride vertically up a soggy mountain road of mudcake and doom, engine redlining and sighing asthmatically against gravity and fishtail before encountering the awe-injecting “Big Buddha”, a massive marble Siddhartic statue 70 meters in height.  That ride was capped with our carving the mountainside, racing the sun, before finding a grassy precipice, waxing existentially to a sky dotted with palm trees and family kites.  The surrounding hills were caramel; that sunset was strawberry taffy and blueberry cotton candy; those trees were Fred Astaire and Michael Jackson; the breeze was Etta James.*  *This has been a trademarked, overindulgent, sappy embellishment committed by the guilty hand of a Mr. Eric Brent Millman, but he does not apologize because he can’t imagine painting that view with anything but honey.

So what else?  I must say that I miss many things: I miss my family, and I miss you.  I miss my dog, and I miss sleeping in.  I miss baseball, and I am very angry with the Dodgers.  I miss(ed) Halloween, and I will miss Hanukkah!  I will be working through this, through Christmas, through Boxing Day!  Meanwhile, I will be free for my birthday, so if you want to celebrate it with me (as I do, you), I shall begin accepting directional suggestions.  In two weeks, I can begin the process for my Australian visa, which might be harrowing and fruitless but should probably act as a carrot on a stick.  I guess that means that I’ll be commemorating my birth in the CBD of Melbourne, Victoria, unless it does not.

For now, I will say ta to you.  Kind wishes to your mother, and if you are my mother, I will say that you are better than all of those other imposters.  I speak of you and father in golden tongues every waking day and sleepy night.

See you on the other side of the ocean,


As a Post-script: if you’ve Skype or a decent long distance service, gimme a call!  My number, again, is +66 083 551 4946.  Aaron Leshtz was able to figure it out, and it was a free and oh-so-welcome call for me, so if you’re in need of telephonic counsel, give him a thump.  I don’t have any of your numbers out here, but I’d love to get ‘em if you have ‘em.  Beyond that, I could give you my apartment’s address, but you don’t care about that (or, I will get it for you another time).


~ by nearhelsinki on November 1, 2008.

One Response to “Sweet Potato Pie – Email Duplicate”

  1. oh ho ho, brent! funny funny middle name.

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