Friday, April 27, 2007

"Why are you going all the way over there?"

A typical conversation with the women at the office...

"So where you going again, China?"
"Close. Thailand."
"Now why would you wanna go there? Is that just cause you couldn't find a teaching job here that you gotta go all the way over there? I knew the economy was bad, but I didn't know it was that bad."
"Nah. That's not why I'm going over there. I'm going there because this is the opportunity of a lifetime."
"Is that what you wanna be in life, a teacher? I mean is that what you went to college for?"
"Well you be careful, watch out for all those drugs and men dressed as women. They got a lot of that stuff over there."

And then they proceed to ask me about my brother who worked here for a few months before fleeing to a zen center completely isolated from the world, neatly nestled in the mountains 16 miles outside of Carmel Valley, CA. It's called Tassajara and can only be reached by a dirt road that is rendered impassable every so often when heavy rains wash it out. You can't call Tassajara either, but rather an operator service in Carmel Valley (remember, 16 miles away) takes down a message and then someone from the zen center has to come and pick it up. The irony is that the inhabitors of Tassajara can make outgoing calls via a satellite phone with a one second delay, but that can prove to be quite annoying if delayed laughter and soporific pacing aren't exactly your style. I'm exaggerating, it's not really that bad. And for your information, my brother is doing quite well, thank you very don't have to ask every single day. Nothing really new happens when you're living in a zen center. It's kind of like living in a retirement home, the only thing that changes is the winning numbers for bingo. Lane's big news for the month is that he now gets to be a bread baker in addition to a dishwasher extraordinaire. He sure is moving up in the world. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dukes in Durham - April 25, 2007

If I were in a band, we'd be called "Dukes in Durham". And if I had access to a filesharing program and a cd burner, this is the mix cd that I'd burn:

The Divorce – Yes
Greg Laswell – Amazed
Camera Obscura – I Don’t Do Crowds
Rogue Wave – Be Kind – Remind
Akron/Family – Shoes
Of Montreal – Bunny Ain’t No Kind of Rider
Fleetwood Mack – Never Going Back Again
Chris Garneau – Baby’s Romance
The Finches – Last Favor
Loney, Dear – I Am John
Page France – Windy

And, if I continue to write anymore right now, I'm gonna be a dead man. It's 8pm and I've now been at BRL Billing for 12 hours trying to rack up as much overtime as I can before departing.

Friday, April 20, 2007

$617 to Bangkok - 4/20 (snickering)

Oh man, oh man...I just bought my one-way airline ticket to Thailand after procrastinating for weeks now. Over the past few days, the cheapest flights I'd been able to find were for around $760, but then this morning I stumbled onto one for $617 and pounced on it without reading any of the fine print, so let's hope that I'm not $617 the poorer without ending up in Bangkok. The flight is through Thai Airlines and also happens to be non-stop. I wonder if 17 hours and 10 minutes continuous on an airplane will turn me into a vegetable. Speaking of vegetables, I put in a request for a vegetarian Asian meal just to be safe.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Princeton again, streaking, PB&J, and bribing a Mexican guard - 4/13/07

So I'm back in Princeton again, this time for my TEFL (teaching english as a foreign language) certification. I left at 6:20am this morning with Thomas, another kid in the program who happens to attend U-M, and we made it here in 9.5 hours. Thomas is from East Lansing, speaks 4 languages, once drove to Montana by himself in a straight shot so he could go hiking for a week, and a few years back went streaking through a lecture hall at Michigan State during an organic chemistry exam with two of his friends wearing nothing but a wool hat and a bandana covering his lower face. He was also nice enough to pack us PB&J sandwhiches along with some home made cheese bread with squash on top and a bunch of fresh fruit.
Anyway, like last time, I'm in the library again killing time before our class begins at 6:30. I think Thomas and I are gonna go crash on some couches like vagabonds to recharge before the action begins.
In other news, I failed to mention that a few weeks back Emily and I took a trip down to Florida so she could visit the University of Miami. We stayed in Ft. Lauderdale with my Aunt Roberta, where one morning the climax of our trip occurred when Emily got lost running in the identical looking subdivisions. She had to bribe a Mexican guard in order to use his cell phone and call me. After accidentally hanging up on her the first time and some miscommunication about which subdivision she was lost in, we were reunited and she wasn't very happy. That's all for now, I'm off to nap.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

April 2007 - Congratulations

Dear Jared,

We are so pleased to be able to send you to a place we think is a good fit. So this is it! The official email that says Congratulations - you have been offered a post with PiA for next year. I am really excited to be able to tell you this and as we discussed we have you earmarked for the position as a lecturer at Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We are sure you could do a great job anywhere, but the post in Chiang Mai came up as the first choice!

Princeton in Asia

So the cosmos aligned in my favor and through some weird stroke of luck, I'm going to Thailand this May for at least a year to teach English and become a Muay Thai champion (though I've been warned about the prevalence of HIV in the country, so blood transfusions might pose a slight problem). There you have it, I'm off to the land of hot trannies and happy-ending massages (note: that's what anthropology majors call exoticizing the other).