Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Vagrant Scholar

The sun is burning as cool days give way to the coming hot season. The nights too will soon give way. By April Bangkok will bake under 100 degree heat. I won't miss that but I will miss this country and this city.

I'll miss the fresh fruit vendors on the sidewalks... my morning breakfast of fresh pineapple. I'll miss the noodle stalls, spicy papaya salad (som tam), and rat na (spicy noodle soup). I will miss the endless summer and the buzzing chaos.

I'll miss the laid back (some might say lazy) attitude of the Thai people... their incredible ability to absorb any event and keep on going, with the shrug of the shoulders and a "mai pen rai" ("no worries").

I'll miss my tiny cubicle apartment and its defective fan. I'll miss the bathroom that has no hot water.

I've enjoyed my vagrant scholar days here. I've enjoyed squandering my time reading, writing, and studying. I've enjoyed the frequent visits to the islands and the mountains.

There are much worse ways to live. That's what powers my rage. Its the tragedy, the heart breaking tragedy, of so many compromised lives. It breaks my heart to see people abandon their dreams and principles... or worse, to never even investigate what they might be. It breaks my heart to encounter so many people who feel trapped by their jobs and the expectations of "society".... People who tell me they'd rather be painting or travelling or writing or helping people. Instead they live lives of "quiet desperation"... and look to that imaginary promised land called "retirement" when they will be delivered unto freedom.

I suppose I embody the overzealous reformer syndrome cited by Thoreau. Having once felt trapped myself, I can't help but rant and cajole others who are as I was. Its an insufferable quality, I know, but one I can't seem to resist.

For the strange mutants who actually enjoy corporate jobs and routine lives-- more power to you. I have nothing to say to such folks and they have nothing for me. We are different species.

But to the others... to those who have compromised their souls.... I will remain insufferable and say, don't wait another minute. Don't wait. Don't put off life and don't run from it.

Freedom is possible. Now.

1 comment:

Kris said...

I have only briefly seen your blog, but I'm going to recommend it to others.