Me is dead

This blog is dead now. Sad I know. Go to https://seapup.nl?input=blog to check out my latest adventures. And earlier ones as well, including the ones on this blog. This blog has been throuroughly eclipsed by something better. It’s the nature of things perhaps. See you around.



From the start I will say this: you do not want to read this story. Walk away. Back off.. Slowly. It’s a sad story. It’s a personal story. No-one likes those. You will cry your heart out, and you won’t be able to help yourself so you’ll come back for more. And then you’ll cry some more, etc.. A warned person counts for two, as we say in our country. It’s not a very good saying.


“Wolf-pup, wolf-pup! Wolf-pup!” ‘Wolf-pup’ she cried. A spirit made from atoms and flesh and blood called for me. “Wolf-pup!” I melted and thus became puddle. And this is how it went. Day in, and day out. “Wolf-pup!” and then puddle. A wolf-pup puddle. Much like the cycles of rain and river.

I saw her leave with my wolf-pup eyes. Big, sweet eyes if I do say so myself. Not my real eyes though; seeing her go. In reality we said goodbye in an over-full train. Nothing like an intimate goodbye in front of lots of strangers. And it was a tough crowd to begin with because half of these people got their skin scraped off their elbows when we tried to squeeze coffers the size of Titanics through the isle in between them.

Sorry. Stay on course. “Wolf-pup!” I hear in the distance.

I met her in civilization. She was prowling by herself, but she’s really a bit too wild to be prowling all by herself. A little feral kitten. It’s good that I found her. No telling what manner of things she might have clawed open. And some things claw back. “Better she claw on me,” I thought. “I’ll wear my gloves. It will be fine.”

And that was that. From then on we went on droll adventures together. Panther-kitten and wolf-pup. It has a ring to it, doesn’t it. Oh, we didn’t have a care in the world.

We would play in the rain and catch terrible diseases. We would hunt for baking plates and torture them with terrible heat. We would do nothing at all as well. As is the custom with cats. Which is also nice.

Her parents disapproved though. Her mother would say things like: “But dear, he looks so.. look at him biting at the fleas that try to flee his back.” Just as I turned my big puppy eyes in fascination on no-where at all, and my feet failing to bring me there would get all knotted up, toppling me over with my head hitting the ground. Her father would just grunt at this spectacle. And I understand. Who would want such a scruffy dog for their daughter, let alone to let it into the house and have it sit on your couch in the weekend; reeking of fermented apple and potato peel, and with such sticky fur.

But panther-kitten didn’t care. So she was. Panther-kitten just wanted to play. She would bring me back from my pensive studies of ethereal and abstract subjects like ethical canine conduct and game-migration-patterns and showed me how to feel the earth with my paws. Breaking my fogged-over eyes with the act of a single purr.

However.. you can feel it, can’t you dear reader. The storm is slowly rising in this story. It can’t be fair weather for ever. Such is the way of the world you know. And perhaps we all pine for it deep in our hearts. The sweet pain of change. But that does not make it hurt less.

Panther-kitten needed to go. Her own kind screamed out for her, and I couldn’t be selfish. Everybody needs panther-kitten. So it goes. And so she went. Back to panther-land. But one day, quick inshallah, I will visit panther-land too!

I still check her Tumblr you know. And when I do, it’s nuts I know, I can hear her her say: “Come here wolf-pup!”. And then I get all embarrassed and say: “Aw shucks” .


Sour doh!

You know: sour dough. That weird ooze that REAL BAKERS use in their bread to make it rise; instead of that newfangled yeast thing. Below my adventures with this fun substance, followed by an honest bread recipe for those that got hungry during their reading of the post.


I first came into contact with sourdough at the airport of Gotenborg, Sweden. Just before the main building I met up with Tobias and Luke who were hauling with them top-heavy suitcases with servers and cables and their life’s belongings. Hauling it all to yet another life in yet another place.


At the check-in desk Tobbe and Luke were predictably over-weight (their bags of course) and I was relatively lightly packed, as far as life-belongings go. So we did the inpromptu baggage dance and smeared our stuff out over the airport floor; whilst we were entertained by the funky rythm of impatient travellers tapping their feet in the cue behind us. T&L trespassed happily on my backpack’s private space and stuffed it full with knives and flip-flops and whatnot. At the end Luke subtly lobbed in this inconspicuous looking jar of white goo. It was a fairly uneventful act this lobbing. But with dire consequences.

In the UK the first thing I did was crash hard on a half-inflated air-mattress. The next day I opened my backpack and was greeted by a big big family of that white goo. They had decided to venture out of the jar and make my backpack their new home. In the space of a day they had been multiplying ferociously and by now they were quite comfortable. Thinking nothing of their conciderable change in habitat.

This bread does look really really good. Down saliva, down!

How ever much I can relate to the need for lebensraum, this was my bag. And it is not the place for goo. So I somewhat annoyedly set out to clean the thing, save for the measly bits that were still in the glass jar. The ones left in there were in a sorry lot. They lacked the strength and virality or just the willpower or entrepreneurial spirit to venture out into the wider bag. They kinda sulkily sloshed back and forth as I held the glass under various angles of inspection.

When I went to Luke to thank him for giving me so many new friends, he explained to me that the goo was in fact not made of as alarming stuff as I initially feared. “Just water and flour”, he swore to me in a half-apologetic, half-smirking tone which I had a hard time to appreciate. He being somewhat persona-non-grata for me that day.

But it wasn’t just water and flour at all. It was in fact gazillions of little beasts grazing on water and flour all day long. Getting all fat and fucking like rabbits. In fact rabbits could learn a whole lot if only they would speak sour-dough-ian. Because yes, you guessed it! This was in fact sourdough. Standing proudly at the base of domestic bakery since centuries.

Because as I understand, (And please don’t prove me wrong and don’t Wikipedia it, that’s taking all the fun out of it. I feel like a ban on Wikipedia should be imminent), we have been baking bread with sourdough almost exclusively throughout the centuries. The sourdough being there for the purpose of letting bread rise and the bread not being a hard rock you have to chip shards off with a hammer.

Revving up for the recipe

You wanna know how to make sourdough? You do, don’t you. I know you do. I’ll tell you. You take some water and some dough. Perhaps some salt. And you mix it. You mix it good. And then you put it in your kitchen window and let the sun shine on it. You have no kitchen window or there’s no sun shining through it? Well tough luck buddy/ess. I can’t help you with all your problems. But if you do, and you let that concoction simmer and do it’s thing, the little sourdough beasts will do a great trek and inhabit your little mixture at some mysterious time in some mysterious way.

But this is not the usual way one acquires sourdough. The cool way is to get it from someone else. Because the way this works is you use a bit of sourdough and you stash the rest for later. And that goes on and on. And if you want to hit on someone, you give this person some of your precious sourdough that you have been perfecting over the years you’ve been making sourdough bread. Because sourdough becomes better over time you see. And so it’s a really personal gift, not to  be tought of lightly. And you’ll totally have it made if you give this present. In our case though Luke got it from our fearless leader Jane, who also just happens to be an amateur master chef.

To fix the little problem with our lacklustre paltry bit of goo, we were to just add water and flour. Cause sourdough is just about indestructable. And once you feed it these magic ingredients, they will just eat and eat and eat, and it will consume and consume. And before long your cauldron will be alive with primordial looking bubbles that pop and swirl and go about. And the broth will look around for more. And at this point you should be a bit careful that it doesn’t overrun whichever container you put it in. Because it can easily overrun its confinements and engulf the kitchen and then your house with your granma in it and then the block and then the city and then the world. So you need to be careful with that. Keep a lid on it so to speak. And let it cool down by putting it in the fridge. With a lid on. And after a few days the sourdough will have nothing to eat and it will have soiled itself and this sour watery substance will have drifted to the top. And it will feel all miserable, and disgusted and sad because it’s basically swimming in its own excrements. But die it will not, because it’s the spawn of the devil. Just feed it some for some time and it will be fine. It’s really a very manageable and easy-going pet, if you are careful to not let it engulf the entire world. Of course.

Yea so we would have this goo in our fridge right. And every day we would look at it guiltily, because you’re not supposed to have it in your fridge all day and night, but you’re supposed to use the power of the sour. But every once in a while the guilt would be too much and we would go about and make some proper bread. And it would go a little like this:


If they don't muscle up quick I'm gonna have to let them go.

Most important is that you make sure that the sourdough is ‘happy’. As we say in the trade. Make sure it has had plenty to eat this day and the day before, and that it is all bubbly and almost foam-like. You’ll notice the difference once you have spent some proper time together; you and the sourdough. Then take half of the sourdough from the kennel and feed the remaining so you have more for tomorrow, or two weeks in our case. Then throw it in with a whole bundle of water and flour and some butter or oil if you’re keen on that. And some salt. And then do a whole bundle of kneeding. You can start by stirring with a spoon in whichever container you put the sourdough, and then put some flour on a flat surface and throw the bugger on it and start properly with your bare hands.

“But wait”, you say. “Ho ho”. You clearly forgot to say how much water and flour we should use. But then I retort: I did not forget. Heavens no. Because you see, this is all intentional. What we’re practicing here is no-nonsense cooking. Hands off no handholding cooking. And it’s gonna take the nation by storm. Making bread is a funny pastime. Because it’s just about impossible to get it wrong. This is the algorithm: throw about as much water and flour in a container as you think is needed. Just guestimate it. It’s not that hard. Now three things might happen:

1) The blend is just perfict: Great. Kneed on dude. For a long bleepin while. Say 20 minutes.
2) It’s way too watery: Fuck. That’s not good. But not to worry! Add more flour. Kneed a bit. Re-evaluate.
3) It’s way too hard and crumbly: Fuck. That’s not good. But not to worry! Add more water. Kneed a bit. Re-evaluate.

And that’s it. No measurements needed. You’ll know when you’ve kneeded enough if the dough isn’t sticky anymore and it feels like a “baby’s bum”, as we say in the trade: make the dough into a ball, and press a finger in its bum just a bit. If the slight dent de-dents a bit like a baby’s bottom, than it’s just perfectly perfect dough. Now if you notice that no matter what you do, the dough is just too sticky, just add more flour. Your dough was just somewhat on the watery side. The trick here btw is to distinguish between adding flour because you just want this over and done with, and adding flour because your dough is too soggy. If the former, the problem is a character flaw, and has nothing to do with the dough.

This is about the point in the process where I noticed I forgot to flavor the bread, and I quickly put in some spices and stuff. You could have done it from the beginning, but that’s not how it works out for me in practice. So what I usually do is add quite some cinnamon and raisins. And instead of water you could also have used any other kind of liquid. It doesn’t matter. Beer, choclate milk; you can’t fail with bread! Yea and as for what other kinds of ingredients, and this is really important: it DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER. You’re the queen of your own domain. Do what you want. It’s all good. And since you made the bread, you’re gonna love the result no matter what it tastes like. Cause you made it. You made bread, and that’s fucking awesome.

After this comes the most important bit. The bread needs to rise. So make it into a ball again, and put it somewhere. And just leave it there for, oh, nine hours. The sourdough will just go on eating away and make bubbles but now in your bread. Here it would be nice that the sourdough was fairly healthy, so it has a head-start. The amount of sourdough used counts as well of course. Don’t leave it for days, cause you’ve got a fairly aggressive process going on in that bread. It is time delimited, but it won’t explode of course, but you want to bake it when it’s just right. Not when it over-bubbled.

Anyway, after you think it has risen enough, or you’re just tired of waiting and want it over and done with, shove it in the oven for an hour on say 215 degrees, take it out, and then eat it while it’s still hot. Preferably with salted butter, cause that’s the best. It might be a bit mushy inside, and that means that you should have baked it a bit longer. But it’s fine cause you made it yourself and so it’s gonna be yummy. The same for over-baking.

So it’s really a bit of a hassle, making sourdough bread, and after a while there’s a big chance you just won’t do it anymore. But you will for ever be able to brag that you know how to make bread from first principle. And after the apocalypse this will be a great skill to have.


Fading memories exposed. Too much bleach used.

So people have been begging, clamouring for an update. Screamed they have, with burning tongues. Well ok then. Am sitting in Stuttgart right now. In an airport terminal. Waiting to board a plane to Barcelona. My carbon-footprint is so big that I am afraid it has squashed multiple of the smaller countries. How did it get this far? I dread to know. But I know. I know. But I’m trying my best to squash the memories. But then they explode and are exposed. It’s too late. A lucid birds-eye over-fly view of the last half year, with all the really important bits left out:

street-artist getting ready on la Rambla

Last I checked in on this forum there were tales of wet. Malaysia. A distant memory. Unwinding the spool of images I can vaguely remember the sun hitting the retina on the Americas and in Sweden and even in my homeland of the Netherlands. Oh how I frolicked in the sea of Gotland with <balloony stingy squishy> Jellyfish. Fell from my bike in the heart of night in my student town of Rotterdam. And what more, there was more. All hedonism. Nothing more. Stuffing the mouth with freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies. Stuffed salmon with dill sealed in fried egg by the mouthful with nothing to show for it but personal pleasure. Got lost in New York, and wished never to be found. Complained how the Thai food there wasn’t really like the original.

Enter the United Kingdom. A strange little island kingdom with strange little people. They have clearly been cut of from contact with the civilized world for centuries. They talk funny and are all hooky. In their manners and beliefs. It’s hard to describe these beings. They’re alright. Nothing wrong with them, but they’re just a bit off. Kilter.

Anyways, the plan was to land and set up camp there for a few months. In amongst all the crazies. I read it as a sanctuary. A time to regroup the senses. What happens on the island stays on the island right? So I started stopping again. Stopping with meat. Stopping with alcohol, stopping with sugar in my tea. I couldn’t stop stopping. Cleansing the soul of the soul. Sounds unhealthy doesn’t it? It is. One can not cleanse the soul of the soul. What would there be left? Bliss? Bweh, boring.

But it was an interesting time. Within this vortex of calm, me and some of my compatriots found the bliss of cooking. As it turns out, we are gifted with masters of the cooking art, right in our midst. And not ones that sit upon golden plates upon tall mountain-tops, admiring themselves in pocket-mirrors. No these Gods of Cooking enjoy swooping down and enlightening the unenlightened.

So we learned to make bread from first principle, we learned to make delicious dal with honey, and exquisite risotto, with lots of cheese of course. All of this and much, much more a palette of tastes that wraps around the horizon, yet never ever ever ever touches the land of meat. If anything, the meat had previously just served as a cap upon the unshackling of juicy tasty dishes away from the path of the known.

pocket cheese-fondue

Knowledge wants to spread. It’s a disease. Soon all the lakes and all the mountains and all of the earth will be covered in knowledge, spread so thick that it will have suffocated every living being. Knowledge also demands of me to release these fruits of gastronomic passion. In time my feathered friend. In time.. We can’t haste taste. It deserves some of its own posts. Onwards with memories:

After some good fermenting of the soul it was time to stop stopping and start starting. A nice reboot of life. My little planetoid of explosive rocks crashed into the hustling and bustling and happening metropole of Zurich, Switzerland. A joke-ey kind of joke you might think. That’s not Switzerland. Switzerland is suits. Banks. Punctuality.

Well yes, all of that. But also more. Much more. Did you know for example that Switzerland is utterly and totally stuck in the late 70’s. The Swiss are rabid cheese fondue’ers. Advertisers fall over themselves to try and saturate any desire to cheese fondue, called raclette, in die Schweiz. Products like the Cheese traveller for example. For racletting on the go with two wax lights for power. Or the Burger King Fondue burger weeks. Geschmak ist king. Pushing the raclette boundaries with subtle and respectful twists to the familiar fundue theme as the Fondue Steakhouse burger and the Fondue Grilled Chicken burger.

But my biggest discovery in this land of tradition and guns has little to do with the actual country. It is in fact another of these internet fads that have been around for so long as to have outlived their fad status. And it is a very unusual internet fad as it involves meeting actual real-live people in a real-live setting. Not only people, but random and unknown people. Because in these days of Facebook, there are smarter ways of checking if people are axe-murderers than knowing them for several years. It involves other people that trust these people are not axe-murderers. And then you meet these alleged non-axe-murderers, and see if they indeed are not axe-murderers, so you can tell others, if indeed you still can.

Some Swiss are trying to get rid of the 'have to keep your gun after the army' law.

In the canonical scheme you not only just meet them in a crowded cafe, but you go sleep in their homes from the get go, on a couch or something. And surprisingly, usually they are not axe-murderers, but really nice and interesting people. It’s called CouchSurfing, and you all probably have already heard of it somewhere in the middle of ’85, but for me it’s totally new, and although I did not do the sleeping part yet, they are very active in Zurich; organizing meetings and movie-nights and so on. A great way to have a good time in a brand-new city for poor little lost working-birds looking for some company.

In the meantime I have now actually arrived in rainy Barcelona at the World Mobile Congress, the biggest mobile event in the world. And I sit in the tiniest little booth at the back of some stowed away hall, holding the fort, while the big guns eat lunch and prowl around. Sometimes I too sail the black sea of suits and ties. And I tell them we put boxes somewhere on the Gi, and we basically are not interested in base-stations or RANs, because we treat everything before the SGSN as a black box. And they nod.

This is where life got me stranded thus-far. Optimizing TCP packets and staring onto a wall that is plastered with light-beams reconstructing slide-ware in the back of a great big hall. Nice and chill. Next in the blog-post pipeline: a step-by-step guide in baking sour-dough bread with flour, water, salt and patience.


My kindle for a turtle!

I saw fishies! Big fishies, small fishies, round fishies and thin fishies. Them fishies were swimming in the water. Not flapping around on dry land on the tables of fish vendors who hack off their noses when they’re still alive (trauma). No. These were fishies swimming in the DEEP BLUE SEA.

Cute little mosk

It all started when once upon a time I was living in a lovely, idillic, romantic, smog ridden, garbage ridden, stinky city. The water over there was your lover, your master and your executioner. You wanted it badly. To bathe, drink and kiss. But every touch could be fatal. Sending you to the toilet for weeks. And it would come at you from all sides. From the shower head or the monsoon rain; it might attack you on holy days as the payload of balloons from above, or creep up from the iron cups in restaurants. One developed coping strategies. Spitting in the shower at the rate of 10 times a minute. Putting my daily Bagmati river swim sessions to a halt. The water also had the habit of hiding itself and sulking in a corner. For weeks you wouldn’t see it. With consequences I won’t divulge, lest I shock the more sensitive amongst you.

As time drifted by in that land-locked place, I escaped into fantasy. I gazed for hours at the National Geographic pin-ups depicting creatures of the Cetacea family. I started reading up on them on Wikipedia and in other media.

Do you know the garden-variety Hippo is the closest land-dwelling relative of the dolphin? And do you know whales partly get around the evolutionary hobble of the muscles that naturally are tied to speech are controlled by parts of the brain that you don’t have voluntary control over by means of having developed a controlled way of breathing so the poor creatures don’t drown under water?

I moved away from there now. For months I have lived here in the water-mass poor capitol of Malaysia. Lush tropical islands just out of reach. As my time was drawing to a close, I still had not been able to dip my head into salvation. Until my boss forced me to take a dive. He stopped very short of taking my fingers and pressing them on keys to make Air Asia queries on the inturwebs. But harsh words were thrown around the table.

Arrangements were made and eventually us geeks set out for NATURE. As opposed to COMPUTURE. We all said goodbye to our loved ones. Mouse-pads were stroked, promises of early return were whispered, tears streamed on short-circuiting keyboards. Into the heart-land of Islam we went; to Kota Bharu (Bandaraya Islam (The Islamic City)). And from there to Perhentian. It was all jolly fun, this NATURE. Palm trees abounded, as did cute little country-side mosks. Abounding that is. Tons of them. With their cute little mosky turrets. Cute little girls waved us along in their cute little headscarves. We were bound for TURTLES! Islamic turtles! Turtles Ahoy!

Zelda anyone?

After we got all settled in the crappiest crammiest hut on the island, we went out to do some serious sunbathing. Which was wildly contested by our pinky-white nerd-flesh. It crawled away from the nourishing cancer sun, distrusting this new sensation with a vehement hate. “Yes one of us is from Transylvania.” “No, correlation does not imply causation.” “No you can’t have our autograph.” “We have never even seen those movies.” Not to speak of the unprocessed silicon we were supposed to lay on. The mortal enemy of our processed silicon brained friends. Not to speak of the salty water threatening us from all sides. We were very much out of our element amongst all of these strange new elements.

But a light flickered in my heart: DEEP BLUE OCEAN. And it devoured all other sentiments with a flick of it’s little pinky. As soon as the realization kicked in (me, water, submerge, now) my legs started thrashing about madly, until I found my lungs full of water. I sucked up all the sea to lay bare the fish within. There were preciously little of them. Sand beach. No good. Once again those legs started thrashing, until they were tired from going there and fro.

This was no matter for legs. It was a matter for head. Booked a snorkel-ride for the next day, and plunged in at the designated spot. Three, two, one, paradise! Legs thrashing around wildly. I was treading through heaven. Sharks, Nemo-direction-fish underneath. Hold breath, try to get their attention. Which way is the gulf-stream? Hold that thought, need some air.

Actually looks a bit drab for a tropical island, doesn't it.

I went THROUGH heaven. I was not IN heaven. This would not do at all. Booked a diving course. Now there’s a way to get lost! Up, down? Dunno, don’t care! Deeper is what we want. Lil’ Nemo’s all over the place. Them lil’ translucant clownfish try to bite you to scare you away from their anemone home in real-time. Much cuter than in the movie. Lil’ cleaner shrimps wash your hand at the cleaning-station, and say goodbye with a bow. It’s a very provincial place down there.

The deeper I go the higher I get. Doing bomb-dives by blowing out air. Inhaling on time so as not to become shish-kebabbed on the sea-porcupines below. Must go deeper, deeper into the blue. A quick glance at the silvery stuff bobbing above my head. I can still see it. Boring la! Hand on nose. Pop ears. Go down further. Hunting for peace.

A hand touches my shoulder. Fumbles on a tube. The bottom falls away beneath me. The hand lifts me up without moving. It’s all wrong. Back in the boat now, grinning from ear to ear. My incessant incoherent babbling falls on deaf mans ears. Weird people. Back at the diving-club: “What was in the tank? Oxygen my dear. You know, the stuff you breathe on land.”

Hi! My name is Ties, and I’m an addict.

No turtles though. Boo!


A crack in paradise

Let this be a somewhat more lucid translation of my previous post.

Cracks, paradise. It's all right there.

Because it is kinda a weird here in Kuala Lumpur. Weird because it’s so normal. Time and space seem to have been stuffed in a big gelatin pudding. When you stick your finger in, things bobble a bit, but if you leave the pudding alone, everything is just kinda suspended in midair.

And I’m not just talking fuzzy-metaphysical here. Simply put: there is no time! The Mac Donald’s-ses haven’t changed since the middle ages. The temperature is always exactly level. Leaves don’t fall from the trees. The worldwide economy slump doesn’t affect this place. Things here are exactly the same as when I first arrived. It really seems like I have been whisked away to some alternate reality that has not moved on from the eighties. But with iPads on sale before launch date.

Hot pants and headscarves

Also this country seems to be of nobody. The Malays will say Chinese call the shots. The Chinese will say the Malays call the shots. And the Indians are never asked. Not that I see many Malays or Indians in my building. In my apartment building it’s mostly Middle-Eastern immigrants.

No cracks. And paradise is white of course.

In the malls the Chinese girls in hot pants cross path with the headscarved Malays a gazillion times a day. And the all-out burka isn’t an uncommon sight. They might disapprove of each-other but they don’t bash each-others face in. They’re used to the view. But I was shocked! Because there are also not-normal things here. There are LOTS of schmoozing couples that display their open affection in the air-conditioned complexes. It strikes me as horribly obscene after having assimilated the right way after two years. Not good-old Nepali values at all. Get your hands off her shoulder boy! And get that dirty grin off your face. I’ll call her brother. I will!

And I was all for declaring Malaysia nice and with it (so that would be my values system) but then I read three women have recently been caned for fucking around. Under Sharia law mind. Not under law law. First time in Malaysia (for this kind of flogging that is). Another almost got a good caning for drinking beer. ‘Oh, come on, it’s just a bit of ass whooping,’ you say. She is a Muslim. She knew what she was getting into. She must have wanted some caning. But I dunno. I’m not so very much for caning.

Getting things done

As for my personal situation, I’m still doubting if Malaysia perhaps isn’t the waiting room for heaven. Not because of the caning of course. But because it’s got this stilted feel to it. I especially suspect this when I go from our work-apartment to my sleep-apartment two stairs below. The stairway is so white and long, and it would explain why there are so many nationalities here. This isn’t Europe or Asia. This is some generic form of capitalism. The Platonic ideal, but almost, because it still moves a little when you push the gelatin around.

Perhaps I am just supposed to recoup myself in this limbo. Is that the grand plan? What should I make of me in this last days of Asia? I feel like a caged puppy trampling with anticipation to be let loose upon the upperty shores of Europe. And I’m in for a good brain-reshaping, to go with the utter reshaping of my conditions. Match them up a bit. Do some purification. But how? Who? I would like to go into the Lord, but I think he doesn’t exist. Buddha seemed like a nice guy, but he is a bit too gloomy for my tastes. Sixties self-help books? I’m ok, you’re ok. So passé.

This is the point where I will let you in on my darkest secret. I am strangely attracted to this book called ‘Getting things done’. Like a moth to an laptop screen. It teaches you ‘how to be maximally efficient and relaxed, whenever you want or need to be’. It’s got sentences like ‘Clarify new divisional management structure’ and ‘Implement new investment strategy’. Not exactly sentences that make you want to keep on reading the book. Or keep it in one piece. But then in between the lines it wants you to dump all your responsibilities in lists. And then let them rule you.

So it feels like religion, and it’s even got scripture. But it’s like you’re in on the joke. You write your own commandments and then you let go and believe. And your heart fills up with relief and acceptance. I once tried something home-grown in this area, but I was weak. Not ok. It seems like I need help from above. Getting Things Done.

Yea, so that book has been lingering untouched on my night-stand for a few weeks now. I’ll glance at it for a while, but then turn back to the ceiling. Waiting for lolcats to fall down. Or muppets, as was my childhood recurring nightmare. In any case I’m not getting getting things done done. And I don’t know how to end this post.

Maybe there is nothing to be done anymore. Maybe I should just let go. Let the TL-light guide me upwards. Slowly… lift my hands from the keyboard.


Summer wonder camp

It’s all twisted here mom! When I get out of the door, I look upon this huge, huge shopping mall. The personification of capitalism. It taunts me every time I step out. They let me go out. It whispers to me: Come inside, and I’ll swallow you whole.

It was right. I went in. I take on dares. It’s got fifteen floors and it’s as big as a city. They bury you in clothes and shoes and everything a thousand times round. They have a massage studio, and a stage with dancers, and a medical clinic with scary pictures on the wall of diseased or deceased toes and Asian women who look more happy when their skin is whiter.

I went in every day after that. There’s this rumor there’s a theme park on the fifth floor, complete with roller-coaster. It took me a month of wandering before I saw it for the first time. Sure enough. A roller coaster. Just next to this bowling hall of twenty lanes. Or was it forty? Next to the sushi place with this funny mini conveyor-belt where the sushi goes round and round and round and round and round.

Also next to the 3d cinema where I went to see Alice In Wonderland with the Matt Hatter. No, not in the film! He sat right next to me! Or was that just 3d? I get confused easily.

I can’t go there no more. They say it’s not healthy for me. So I spend a lot time inside now. I sleep in a bunk-bed. Just like in Oostvoorne! You remember? Tell Sjanie!

With three other people in a room. And we hardly ever fight about who gets which bed. Their faces change every night. Just like their bodies and their sex. I never know who is who. That scares me sometimes. But it’s ok. They are nice when they talk. If they talk. I don’t always understand them, cause their language changes as well. I’m not making this up!

They make me take medicines. Cause my ear was hurting really bad. This whole cocktail. I’m not sure it’s good for me.

When will you come visit? Will you take Sjanie with you? I miss her. You can come any time they say. For as long as you like! Why have you not come yet? It’s not real easy to find, but not that hard either. Just call, and I’ll run out and I’ll come and get you.

It’s nice here, I swear. It’s nice and warm here, and there’s lots of palm trees and geckos. But you have geckos there as well. I know. There’s also lots of rats and cockroaches here, but they don’t bother you and I never saw them on the first floor.

Ok, I need to go sleep now. Write me below here. Don’t forget to water my venus-fly-trap!


Sweating in Malaysia

So made it back to Kathmandu alright. Caught up with friends, doing some part-time job in an air-conditioned building, getting food-poisoning. You know, the usual. The highlight of those weeks was the daily cycle-commuting routine to work. Through the oldish parts of town from Lainchour through Durbar Square and over the bridge. Dodging pedestrians and ramming the occasional bike. But although I sold my heart to Kathmandu and the lovely people within, I masochistically set out for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to do some telecom hacking with my friend Luke for a bit.

stock picture of the Petronas towers, that I'll replace with my own generic picture of the Petronas towers soonish maybe.

And where Darjeeling was cold, this place is HOT. What possesses a country to decide to build their capital (and yes in this instance they did decide) on the freakn equator? It’s hot and humid. It’s about 34 degrees Celsius right now, and summer-season hasn’t even started. In Europe it’s snowing and below zero because of climate change and here it’s 4 degrees above average because of climate change. Even weirder, since we’re on top of the equator you might simplistically think that there are no real seasons here. But it has these funky east-west monsoon seasons. Where from the months bla through apple the east is in monsoon, and from the months foo to bar the west is monsoony. And as you can conclude, they don’t overlap, so there’s always a spot where it’s nice. Apparently this made it a nice spot for sea-trade, where traders waited and played canasta or Wii or something on one side of the country to wait for the monsoon that stretched towards the other side to cease so the route would open up again. This is from hear-say though. This info might be totally false. Didn’t want to check the facts in case they might be false. I did check up on the seasonal intecracies and it’s all a bit more complicated, but who cares really?

tigers in the shop

As for me, I set up quarter at this cool hostel in the heart of (KL) Kuala Lumpur, called the Equator hostel for reasons to me unknown. Kuala Lumpur isn’t really a place you want to be for too long, but the airport is kinda a hub for all these cheap AirAsia flights, so loads of backpackers spend here a night or two, before moving on to palmier pastures. With about two weeks under my belt, I’m concidered a veteran. And treated as such. I am hurled across the place like bagage, sleeping then in this room, then in that, for rather dodgy, some might say seedy, reasons. The place is doing rather well and it’s kinda cool seeing these backpackers stream by, in a lazy kind of hurry to fancy palmy islands with clear-blue seas, leaving me behind, with a hunger for adventure gnawing in my belly. But I wave them out every time, pretending to be happy. Friends for a second. Sniff..

Yea well, should I divulge some more bladibla cultural BS? Yes? Good! Well so as you know it’s Chinese New Year atm, and since there’s around 30 percent Chinese over here it’s New Year forever it seems. They don’t walk the streets in drunken joy though. They like to celebrate in shopping malls. The center of their social lives. Or in their homes I guess. But in the shopping malls they hire some dudes to do the dragon in front of their shops, and that’s the only celebration that goes down it seems. In China they are prone to celebrate.. No sorry, this is just too boring. I’ll save this stuff for a boring post. And you know what, I won’t make this post very rediculously long for a change.

A modern family

Longing has never looked this intense. A picture,. thousand words..

First look at photo… This is how I sit here every night, in my Darjeeling hostel-room. Staring out into the black of night like a seaman’s wife; a widow of the sea. Hoping to catch a glimpse of my coveted cdma telephone internet network. A blinking green light means a signal. A continuous green light means a connection. But my signal is always red..

Oh, how I remember the days that the halls of my home were filled with the mirth of young and ecstatically screaming tcp/ip packets. Running back and fro and bumping into each other.. How I laid them to bed at night, all orderly in a row. And how they would tell me all the crazy stuff they had filled their heads with that day. On their tired faces a peaceful smile as I guided them into eternal sleep, just before I would slit open their fat bellies.

These days.. I dunno.. They leave the house, but never come back.. The youth of today!.. So ungrateful.. I’m a widow of the net.


The Rock

I’m pretending right now that I’m in my cold, cold bed three days ago. Bear or bed with me. I wrote this post in my head at the time so it’s not really cheating, and (what’s with me and this Oxford comma these days) the story is more fun to read this way:


I am the bum programmer. Fear me and give me a nickel.

Yea, so I’m lying in my bed, right. And I’m kinda contemplating. Got nothing to do really. It’s a loadshedding free-zone over here. And it’s loadshedding freezing. Once again I forgot to ask extra blankets. I’m afraid that when I breath upwards my breath will freeze and will attack me from above as ice shards; which is ridiculous of course. The cold has surpassed my gloomiest predictions. All my blankets and all my clothes can’t make me warm again.

Darjeeling, the city itself, or the mountain perhaps, seems to have designs on me. I used to walk freely along its streets. Me animated, talking with my arms, yapping my jaws to my peers. But as the days passed this place has stilted me. Pinned me to one place.

First a strike scared my friends away, and closed all bars. The stiff cold trapped me in my hotel. Soon I had to abandon the promise of companionship in the abandoned bar for whatever extra warmth my blankets could give me. Under those rags I was forced to lay still as a corpse so the cold wouldn’t notice me. Afraid to breathe. Darjeeling, without touching, tried to squeeze me into nothingness. And so here I lie. Imagining myself crawling out of the other side. Whatever is on the other side of nothingness? Something I guess. Darjeeling won’t efface me that easily.

As far as I can see, it’s a trend. Darjeeling tries to squeeze everyone like a pimple. First the British who made it into a summer retreat of sorts, but fled in the winter, then they fled for good. After them the Indians made this hill their governmental summer retreat. But they also retreated from their retreat.

There are much older, more tenacious occupiers though: the Ghorkas, now India’s mercenary killing machines, who invaded Darjeeling a couple of centuries ago under their own banner, from what now is Nepal. And they kinda got stuck here. So they’re scary killers. You try to attack killers. On them the hill closes in more slyly. They’re a hard target. The average Ghorkian has a back made of butter. The cold doesn’t affect them. Getting angry at them, shouting at them.. they just look at you and blink their eyes. They’re stuck in a cue.. they switch off or start to chit-chat. What’s a mountain to do against such indifferent opposition?

Police in training suits. It's novel and modern. Even their lathi's look like they're designer weapons!

Cunningly the mountain let them be ensnared in the web that is the state of India. Let them be harassed by the economy and other ethnicities of a crushing nation. Now that the Ghorkas don’t like. Even the Ghorkas have limits. So now the Ghorkas are fighting back. They want their own Ghorkaland. They already lost a few rounds against the Indian machine, and they just lost the last one. No own state for Ghorkaland, as Hydrabad DID get.

So the Ghorkas declared a four-day strike and a demonstration. It was nice and peaceful on the central square. Funny how different everything feels when stuff like this is organised by the government. It’s also a bit of a useless gesture to strike just now. There are tri-party talks next week between the Ghorkas the state and the government, so any action before that is just plain silly.

I met a Nepali at the demonstration. An old guy from the homeland of sorts. At home they said to him: “There’s no work for you here. Try Darjeeling. Become a guide.” But it’s swarming here with guides. And now he’s scolded by the locals and he’s being told to get off the rock. Kinda ironic on a day like this. Just because he came a bit later.. But it follows.. He’s just by himself and he’s poor. He doesn’t stand a chance against the machinations of the rock.

Stay tuned next week for our next installment of ‘The Ghorkas vs. the Rock’, if I myself will have managed to hang on to it that is.


So this was three days ago. In the meantime I purchased sweaters for two Euro a piece, warm warm socks, and a heater for seven Euro fifty. Also the temperature has climbed a bit. I am living in dignity again! Ghorkas and Nepali dude still live pretty much in the same way though I think. More on them later if I’m not lazy.

June 2023

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