[shrine to the Bodhidharma at Long Vân Vietnamese temple in Pakse, Laos on 9/19/23] For two weeks, I had gone to Jenda Cafe, because it’s a large, airy space with no music, so ideal for writing. Yesterday, though, I had to sit through some muzak. Perhaps it’s just a one-day aberration, I hoped, but this morning, I was greeted with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird,” so I didn’t even bother to walk in. Again, unoccasioned music cheapens it and deadens our minds.
Good morning, Linh, and thank you for your latest words of insight and wisdom. Perhaps you yourself are an incarnation of a wandering monk - always an outsider, observing joys and sorrows, beauty and ugliness, follies and truths - in your own quest to evolve. Best of luck in Cambodia.
The picture of the little girl peaking out from behind the Samsung ads is absolutely priceless. A great reminder to stay innocent and see the joy in life, instead of the smut. As always, thank you for sharing your wonderful photography.
Hi Linh - I'm a retired Michigander married to a Thai. I used to travel quite a bit but I don't get out much anymore so I really get a vicarious kick out of your travels and observations. My wife recently returned from a trip to Thailand and said that I wouldn't even recognize the place (my last trip there was in 2004). She said it's much more dangerous now because of the drug problem and that even in her village in Udon province the streets are mostly empty because everybody is on their phones. If so this is distressing because one of my outstanding memories of her village was how wide open everything was. She'd disappear several times per day and if I looked I'd find her at one neighbor's house or another eating som tum (green papaya salad). No more, she says.
i read about the joyriding thrillkilling las vegas teenagers - they killed a retired cop - i saw it on the daily mail website
if/when civilization and global trade collapse only those populations who can subsist on things they can grow, gather, or hunt themselves will survive
my ancestral province - nova scotia, canada - exports many young people to work in the alberta oil sands - the choice they face is 'you can have a job, or you can have home - you can't have both'
my neighbor's son became a cop - he chased, shot and killed a shoplifter - it turned out the guy was unarmed but the cop thought he did have a weapon - now he's lost his job
according to buddhist thought there are four noble truths
this is the future - you got to live it or live with it - and someday it will be your turn to get out of the way
you have to be an above-average person to be a better friend than a regular dog
You're not "serving up banalities," Linh. And even if you are "just another SubStack midget" (aren't we all) being present and recording the storm is enough.
I grew up in a country where I was free to roam without supervision. Where adults looked out for a child they did not know.
1975, Buffalo, NY.
fine informative letter, on a photo showing in the water playing with plastic bottle someone in Norway would have said: "look at that poor child" not understanding the child is happy
“I will keep sketching your paradise lost. On this darkening earth, there are still oases of sunshine, laughter, smiles and frolicking kids, no matter how skinny.” For this I am grateful.
I don't know how people can concentrate with music playing constantly in the background. And how these kids do homework while getting blasted from headphone music is beyond me--even as a teen, I couldn't really do it. I can't even read a book in the same room as someone watching TV. As much as I like music, it doesn't work for me as background--it deserves one's full attention, just like any other activity.
I don't know that free speech is quite dead yet in the US, but it's definitely on life support.
Relatively soon China will have the place in the world that the US did in 1945, meaning that China will be able to assert her will on any spot on the globe. For various reasons China's power will be more complete than America's ever was. I do not think this is any remarkable insight, but to me is an obvious statement of fact.
I read on a "news" site recently that someone had sought "legal council". The person who wrote the article could not distinguish between "council" and "counsel" and probably did not even know they are two separate words with completely different meanings. That is bad enough, but obviously anyone (if anyone) who read the article before it was posted did not notice the error either.
Linh, I’d be interested to see if you think the US can be saved and if so how?
If not what can Westerners do, since most people, due to family obligations or age, can’t emigrate?
Your columns are fascinating.
don't me started on Muzak when I watch a video I can't see what I«'m looking because of the noise
music the insist on playing