do more things.

I have hand, foot and mouth disease. Oh yes, you read right. Hand, foot and fucking mouth disease. It hasn't even been confirmed yet. But the doctors are pretty sure that's what it is. I had blood tests done but it takes a while for them to find out if it's HFM. I did find out that I have higher iron levels than a fully grown man. The number 136 was thrown around. I have no idea of its relevance, but it sounds good to me. Anyway, that's what happens when you go to an exotic place. You come back with some weird disease that makes you look like you have the black plague. Oh yeah, I've been in Burma for the past month. But back to the point. This disease. It comes on as the flu, which I got. And then this rash starts appearing. And holy shit, is it awful. I like to think that my tolerance to uncomfortable things (e.g. wearing a neck brace for 4 months) is quite high, but in my darkest hour, I actually contemplated what life would be like without my hands. They were so itchy. It was like I had stuck my hands and feet into a swarm of mosquitoes. A swarm of angry, mutated mosquitoes. I sort of look like I have chickenpox. I even went to the hospital at one point. The doctor was like, you shouldn't be out in public. Alrighty then. At least I didn't get detained at the airport or something. Jesus. I swear I'm just prone to stupid medical problems. But enough about skin rashes! I should probably talk about Burma now.

My grandad is Burmese. He was born in the Shan State of Myanmar. The country is divided into states, and for many years, had terrible civil wars. My grandad's grandfather would use a human skull as an ash tray. Oh yeah. Dudes played hard over there. Anyway, my grandad came to Australia in 1957 to study at university, and then when the military dictatorship took over in Myanmar, the Australian Government offered citizenship to the students. My grandad stayed and couldn't return to Myanmar until the 80s. It was pretty devastating for him. So his sisters still live in Myanmar, and I've always had an urge to go over and meet them. My dad, brother and grandad all ended up going with me this month. So, Myanmar. I call it Burma because nobody knows what the fuck you're talking about when you say Myanmar. They barely know what you're talking about when you say Burma. Fair enough, not many people are familiar with the country. But yeah, it's pretty unreal. It was a major culture shock for me. It was probably the worst country I've ever been to, in regards to poverty. It's full-on third worldly. Like, people pooping on the side of the road, third worldly. Yep. Zero fucks given. The main cities, Yangon and Mandalay are pretty intense. Yangon more so, because it's condensed and really over populated. There are people EVERYWHERE. And rubbish and weird smells. The buildings are all European and they look beautiful in a sort of scummy way. It's all very odd. The true beauty of the country lies within the people though. And the countryside. The Burmese people are so kind. They really made the trip for me. I couldn't believe after all the shit the nation has been through, at how happy and resilient they are. There was no bitterness or depression, it just seemed like everyone was happy to be doing what they were doing. They were excited to meet you and learn about where you came from. So many people wanted to get photos with us. It was pretty funny. I guess because they don't get many tourists there (there are barely any foreigners), so you're a bit of a hot commodity if you're a westerner. One time a group of kids wanted a photo with my brother and me, and then this little chubby boy, he was probably 9, told everyone to get out of the photo and that he just wanted it of him and me haha. Everyone was laughing because I didn't know what was going on, since he was talking in Burmese. But yeah, the locals were just super sweet and accommodating. Plus majority of them are Buddhist. So you're not really going to get many issues from people that believe in Buddhism. And there are monks everywhere! And nuns. In Burma it's custom that children go to the monastery/nunnery for at least 3 months to practice Buddhism. My grandad did it for 3 years when he was 9. If you haven't seen a child monk, they are freaking cute. And you just know they're way wiser than you are. It's sort of depressing. Anyway. I could talk all day about Burma, but I won't. So here's some pictures instead.


A very nice artist. 
Climbed to the top of that mofo.
Inle Lake.

Serious spider.
This spider web is the shit.
At the holiest temple (or so my grandad said). 
Little nuns.
Shwedagon Pagoda.
Endless temples.
I would love to know the type of person who buys the $2 egg sandwich from 7/11. I wonder what demographic that appeals to? Surely most people hear the words "egg sandwich" and "7/11" together and get some red flags. Like, I don't want a colony of worm people living in my body, type red flags.

Oh, I got a tattoo. Much to my mother's dismay. I mean, she doesn't hate it. But it's on my arm and that means that people see it, etc. All dad said when he saw it was, "it's too dark". Alright, mr fucking tattoo expert. Thanks for the constructive criticism on my permanent piece of art that is embedded into my skin. I promptly told him that it was dark because I had just gotten it the day before, and that it would lighten up after it healed. He didn't seem to care.

Fully healed. NOT too dark, dad.
I also went skydiving last month. My friends think I'm going through some sort of quarter life crisis. On paper, it totally looks like I'm having one. Bought a skateboard. Got a tattoo. Went skydiving. I think I'm supposed to get a motorcycle now. Or buy a racing car bed frame or something. I don't know. Listen. I'm not having any sort of existential crisis (for once), I've just decided that I'm sick of waiting around to do things, and instead, am actually doing things. It's working pretty well so far.

"I sleep in a racing car. Do you?"
"I sleep in a big bed with my wife."
So yesterday I decided I wanted to start to learn how to play League of Legends. I don't know exactly what brought on this particular urge, but 2 hours later I had created an account and a summoner and had written 6 pages of notes while watching 'how to play league of legends' on youtube. I mean, I like playing games. I just never played them on computer. My dad plays the shit out of computer games. But I liked to play Nintendo and Playstation. And sometimes the occasional Risk. Okay, yes, I am aware that Risk is a board game. But holy shit, you cannot deny the power of that game. Days... DAYS spent playing ONE game. The fucking battle for the world. In a board game. It was my favourite. But no one ever wanted to play it with me because it took so long. So now I'm trying to play computer games. I guess it's all falling under this new "do more things" lifestyle I'm leading. Or attempting to lead. Anyway. The game. It's confusing as shit. I have no idea how many youtube videos I've watched since last night, but I feel like my brain has already exploded. 2 days in and I'm fried. It's addictive though. And I'm learning things like ganking and how to jungle. Learning, but not applying. I've played about 3 games and every game has just been me dying a lot. Apart from when I attempted to be a jungler. But then the map confused me. And the only reason why I'm trying to jungle is because everyone always dibs top or mid and I don't want to carry or support because I suck. Woah, did that sentence just come out of my mouth? I'm learning! But yeah, so I'm left with the freaking jungle. Which is covered in fog. And full of wolves and lizards and goblins. And then you have this responsibility to ambush the enemy as well (aka ganking). So that's what I've learned so far. That, and I need a mouse. My trackpad is not doing it for me. There's too much clicking, and too much room for error on a trackpad. I need a real good clicky mouse. And then I need to learn everything there is to know about LoL. Easy.

I watched Police Story 2 the other week. I love the shit out of Jackie Chan. I rate him highly as one of the coolest people on earth. He is so legit. Do you know how many injuries he's had doing bat shit crazy stunts? His legs have been crushed between cars, he's dislocated his pelvis, sternum, shoulder and cheekbone, he's been slashed with a real sword... He fractured his skull from falling 40 feet by jumping off a building. C'mon! And you cannot look away from a Jackie Chan fight scene. They are just unrivalled. Here's one from Police Story 2 in a playground. Classic Jackie. Jackie Chan and Hunter S. Thompson would probably be dudes on the top of my list of who I'd want to meet. Obviously an alive Hunter S. Thompson. Alive and high as a fucking kite. That dude could do some major drugs. How did he survive for so long? I read a journalist's description of Thompson's daily drug intake. Let me show you the list:

3:00pm rise
3:05 Chivas Regal with the morning papers, Dunhills
3:45 cocaine
3:50 another glass of Chivas, Dunhill
4:05 first cup of coffee, Dunhill
4:15 cocaine
4:16 orange juice, Dunhill
4:30 cocaine
4:54 cocaine
5:05 cocaine
5:11 coffee, Dunhills
5:30 more ice in the Chivas
5:45 cocaine, etc., etc.
6:00 grass to take the edge off the day
7:05 Woody Creek Tavern for lunch-Heineken, two margaritas, coleslaw, a taco salad, a double order of fried onion rings, carrot cake, ice cream, a bean fritter, Dunhills, another Heineken, cocaine, and for the ride home, a snow cone (a glass of shredded ice over which is poured three or four jig­gers of Chivas.)
9:00 starts snorting cocaine seriously
10:00 drops acid
11:00 Chartreuse, cocaine, grass
11:30 cocaine, etc, etc.
12:00 midnight, Hunter S. Thompson is ready to write
12:05-6:00am Chartreuse, cocaine, grass, Chivas, coffee, Heineken, clove cigarettes, grapefruit, Dunhills, orange juice, gin, continuous pornographic movies.
6:00 the hot tub-champagne, Dove Bars, fettuccine Alfredo
8:00 Halcyon
8:20 sleep

...JEEEESUS. You want to know what my favourite part of that whole thing is? "9:00 starts snorting cocaine seriously". What the fuck was he doing before? How un-serious was it leading up to that? Dude's been railing coke since 3:45pm. He's done it 7 times already. And he's not even ready to write yet. He has to drop acid first. I can barely write when I'm tired. And I definitely don't think I'd be able to blog with porn on in the background. He just puts everybody else to shame. The focus of that man. And the chemical imbalances his body must've gone through. What a wild ride for his organs. Especially his brain. If his brain could've talked, it definitely would've said that it was not prepared for that. "They didn't teach us how to deal with a human like this in brain school!". Still, he lived until he was 67. That's a good effort.

The man himself.
You know what takes me by surprise these days? Blatant racism. Like, when people are really upfront about their racism. Because normally most people keep their racism to themselves if they're sort of smart and aware that it's not really socially acceptable. Oh that reminds me of this hilarious Bill Burr bit about white guilt. My god it is funny. I love racists jokes. Don't get me wrong. But yeah, every now and then, a real racist person slips through the cracks and manages their way into having a conversation with you in Kuala Lumpur in a bar on a Tuesday night. This instance happened to my dad. I've had a similar conversation occur while I was in Canada, and an ex-cop was telling me about how he wanted to shoot the native americans. Which later I thought, I look pretty fucking native, I should've said I was. Anyway. Back to the point. Dad was down in this bar having a drink, and a guy from New York started talking to him. And just straight up was like, "I'm from the Bronx. It's just full of n******." Woah. When someone drops the n-bomb within the first 2 minutes of meeting you, you know a lot about them very quickly. That guy must make closeted racist people feel so much better about themselves. They're like, "at least I'm not like that guy..." But I guess that's true in everything. There's always someone more crazy than you. Guaranteed. Unless you really ARE that one crazy guy. But you're most likely not.

In Burma it's really hard to exchange money there. They only take PRISTINE $50 and $100 notes. USD as well, not Aus dollars. And they have to be crisp. With no creases, or folds, or anything. They literally will not take your money if it's creased. It's like, do they know that the money is all the same? Whether my note is crumpled or not... it has the same value. Apparently that doesn't work on them. They just want that fresh cash money. Which is really hard to get by the way. The bank doesn't just have stockpiles of freshies. You're getting what you're given. Anyway, long story short, Dad had a butt tonne of useless $100 notes that he couldn't exchange. It was pretty funny. Until I lent dad money, and he paid me back by giving me one of his useless $100 bills. I was like, "ughhh you know this is basically useless to me, right?" And that's how bitcoin started.

Just kidding. Some mysterious unidentified Japanese man started it. Allegedly. Also, they would never take bitcoin in Burma. It's hard enough to find an ATM outside of the cities. My great aunties don't have bank accounts. We visited their town. It was pretty astonishing. I mean, they're my dad's aunties. We're hardly far removed from them. And yet they live in... pretty basic conditions. It was actually quite an emotional day. I cried when I saw them. I was so happy to finally meet them. After so long. And the first thing I noticed was how freaking tiny they were. I actually looked like a giant standing in between them. My grandad loves talking about how strong and muscly I am. It's embarrassing. My dad says it too. He kept telling people that I was their bodyguard. Cheers Phil. But seriously. I probably could take on my dad. He's pretty small to be honest. Sorry if you're reading this dad. But we both know it's true. But yeah, a few year's ago I held a fundraiser to help out my family in Burma, and they used the money to install a proper toilet. I got to see that toilet. It makes you feel pretty stupid when you think about what we frivolously spend money on. And then what they spend their money on. It was a very humbling experience to say the least. And very obvious that I did not get our tiny Asian genes.

My great aunty. 
My teeny tiny family.

Do you ever find it confusing how people have so much difficulty finding their seats on planes? I literally watched a family take 5 minutes to figure out where they were sitting on the plane. And they were the kind of people who block the whole aisle so everyone has to wait until they sort their shit out. Yeah, I like to call those kind of people assholes. How are you not prepared? We've just waited 3 hours to get on our plane. Surely sometime during that period, you were able to establish what you were going to stow under the seat in front of you, and what you were going to put above you in the overhead compartments. SURELY. I can take my seat in under 5 seconds. One bag goes overhead. one bag goes under the seat. Ass in seat. It's quite a simple process. And then, I also know how to find my seat. It's basic counting skills. Oh, you're seat 17A? Okay, well if you just follow the numbers above you, you'll get to 16, and then it's the row after that, and your seat is the one that says 17A. If you hit 18, you've gone too far. Like how much more clear can it be? But this family was so confused. I don't know what there's to be confused about. Honestly. I do not understand. Sometimes I know I can be a little lacking in the empathy department, but c'mon people. Get it together.

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