First Impressions

October 24, 2008

Well, to sum up my first impression of Cambodia all I can say is this:

HOLY SHIT!

There is so much that I want to write about and I know I won’t have the time to get it all in this post.  I’ll try to write about a few things and experiances I had since leaving Phoenix.

The flight from Phoenix to LA was delayed by almost 40 minutes…which really sucked.  I was so tired already and at the edge of my nerves.  The last thing I needed was to have this delay.

LAX was just as I remembered…however, changing terminals was actually too easy.  I had to go from my terminal to the Bradley International Terminal to check in with EVA.  When I got onto the shuttle bus, I was hit by a feeling of Deja Vu.  Exactly two years go I wason this bus trying to get back to Hawaii after a sailing trip to San Francisco.  Our voyage was several days late arriving in port.  My parents were visiting Hawaii and I was in a rush to get back there to see them for a few days before they left.  I was on a plane back to Hawaii literally 3 hours after landing.  So I was on this shuttle bus and my flight was delayed because there was an earthquake on Oahu…all fights were cancelled.  I ended up getting a ride to Phoenix with Liz and Roxy (her dog).

The 14 hour flight was actually very smooth.  I was given the emergency exit aisle and a window seat…I could stretch my legs out as far as I wanted.  I slept nearly the whole way…it was fantastic.  The food wasn’t too bad…I mean, it was airline food.

When I arrived in Phenom Penh I was shuffled through to get my visa.  Took about 5 minutes…very smooth.  I then met Alan, retrived my bags and left the airport.  The drive to Sihanoukville was about 3 hours in a early 90’s Land Rover with a turbo charged diesel.  I think they forgot to sound proof the passenger compartment because to hold a conversation with Alan I had to yell.  At about the half way mark, we had a flat tire.  This would have been ok except our foot long bar didn’t generate enough torque to remove the bolts.  Luckily a Khmer stopped by on his moto and once Alan demostrated what we needed, he came back in about 5 minutes with a long steel pipe which worked perfectly.  Alan gave him 10,000 Riel (about $2.50) and said that was more than several days’ wage.

The rest of the drive was smooth.  Driving here is completely crazy.

Things here are great.  I’m still getting settled in and whatnot.  Details and pictures of things here at the hotel will be up shortly.


This is not for you.

September 11, 2008

And with reading those words, the nightmares began.

I jolted awake with a fast exhale of breath. My eyes flew open.

Without turning my head, my eyes move around as I try to take in everything I can about the room. My mind frantically trying to sort and answer the questions rushing through my head. Where am I? What am I doing here?

Why is the light on…again?

Did I fall asleep with my light last night? I did that the night before, as well, I thought to myself. This is getting worse.

What is getting worse? And why does my body ache? Why am I aching all over? Why does my head hurt and why do I have a heart ache?

I’m not sure what has been happening the past few days. I have been digging deeper into House of Leaves…just as Holloway’s team exploring the darkness, the farther I get into it, the bigger and deeper and more complex my own labyrinth becomes. I find myself unable to sleep, even though I am exhausted. Unable to eat, even though my stomach growls for nourishment. When I am not reading, I am staring into emptiness. My mind is numb to feeling and void of thought. The future holds no hope. Only darkness.

I wish I could say what this is from. A psychological phenomenon perhaps? My mind playing tricks on me, dealing with recent events such as the path away from Honey? Or no, this feeling I have had is causing my apathy concerning myself and the future. Why can’t I sleep with the light off? Why does my closet door must remain tightly closed? I fear by the time I find these answers, the questions will have become meaningless.

I think we all face our own House of Leaves in our own individual lives. Our own mind forming an endless, ever-changing labyrinth that nobody else will ever see.

*sigh* I am going to continue reading. I have to know what will happen. Maybe soon I can turn my light out again.


Muss es sein?

September 9, 2008

Must it be?  Sadly, or happily, (what is the real difference between those words anyway, besides perspective?) those words do ring true.  

I am glad to report that things are moving full steam ahead.  On a side note, Honey and I have decided to explore seperate paths.  “Let’s split up gang!”  Its always easier to find clues and the monster when there are two parties going in different directions.  Though, in Scooby Doo, they always meet back up, usually in some huge crash as Shaggy and Scooby are getting chased.  I have a feeling that is in the bottom of my stomach that we might not end up crashing in to each other some day.  But, thats how life is, isn’t it?

 My goals and objectives have slightly shifted, however, they still remain intact.  I am looking forward to Southeast Asia with a renewed vigor now…a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I feel that I can finally focus and channel my resources towards achieving something…anything.  The weeks are moving fast andthe days are becoming shorter.  October calls and I am ready to answer.

I went bowling with Nate for the first time in at least five years last night.  I didn’t do too badly, average around 155 or so.  There was a pretty cute girl in the lane next to us…I learned a few things in our casual chatter…most importantly that she didn’t hold a candle to Honey.  With a sigh I watched as she walked away and I turned my attention back towards our lane.  This will be my life for quite some time, I suspect.

On another note, I have just started reading House of Leaves. I need to say how amazing this book is. I will give an update a little further in, as I’m only about 150 pages in…however, I have noticed some changes with me the past few days and I don’t believe its related to other things in my life. I highly suggest anyone interested in Post-modern work to pick this up…


“I don’t eat fucking hotdogs!”

August 28, 2008

Las Vegas was behind us…the long road to Phoenix was in front of us and a Wienerschnitzel was on the side.

“Wienerschnitzel!”  I cried out.  My nose was glued to the glass of the backwindow.

“What is that?”  Honey asked.  She turned towards me and looked at me with that “What the Hell” look.  You know the one I’m talking about…

Its a hot dog place, I explained.  Memories of Tuesday nights and $.33 chili dogs fill my head.  A road trip to Tucson just to get chili dogs before the first one opened in Phoenix came rushing back.  I let out a sigh and a smile came to my face.

“I don’t eat fucking hotdogs!” Honey blurted out.  The conversation my parents were having in the front seat stopped immediately.  The tension was thick in the air.  “Neither do I, Honey,” My Dad commented and then asked, “Do you eat normal ones?”  The worried look on Honey’s face washed away and the jokes came pouring out as my Dad asked if she wanted “fucking pizza or a fucking hamburger” for lunch.  I just shook my head.

Vegas was pretty good.  I lost $20 in gambling on a video poker machine.  My biggest gripe is the smoke in the casino/bars and the price of drinks.  I was paying $9 for Patron shots!

Nothing crazy happened, though I did do a few stupid things…and I didn’t get married, I know a few of you are dissapointed.  Honey made me go on this crazy roller coaster.  I thought I was going to die at least three times.

Overall, I had a good time.  I’m glad we went.


The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.

August 21, 2008

As I reflect over the past two and a half years, so many emotions and memories come flooding into my mind.  I won’t pretend to say that they weren’t all great…there were some bad times.  However, those were necessary for me to grow and flourish during this time.  I have no regrets and if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I orginally wanted to write about some of my experiances in Hawaii.  As I was working on this daunting project and making very little progress…I realized that most were not stories that are able to be told.  They are emotions, they are feelings, they are thoughts that I had in my head at a particular place at a certain time.  I don’t know if its possible to retell them and give them the justice they deserve.

I have grown so much in these past two years.  I am so proud of where I am today and what I have accomplished as opposed to when I first got off the plane in Honolulu.  I can’t stress that I think drastic changes to your life…forcing yourself into uncomfortable positions is essential for growth.  Don’t be afraid to take a risk, to do something.  Make yourself happy.  Don’t be afraid to go upstream against society…bend the rules a little.  Henry David Thoreau said “Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it”.  Am I telling you to drop out of school, quit your job or neglect responsibilities?  No…but I am telling you to refocus your priorities, to think about what you really want in life.  Those dreams you had when you were young.  Go after them.  The time you go after your dreams is not wasted.  The time you make excuses as to why you can’t have them is wasted.  Think about your life right now.  What are you proud of?  If a book was written about you…would anyone read it?  Would you read it?

I am not suggesting giving in to every whim.  But looking back on what I have done…I am more regretful of the things that I had a chance to do and didn’t then the things I did do.   The sad truth is, we all realize this.  Hollywood, authors and musicans all preach this everyday…yet we are content on merely listening to it…not living it.

I have so many good memories of Hawaii…

Beth and Marty…you have provided me with a family here in Hawaii.  Many, many of my memories of hawaii are centered around you two.  How many late, late night were spent discussing the fine art of fishing over your rum and cokes…or should I say ruuuuuuuuuum and cokes?  I was given a home here because of you and I will never forget that.

Yumi…do you remember one of the first nights I was here and we went out after Jen’s birthday party?  You took me to some party at the top of a building in Waikiki.  My first experiance on TheBus was with you…amazing that two years later I still think about that bus ride.  I was so drunk that night!  Don’t forget about Paris in a few years…because I won’t.

Nate…We were great friends before I came to Hawaii, and ultimately you came to Hawaii.   I think our relationship is stronger now because of your “vacation” out here.  I know your mom hates me, but I think it was a great thing for you.  African Penguins…who would have thought?

Dani…wow, what can I say?  Booze cruise and those fishbowls?  I don’t think I can ever forget breakfast at Jack in the Box.  Thank you for helping me keep my sanity.  I couldn’t have made it this far with out you.

Donnie…though your numerous trips here were motivated by other means…I appreciate that you came out.  We had some good times…and I think out here was one of the few times I have seen you really drunk.

Tracy…my beloved sister.  I know that I’ve been away from you for a while and I will be leaving you again soon, but please don’t think that I’m ever gone from you.  You are the most important person in my life and I would do anything I could for you.  I will always be there.  You have given me a shoulder to lean on when I didn’t think I could turn to anyone else.  I promise you anything you need…I’ll give you.

My parents…thank you for putting up with me.  I know that I ‘ve caused alot of sleepliess nights for you Mom and its Dad who has to deal with those.  I love you both and I promise that I’ll make you both proud of me someday.

I know I am missing many people…for those who I left out, please do not take offense.  Our times together are in my mind and they will never leave.  I wanted to leave a letter, my last one from me in Hawaii, to the most important person over the past two years.  This girl has changed my life forever and is very special to me.  I want her to know that I am leaving to give her the space she needs and I am here for her when she wants to be back in my arms.

Dearest Honey,

During the course of time that I’ve known you, my life has drastically changed.  I have tried to downplay your involvement, to minimize your role, but I am unable to make up excuses any longer.  Truth is Honey, I love you more than I ever thought possible…until tomorrow when I will love you even more.  Truth is Honey, I could be very happy with spending the rest of my life with you.  You are the only one I want to kiss, the only one whose skin I want to feel, the only one I want next to me.

Honey, we do belong together.  Our lives just make sense if we are walking down the same path together.  You can push me and I can push you.  Alone, we are two balloons each tied to a weight.  But tied together, we can lift each other higher and higher to those castles in the sky.

What am I trying to say?  I love you Honey.  I know what that word means and I know its how I feel about you.  When I think of Love, I think of you…you are the definition.  You are the missing piece to my puzzle.  No matter what I say or do, my puzzle will never look like the box picture without you.  This will be forever.  I’ve known enough girls to know how I feel when that one person comes along.  You bring living into life.

I know you are in the middle of making a decision.  I can only look you in the eye and ask for your heart.  My heart, my soul, everything I am, is already yours.  Tell me what else you want…

Honey, I love you.  Take that chance…take a walk with me.  I don’t know exactly where we are going…but I think its over there somewhere.

Thank you for changing my life.  You forced me to rethink how and most importanly, why, I am living.  You gave meaning and direction for me.  I am asking you continue being my guide.

Patiently yours forever and with all my love,

Jonathan

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  My friends, do not think that I am leaving you.