Friday, January 28, 2011

Sound healing, The Lotus Temple, NSW

After a vigorous day of swimming and cleaning, a few friends and i decided that it would be a good day to experience a free sound healing, offered up at the Lotus temple (infamous scene of the chanting, new age, bday party).

We arrived early in order to "get a good spot." All around the main room and placed in a circular fashion around the pillar of crystals were pale blue, pink, and white velveteen cushions. We all chose seats near the middle and lay down, our heads pointing towards the center pillar and our feet towards the walls. We could hear choir like sounds coming from another room. It must have been the healers warming up.

At about 530pm, the healers came in and the show started. A frightful looking man/woman (not sure, either way it wasn't pretty) commenced the ceremony by calling us all to ask our gaurdian angels to be there with us and to focus on what we wanted to heal. Then he/she busted out a large prayer bowl and got to work while the rest of the healers began to sing in "light language." A prayer bowl is a metal bowl that you hit with a small gong thing and then run the gong thing around the outside of the bowl to make a sound like when you run your wet finger around the rim of a glass. It's actually a pretty sound. Any way, after the group 15 minute song, the healers broke up and picked one of us to start on. I got healed by a man without a shirt wearing purple shorts. He had long curly brown/grey hair, a deep tan, and was probably in his forties. He began the healing by screaming in my ear. He then moved on to making truck noises that a 2 year old makes. After this he slowly pressed his palm to my heart/cleavage and began making whale noises. The entire time i was trying desperately not to laugh and only barely succeeding. After this a lady came and took over. She made soft, soothing noses and kept her hand on my belly button. At some point I fell asleep, because I woke myself up snoring and no one was touching me. After this I gave up on being healed and decided to look out the window at my feet for the remaining 12 minutes of sound healing. Soon after I focused all my attention on the outside window, I see a woman in a white dress run by, and she is on fire. Hippies love 2 things, candles and flowy clothing. I'm surprised there haven't been more hippy-on-fire incidents around.

So even if I didn't really get healed from anything, at least i saw a 50 year old woman on fire in a hemp dress. The woman turned out ok, she only ruined her dress, and possibly bruised her ego.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tea tree Lakes, NSW, Australia

There is a place in the Byron shire where there is a large spring fed lake that exists around many Tea trees. The oil from the roots of these trees flavors the lakes with a delish clean tea tree scent, and bathers in the area enjoy the benefits of swimming in tea tree oil. My skin flaws were definitely diminished after an afternoon swim. One other thing that you should know about the tea tree lakes...its bathers are primarily nude. Yes. Naked as Jaybirds.

Typically the swimmers are elderly gay men who are proud of their bodies and like to stand in clearings in direct sunlight. There are many others who lurk in the bushes with binoculars or cameras. I know this because at any given time you will find 12-15 cars parked outside and only 5-7 swimmers in sight inside.

My first experience at this "sacred" place was truly magical.

Upon entering the water my friend and I realized we were the only people under the age of 30, the only women, and the only foreigners. We also realized there was 1 attractive man aged about 34, and one old man with a video camera. We swim from where we are to the end of the lake and back. When we return to our towels, the attractive man is standing in front of us. "May I join you guys? I usually come here with my wife, but she's working and all these gay guys keep hitting on me. I don't want to impose but..." We assure him its fine. He gets naked and gets in with us. My friend leaves the water. I stay in because I dont want him to see what I look like naked. I like to give it at least a half hour before they see the goods.

At some point he takes me to a look out point where we can watch the old man with the camera without being seen. Peter (the dude) takes that opporunity to "have a cuddle." I feel uncomfortable being cuddled naked by a married naked man, and tell him so. "Aw, my wife doesnt mind, she'd probably want one too." I thank him for the offer, and gracefully decline. Then I realize there is dirt and algae sticking to all my body hair, making me look like a cave man. Peter offers...and then proceeds, to wipe it off-my boobs. I again, decline the gracious offer.
Soon after, peter realizes that I will not have sex with him, or his wife, and decides to leave.

Then a 12 year old boy WITH GOGGLES comes swimming up. he sticks around me and my friend and edges closer and closer. We choose to get out and dry off. After drying for a few minutes we glance down and the kid with the goggles is blatantly staring. he dives under water and tries to sneakily pop up in another area where he still has a view. We choose to leave in order to avoid corrupting the youth of Australia.

On the way out we cross paths with two gay men orally pleasuring each other.

the end.

The Lotus temple, Byron Bay, Australia

For those of you who have yet to experience a New Age Birthday party, please read the following trusting fully that I'm not making this up, and all of these are indeed- actual truths that I have lived.

After being unceremoniously dumped by my "kind of sort of something" after 3 months, I chose to drown my sorrows in a crowd of strangers. Normally the best way to do this is to go to a bar, drink until you feel brave...or nothing, and then make an ass of yourself. This is NOT the way it happens when your only friends are middle aged hippies and new agers. For me it went something like this...

10pm-arrive at party
1007pm-make friends with a swiss dude who tells me all about the necklace of crystals he's wearing and the effects its having on his life.
1012pm- bond with same dude over being a scorpio
1022pm- a girl joins the conversation and talks about her current relationship and her "path to enlightenment."
1046pm- Girl says her "crystals are calling to me"
1052pm-girl takes my swiss friend away to meditate over some crystals
1053pm- I go for a walk, find a parking lot, and cry over the sad state of my existence. Not only am I newly single without even the courtesy of knowing why, I am now at a party where every one talks about reading energies and then hugs me for too long while moaning and gently rocking me.
1141pm-go back to party . cant face the hippies yet, but I'm cold so i go inside. the upstairs room looks dark and inviting, and best of all-empty.
1143pm-once my eyes adjust to the darkness, i realize i am standing in a room full crystals.. the walls and floor boards are lined with crystals, there are giant crystals arranged symmetrically in the center of the room. the whole thing is lit by a single candle. If I didnt know that these people probably pray and sacrifice innocent vegetables in this room, i'd have thought it was pretty.
1158pm-leave the crystal room and look for my ride home. I've had enough.
1201am-the entire party is walking into a room that is covered in pastel fabric. foolishly I follow them in. The center of the room has a pillar covered in a rainbow of pastels, with more large crystals gathered around its base. The group forms a spiral around the birthday boy and we all join hands.
1206am- people say nice things about the guy in the middle. the guy in the middle says nice things about himself. the chanting begins.
1212am-1234am-the chanting consist of people singing "ooooooommmm" in many different tones and pitches. A few are saying the mans name...It sounds like "ziiiiiiiiiiieeeeee" while 2 women are speaking jibberish in high pitched, sing songy tones. try not to laugh. fail.
1237am-leave the room and wait in the car.
1239pm-hear some guy telling some other guy not to finish his sentence because "we're all psychic anyway"
1243am- Thank Jesus, My family, my country, Obama, and the creators of facebook and poptarts that I made it out alive.
12pm the next day-seriously regret i didnt have a camera to put the event on youtube.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pulau Kapas, Malaysia

My adventures in malaysia were a true delight. I decided to go to a muslim country in the middle of ramadan, and then injure myself on a remote island that had nothing but backpackers and restaraunts and dive schools. Then I decided to ignore my injuries and go to even more remote island that had 2 backpackers and 2 restaraunts, none of which served food during the day.

You're familiar with the saying "when in rome, do as the romans do"? well, I had no choice. My injured feet and empty belly allowed me to swim some and "rest" (aka read and play jenga with my friend hanno, who got 3rd degree sunburns and had to hide from the sun. on an island) most of the time.

Toward the end of my stay on this paradise on earth, my feet were healing nicely and to celebrate/mourn the end of our being together, me, hanno, and 2 friends decided that a midnight skinny dip was in order.

We chose to perform this task at a beach down the way from our backpacker, in order to avoid prying eyes. On our way toward our designated spot, we passed a circle of extremely drunk malaysian men around a campfire. "You come! Come drink with us!" "in a minute, on our way back."

The skinny dip was short lived. the boys joyfully streaked into the water before me and the other girl could even take our flip flops off, and they immediately impaled both of their feet on sea urchin spikes.

We decided to drink the pain and embarrassment away with the drunk malaysians. We joined their happy circle. They were drinking rum and coke, which they heated to boiling over their campfire. It was revolting. they left a plastic straw in the cup while it heated so there was a slight taste of chemicals and poison added to the already disgusting beverage. They then proceeded to claim that they knew how to fix the sea urchin wounds. one of them grabbed a large stick and began to beat on the feet of one boy, while another malaysian grabbed some limes and squeezed lime juice into the open, pulvarized wound. There was much merriment. At one point the lady of the establishment came out and told the men to shut up. (I'm pretty sure, they were speaking malaysian.) Then the guy, from what i could gather, told her to piss off. So she left, and then her tiny, skinny, petite malaysian husband came out. He spoke some harsh malay words to his brother and his friends, and then turned his attention to our little group. "Where do you stay?" he politely asked. "Just down the beach at ABC" we politely answer. He becomes enraged. "WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU DO HERE?!" "YOU GET THE FUCK OFF MY PROPERTY! I WILL FUCK YOU TONIGHT!"

Upon hearing this last phrase, we decided it was best to vacate the area. We didnt want to get fucked, especially by a tiny asian man with a napoleon complex.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Traveling with dad

Taveling with my father is truly an experience that needs to be shared.

His ensemble usually consists of a red t shirt or polo shirt with a breast pocket, black or grey cargo shorts pulled up to his nipples, a brown woven belt, black socks, and hiking boots or sandals. Typically he wears an army green hat with flaps and a brim that goes all the way around, But "unfortunately" he left it at a restaraunt in cambodia.

My dad likes to read EVERY SINGLE SIGN and get really confused and pissy before he even knows what hes pissy about. He also likes to follow the arrows in asian airports which usually dont mean anything, they just put them up for decoration because the guy who built it flew to JFK or LAX once and thought they were pretty.

My dad likes to leave a 20% tip, all the time, even when its not expected. He likes to give $5 bills to ladies who dig through rubbish for recyclables/food and don't beg just because we are white tourists. He likes to ask cambodian children if they know the capitol of Texas. (some of them actually do.) He likes to buy wooden carvings to hang on his walls.

He also likes to pee every 2 hours, sometimes more. He likes to forget his camera, and when he remembers the camera, he forgets to charge it. He enjoys attempting to take photos from a moving tuk tuk of another moving tuk tuk/motor bike/bicycle and act surprised and annoyed when the photos come out blurry and of just the tops of peoples heads or bottoms of their feet.

My dad likes to argue with me about things I know to be facts. EX: A 3 day pass to angkor wat is $40, a one day pass is $20. My dad thought that it said a 2 day pass was $40, and would have bet me money if I hadnt acted so dang confident.

he hates climbing stairs, but loves walking up hills.

singapore airport vs. malaysia airport

The singapore airport is a mytical fairy land with flowing rivers of starlight and gumdrop trees. There is free internet, wireless internet, lounge chairs, free charging stations for various cell phones and apple appliances that you can lock up safely, clean toilets with TP, and a pinch of gold dust to make the whole thing even more heavenly.

the malaysian KL airport however, makes me want to commit suicide. There's free wireless, but it only lasts 2 hours, and thats only IF you can find an outlet in the damn place that works. In addition, they are air asias hub, so they play host to thousands of muslims and cheap arabs and indians who enjoy staring at my boobs and being incredibly rude to me. Its also in Malaysia, which lacks the western mindset that singapore has adopted, so not only is chaotic and disorganized, flights are frequently delayed by an hour or more ( although 2 out of 3 times this has worked out in my favor as i am frequently wrong about my departure time by an hour or more, but still...i'm in the mood to bitch.) Also, there are probably 50 or so check in points to browse aroud through while attempting to locate the one you're supposed to use, and if you're flying somewhere nearby (which is ALL OF ASIA) they will put up a sign that says "common check in point" and a list of cities. Sometimes your city is on that list, other times, they just forgot to include it, but thats where you go and you are supposed to magically figure it out.

I hate the KL airport.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Siem Reap, Cambodia

THe Cambodian people are probably the whiniest of SE asia. If you say you dont want to buy their shit, they stand there and pout. "You no nice. You bad tourist." I want to slap them and say "You're an asshole, quit bitching. and while you're at it, grow the fuck up you 14 year old hustler."

Any way, the cambodian lang. lacks certain sounds that we have in english, a hard "k" and the "sh" are missing. We are staying at the "shining angkor hotel" and every tuk tuk driver I've had gives me a look of pure bewilderment every time I ask them to take me there. "The shining hotel? Shining angkor?" "Where?" I explain where. "Ohhhhh the signing angkor hotel, ok, 2 dollar? for happy new year?" So tonight on the way home I decide to save some time on the tuk tuk/hotel explanation and asked to be taken back to the "signing angkor hotel." The tuk tuk driver looked at me like I was a total dip shit and then said in the closest to perfect English I've heard yet, "you mean the shining angkor hotel?"