Friday, November 22, 2013
Bintang Road, Kuala Lumpur
Friday Nov 22,13
I'm in the centre of this city's shopping district, the Bintang Walk. I've been in Pavillion, the big upscale mall. They are already marketting Christmas. I didn't last long. I bought a set of Henkyl scissors, just in case some one at the airport needs them. I'll try not to forget and leave them in m carry on luggage.
I've just had Thai grilled fish with steamed rice. It was good. Now I'm drinking coffee enjoying being in an outdoor cafe. There is an NA meeting tonight. I have the address for that. A pretty girl invited me for a massage. I walked by La Sensa and realized that I wouldn't be buying lingerie gifts here. They even have women only cars on the LTR. I'm tall here. I'm very white. The advantage I have is a bit of grey hair. That is respected here. I wonder if that girl offering a massage was selling more than a massage. I could certainly use a foot massage. My feet have hurt this last year since my injury and all the redistribution and permutations. The orthotics are working and I feel my foot is healing. I'm thankful I've been able to walk aswell and as far as I have this fall. Travelling and hunting I've had my fair share of exercise.
The conference is going well. I see these academics getting their vacations paid for. Theres clearly some serious long term thought that has gone into these conferences, not all altruism. I appreciated the Canadian doctor raising the issue of the cost of training as educators were scheming for longer and longer fellowships. I mentioned later that Id made the most money ever as a family physician my firstt year and now where I am the family physicians make more and many claim to be specialists. Indeed I know one who says he is a psychiatrist. I mentioned that to another doctor who knew the man I was referring to and he laughed saying he calls himself and addiction medicine specialist now too. He has no further certification or training than I did as a gp.
I liked the Thailand presentation with it's discussion of the combination of public health and police involvement in addressing the methamphetamine epidemic.
I`m reading the Renegade, historic fiction about Robert Bruce. I think life would be easier in some ways if I had a sword. When Bruce got knighted the author had his grandfather as what does it feel like to be an earl, Bruce says he doesn`t know. The grandfather answers, humilty comes first, the arrogance comes later.
Arrogance is an interesting word tied to the sin of pride. I find it ironic that today in the pride of secular society that the word has arisen again in a different context, referring to subservience to money and secular power. Yet it once referred to the inner relationship of self with God. I must love my enemy and recognise that that which I dislike, in terms of character traits is so often what I don't see in myself. My threat is that I dont want to be around them and want to go off alone again at sea or into the wilderness.
Coming here I see sailing here would be possible. I would like to sail again but I've an engine to get fixed and I need to win a lottery to have the money to repair my boat should any break downs occur and they do. Though I've come along way to restoring my boat to offfshore capability. All the major work except the engine are done. There in is my escape. Sailing across oceans. Sailing alone to Hawaii in winter was a true feat. I'd be crossing more oceans to get here.
I feel claustrophobic inside the mall with all the people and the closed spaces. Even this city would probably get to me though right now I am enjoying the sense of being a part of without feeling closed in. There's a gentleness here , I don't feel the pressure of ego that has haunted me in the past. Maybe its the anonymity. I also dont have the sense that Im unwelcome sitting here. I feel that sense of third space welcome in the cafes that I feel in Europe as well. I dont feel it at home. People watching me and wanting me to move along. I had a young woman shadowing me in a store. I felt like she though I was a thief and left quickly. Maybe she thought she was being available. I expect I look affluent enough, I wonder where the term loitering came from.It must have an interesting history.
Move along I heard when I was a kid, It must stick with me. It is growing dark so Im going to walk some more before night
At my hotel before I left I noticed a sign for the Miss Borneo pageant. I'd noticed all these beautiful young women in Armada Hotel these last couple of days. At one point I was on the elevator surrounded by a half dozen in their gowns with their banners across their shoulders. I commented, "I"m a very lucky man." They all giggled, asked me where I was from, then encouraged me to come to the pageant. They all had that high energy pre performance excitement.
I took photographs from the taxi getting here and then more walking about.