Just had my birthday and it was absolutely wonderful! Thanks to all that made it so special.
I was trying to contemplate Year 23 and what it may mean for Year 24 as I was waiting for a bus, but as the hours passed by I only found myself periodically buying snacks or potatoes. So then when I finally squished myself and what was now 4 kilos of potatoes into my seat, I thought, yes Alyssa, this is when you will contemplate Year 23. However, within the first 5 minutes the precious metals dealer sitting next to me started telling me about his time in Thailand and how most of the strippers ended up be male. And as he continued to tell stories and give me advice like “you can’t be shy about selling things or peoples’ money will be shy”, other people listened in and when he started talking about how he accidentally slept with a prostitute and that he would have given her more money if she hadn’t asked for money, a very loud discussion began between him and the woman next to me. So as I straightened my posture to the point of double-chin to let this discussion of the money/sex culture here continue, I tried to start my Contemplation of Year 23 and it’s implication for Year 24. But as I tried, I connected two sensations simultaneously- there was something nibbling at my feet and that the constant smell of poo was not coming from the outside, but instead from the bag full of quacking at the feet of the woman on my right. Perhaps I should have noticed earlier that this was not the time for Contemplation. So as the discussion about sex, money and love continued, including strong voices from almost the entire bus, I listened. At some point the conversation ended and the music was blasted, lulling us all to sleep. After our groggy, midnight dinner, I snuggled back into my spot with full intention of Figuring Out Year 23 and planning for Year 24. Instead I fell asleep on the shoulder of the precious-metals dealer while the music blared on. We all woke up and the driver asked if any more women wanted to resume yesterday’s discussion, as he noticed it was mostly male dominated before. The precious metals dealer made a list: Human Bones, Weed, Children. Three Things He Will Never Sell. I thought back to my most recent language exam and considered that it never evaluated scenarios that leave you speechless. Sex, Money, Love. I’m not trying to put down the silent, sterile environment of airports and stuff, but as hour 28 came and went, I thought, yeah, cool- there is No Shame in “mamelogna tengna”- making life for yourself. No Shame in transporting your stinky animals. No Shame in admitting your mistakes. No Shame in speaking passionately about what matters. No Shame in loving loud, bad, music. And of course this doesn’t mean much about Year 23 and what colossal impact it will have on Year 24, but whatever.