See you in South East Asia

I hope to keep up the usual stream of postings on this blog through October as I

  • disappear into the wilds of urban Manila to see the in-laws
  • present at the itSMF conference in Singapore
  • likewise in Bangkok a couple of days later

I've been stoned by a curfew-breaking crowd in Srinigar, cleared river-bank guerilla checkpoints in a long-tail boat in Burma, walked down Basin Street New Orleans late at night (pre-Katrina), broken up a fight between off-duty cops and a black dude in a bar in Atlanta Georgia, crossed an Australian desert in a '68 Holden, white-water-rafted in nothing but a pair of shorts in the highlands of Thailand, nearly died of hypothermia alone in the New Zealand Southern Alps, made the border crossing into Punto del Este Paraguay at night, danced amongst gunfire in a New Years Eve disco in Guanaha Honduras, smoked in midnight jungle clearings alone with Thai boatmen, camped paralysed by dysentry amongst East African heroin addicts in Islamabad Pakistan, walked down the main street in broad daylight in Belize City, and played blues harp in the public bar of the Rachel Tavern in Christchurch New Zealand (the most dangerous thing I've ever done), but Manila makes me nervous.

Filipinos are wonderful people, perhaps my favourite culture in the whole world. I married the nicest one. And the Philippines is a lovely country, once you get out of Manila. But half a century of American rule brought a gun culture and three centuries of Spanish rule brought a knife culture and twenty years of that bastard Marcos brought a corruption culture and financial ruin. About 0.5% of them are distinctly dangerous including some of the cops. Add to that the fact that the Sack of Manila is the most undiscussed destruction of WWII, which left very little to look at. So as a big wealthy white boy I don't get out much but hopefully the dialup at home will work and/or I'll get to a few internet cafes.

For readers going to the conferences in Sing and Bangkok I look forward to meeting you. I especially look forward to finally meeting Sharon Taylor, if she'll still speak to me :-D

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