Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


An American Traveller:
What? two travel updates in two days??!! Huuh? Whats up? Well let me explain.
Once again I think I may have misrepresented my self. I have received some interesting feedback on my last update. Most all of you have enjoyed it as is usually the case. Some of you however seem to think that i don't like America. This is NOT THE CASE!
I am American. I am not anything else. I hate it when some guy named Polski whose grandparents parents and he and his brothers and sisters were all born in America says he is Polish. He is American! Period! I am American through and through. I do NOT HATE my country.
I am grateful for my life. I have sure had some ups and downs no doubt about it. Aye Chingaso! did I have an interesting life as a child and teenager. I had some disastrous business dealings too. but make no mistake about it. I have had and am having a great life! This would definitely not be the case if I were not American.
Whatever else my country is, it is a land of opportunity. Is it fair for everyone? Hell no. Stop being a titty sucking mommas boy! Nothing is fair. BUT if you work hard, have some courage, and are clever you can do real real well in the USA; whether you are black brown red or white.
I owe my extraordinary life to the fact that my great grandparents on Moms side and my grandparents on dads side came there from Europe.
I love Mexico. but if I was born there and lived there I would not be where I am now. I am a pretty smart dude, but If it weren't for American public schools I wouldn't know how to read. My old high school teachers? Well some of them sucked and some of them were great and taught me to think, to question authority. In America one is allowed, even encouraged to question Authority.
Are there things wrong with America? Oh Pulll-eeeze give me a break!!Hell yes there are things wrong. There are things wrong with every country I have been to and every one that I have not yet been to! I get so mad at the Canadians who rag on USA with their cheesy flags sewn on their backpacks. I wanna tell them, take that flag off before you get to Sarajevo! Take it off before you get to Rwanda! I wanna ask when baby seal season starts in New Brunswick! Nothing more fun than hitting one of them cute little seal cubs on the head with a cricket wicket and skinning the little darling alive in front of its momma while she goes Boof Boof Boohh the way they do!
Dont even start me on the French! With Robespierre and the reign of terror. That's where the word terrorist came from. How about the Rainbow warrior? hmmmm? Oh I could go on and on. The Germans, the Japanese, the British, the Dutch, the Belgians, the Aussies, we all have blood on our hands historically speaking.
The point is to stop. To observe "what is" without condemning or judging. To see the past clearly to stop making the same foolish mistakes over and over and over.
Okay. Sorry for this little rant. Just wanted to clear the air one more time. In my opinion, ("People with opinions just go around bothering one another"-Buddha) uuhh...yeah well...in my opinion,("Opinions are like assholes; everyone has one and no one needs another"-Paul"Junior" Vincent)...well anyway...in my opinion...The problem is not my government but government itself. Not my nation but nationalism. Not my race but racism.Not religion but fanaticism. I reject it all. The problem with the human race is not political, it is psychological, we are all nuts! Schizo.
We all hear little voices in our heads. We think we have a "self" a "me" an "I". We divide the world between "me" and "mine" and "you" and "yours". We do not see the world as it is. We are living in an illusory fantasy of three dimensions and 6 senses. We must meditate and observe our true nature. We must see that we are all a part of the thin sheet of organic slime that covers this planet we are what we observe. We are nature. there is no separation we are the world we are the universe there is no "difference" between your left hand and your right. They are both a part of the whole you. Muslims and Christian are all the same. The IDF and Hizbu Allah are the same. The US Marines and Al Queda are the same. WE are all one. The Americans and the Vietnamese the Germans and the Congolese. The Aussies and the Abos. Hindus and Baha'i are all the same. Communists and Capitalists are all the same. When we bomb Iraq we bomb OURSELVES!! The rest is silence. Next update from Cambodia. (This time I mean it!)
So now as always some good advice from some guys who are a lot smarter than I am.
Peace and Love,
Rambling Robert the travelling man

"Never undertake anything for which you wouldn't have the courage to ask the blessing of heaven" G.C. Lichtenberg

"By teaching others you will learn yourself.."-G.I.Gurdjieff

hi from Bangkok

Greetings from Kao Sahn Road (jallan Kao Sahn)!
Ah just the name of it brings a tear of happy memories to so many of you ex-backpackers,eh? "Kao Sahn road" How many of you arrived here right from the airport, on your fist night in Asia, not really knowing what to expect, only to find this combination "giant-outdoor-backpacker-supermarket" /freak show/carnival unfolding and reshaping itself right before your startled westernized eyes every few seconds? In his book "The Beach" Alex Garland calls it the center of the backpacker universe. Yeah I guess that about sums it up. It is just like I left it/found it in August of 2004. Cripes! it has been a while since I have been here! Feels like home to me...in a way. On October 1, just 25 days ago I began my 5th year of travelling the world! "What a long strange trip its been"-Jerry Garcia It sure is nice to be back on Kao Sahn Road...in a way...
So I just arrived here 4 hours ago on the overnight international train from Penang Malaysia. Nice train. I had an upper berth on the second class sleeper which is the only class available because second class Malaysia is first class in Thailand. Very comfortable and I met a bunch of cool travellers. We told jokes and talked about Penang. Stefano from Italy and Dave from England. Stefano is a 67 year old guy who has been travlling for 25 years. He is funny and wise and has really bad breath. I had to put tiger balm on my nose because I wanted to keep listening to him but didnt know what to say about his breath. Meat eater, y'know??
Penang is a little island in the straits of Melacca right where it becomes the Indian ocean. It belongs to Malaysia which is why I was there, because my Thai visa was expiring and I had to leave to get a new visa. Penang city is also called Georgetown. but since "W" became leader of the free world, everyone is calling it Penang again. It is a model of how the world SHOULD be. Mostly Ethnic hokien Chinese, and malays with lots of Indians:Tamils and Sikhs and Kashmiris and plenty of whites Burmese and Vietnamese also. Everyone gets along fine. There are hindu temples, buddhist wats, 7th day adventist churches, mosques, Catholic Churches but everyone just lives together harmoniously.
It makes you think "what is wrong with the rest of the world?" I think its the food, myself! There is such an abundance of really good grub here! All these folks are out at night in their little hawker stands selling all kinds of great stuff. Samosas and wadis, satai and Nasi goreng, Curry Mee with tofu, coconut sticky rice,fried chicken necks,fish head soup,fruits on a stick. Gado Gado... you name it, they got it. All so delicious. Smells so good. you just wanna eat and eat!! no time for Jihad or preventive strikes to save democracy!!
I stayed at the very good cheap guest house called S&D, on Love Lane. Love Lane is where all the lady boy prostituetes hang out. Reminds me of the old Kinks song "Lola" these dainty young things calling out to you with the voice of Luciano Pavaroti, and feet like Shaquille O'Neal!! but nice tight mini skirts...We talk about a supply and demand economy. In reality it is a demand and supply economy. The demand creates the supply. If there were no customers for these CWDs (chicks with dicks) there would be no supply. but truthfully they dont bother anyone and they are good for a laugh.
So I met up with an old travelling mate of mine called Ryan the American, who I knew 2 years ago in Boca del Torros, a little island in the Carribean Sea, off the coast of Northern Panama. We went all around together and took a bus to Batu Ferringi which is a cool little touristy beach town on the north west coast of Penang island. We saw a very interesting and beautiful troop of monkees in a bunch of rubber trees. Not fake trees but real rubber trees y'know? They had really long tails and white circles around thier eyes. So cute. if you want a photo let me know and when Ryan sends me his pics I will send one on to you. Shhaa I dont even own a camera myself...
So now here I am back in Bangkok. I will be here a few days or a week. Then I will take a bus to Poipet on the Cambodia border and then change to a khmer bus and go to Battambang. Battambang is Cambodias second largest city. It is on the largest lake in South East Asia and you all know how this pisces boy loves to be near a body of water. There is also a big bird sanctuary there so I can go bird watching.
Problem is all the UXO's (unexploded ordnance) which Richard Nixon did NOT drop on Cambodia and all the land mines which the Chinese did NOT give to the Khmer Rouge. All these non existant 35 year old weapons are still killing about 20 Cambodians per month. So I have to stay on well worn paths and watch my "six" if I want to continue buying my shoes by the pair...
From there I will go to Phnom Pehn and get a visa for Vietnam, and travel overland and visit that country for the first time. I welcome any suggestions of places to go if you have been there. I hear the mekong delta is good for culture, and Hoi An for chilling and swimming...
I am going to meet my buddy Andy here for some food in a couple of hours so I gotta go and get cleaned up. This guy has a great website you can check out at www.hobotraveller.com
So thats all for now. Next update from Cambodia.Here are some interesting quotes from two of Americas most famous fight men. both big time generals during WW2. Its funny how the guys who actually did the fighting to save liberty and democracy feel about it after it is all over with..

"The object and practice of liberty lies in the limitation of governmental power." General Douglasss MacArthur

"Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked, and we who fail to prevent them must share in the guilt for the dead." General Omar Bradley
Peace and Love,
Rambling Robert

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Travel Update from Ko Phan Gnan Thailand

Hello Earthlings,
Robert the traveller here, reporting to you live (more or less) from Ko Phan Gnan Thailand. In Thai, Ko means island. This is one of the most famous tourist/traveller destination islands in Thailand and probably the world. Its fame is largely due to a legendary party held here on the full moon of every night. This has been going on for some 20 years. I will not be here for the full moon, so I cant really speak to this. When it isnt full moon, the island is just like what you would expect from a tropical island paradise. This is the "off" season, so it rains for an hour each day in the mid/late afternoon. It isnt very crowded due to this combination of conditions ie off season and off moon.
I havent been to Thailand since 2004. Lots has changed, to my way of thinking not really for the better. It is still a great country to come to and relax and enjoy yourself or to party like a demon with his dildo on fire and enjoy yourself. It is more bulit up now than then and it is definately moer expensive, although the islands are always more dinero than the mainland anywhere you go...Problem is the US dollar. Yeah man. in 2004 I got 45 baht to the buck and now its 32 ouch. Well you cant have everything can you? While it is a well known fact that most everyone in the world is totally envious of the fine job the US gov't is doing, and with our victory almost certain either later this afternoon or later this week on the "war on Television". One scarcely notices how the dollar has plummeted. Enuf of this bull poop.
I have been here in Thailand since 20/9/007. Two days ago I had my first bottle of beer. I guess I havent actually quit drinking I just dont drink. I spent my first night and day in Had Yai. A large city about 60km north of the Malaysian border deep in the southern tip of Thailand. Pretty good city. hoping at night if you are into the bar scene and you happen to be in this part of the world you might want to stop by for a day or a week. It is a clean peaceful city, but i was really only there because it is close to a Krishnamurti retreat center I wanted to go to. Garden Stream retreat center.
The center was great. secluded in the jungle with a lovely stream running therough it and lots of rubber tree plantations all around. really in the middle of nowhere. There is a nice waterfall on the property too and you can swim in the natural pool and sit under the cascading water and just be cool. The center is isolated so the price of 530 bhat included 3 vegetarian buffet meals and all the tea coffee and hot chocolate and drinking water you wanted. Rooms were quite luxurious by my standards "Holiday Inn" like to American standards. They include soap and fluffy towels...
This is my second time in a Krishnamurti retreat. They are not like other retreats in that there are no planned activities or scheduled events. There is solitude lots of walking paths in nature and a huge library of dvds and book on spiritual subjects of every kind and of course lots of Krishnamurti materials. The staff was friendly and I had a fine 10 day retreat.
Immediately upon leaving I got a bus to Wat Suan Mok near Surat Thani and went into another retreat. :This was completely different! Totally planned from the moment you wake till lights out. In Thai Wat means Temple. This is a budhist monastery. These guys are disciples of the late Great Thai Monk bhuddadassa. He was a great practitioner and teacher of Annapannasita meditation. This is the meditation technique where one sits quietly and concentrates onses attention on your in and out breath. They teach yu how to do this form of meditation and also there own form or walking meditation (3 or 5 step) and Standing meditation they dont really show you lying meditation but...Here is the deal
You must take a 10 day vow of silence. No talking. No gesturing. No eye contact games. No questions. No back talk. Silence is total silence. You live like the monks. You sleep on a cement slab on a 1cm (eighth inch)straw mat. and you use a block of wood for a pillow. No shit. Bell rings at 4am to wake you. First Dharma talk and meditation session at 4:30. Yoga at 6:00 for an hour than an hour more sitting meditation Breakfast at 8:00 free time till 10 No talking!! Meditation from 10 to 12:30 sitting for 45 minutes then walking for half hour than sitting for 45 minutes then lunch (the last meal of the day) No snacks in between meals no food allowed in your room. Tea is served at 6:00 you can have hot chocolate made with soya milk if you wish. On the ninth day you fast. Afternoons are dharma talks and meditation followed by meditation. a two hour break and then dharma talks and meditation till 9:00 lights out at 9:15.
60 people started the retreat 50 finished. I loved it. The first 2 days kind of sucked. You know the sleep deprivation thing. The bed is extremely un-comfortable. you dont really get used to it. Back knees and hips and butt hurt from all the sitting cross legged. If it werent for the yoga class I think the drop out rate would be 90%!! This Swiss guy called Werner led the men. He was great!! The girls were led by a Thai buddhist nun. Men and women are segregated the entire time. We sat on oppposite sides of the meditation halls and opposite sides of the dining room.
Well the idea of all this is to achieve Vipassana or insight. and I dont know if it works for everybody (shahh, nothing works for everybody) but it worked for me. The insight I got most profoundly was "I dont wanna be a friggin' Monk!!!!!" Beside that I got a real lot out of it. Seriously I would tell youmore but you know the rest is slilence and I dont think anyone else can understand my insights. Thats why they call them insights. I really learned how much Love I have inside for my Mother. How weird is that 51 years old and in all the meta meditations(loving kindness meditation) I always thought of and sent love to Mom first. Truth. I also sent lots of love to my nephews and niece and other family members and to Angela and RB, Morty,Dr.Bob, and Howard ( a friend of mine who is quite ill). You cant really predict who you will think of when you do this kind of meditation. It just happens. There was also directed Meta meditation where you think of people you dont really "love" I sent my second ex wife forgiveness and some other people who I had no good feelings at all for I sent out forgiveness and love. Very insightful and you know what? It feels really great. Hard to believe but I am telling the total truth here. I got teary eyed a lot of the time.
So now I am on Ko Phan Gnan. Gotta go to Panang island in Malaysia in a few days because my visa willl run ut. I will meet a guy called Ryan who I travelled and got drunk with in Boca Del Torros Panama 2 years ago. He is teaching English to the natives here. Go figure.
Well here are some parting thoughts:
"Better to have loved a short man than never to have loved a tall." G.K.Chesterton
"You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself." -Galileo.
Peace and Love,
Rambling Robert