- A bat flew into my bedroom. A vague association in my mind between bats and rabies made me abandon both my normal tolerance for vermin and my usual desire to deal with unpleasant things myself rather than asking for help (in other words, I crawled under the covers and called my dad). During this conversation the bat left my room and proceed to nearly meet its watery end in our kitchen sink. Gross, I know. These things aren't supposed to happen in the United States.
- My purse was stolen from the trunk of a locked car. Before I went out that evening I thought "Well, in case my bag were to get stolen, I shouldn't have anything unnecessary in it" and proceeded to remove a $5 pair of headphones. I wish my intuition would be a little more specific next time and spare me having to buy new glasses. Again, these things aren't supposed to happen in the United States.
Other than these two memorable and not particularly pleasant occurrences, life is predictable enough to make me very much miss the relative chaos of my average day a year ago. It would be nice to get caught in a monsoon rainstorm with a flat bicycle tire kilometers from home or head off on the back of a motorcycle to a protest or a Buddhist celebration or the filming of a karaoke video or something.
I spent part of my five hours of jet lag and anxiety in Bangkok before flying to Phnom Penh last year re-reading Letters to a Young Poet, and remember focusing on one particular quote:
If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches, for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.Somehow I expected that such poetry would be called for while living in an urban poor neighborhood. There were certainly days when rice and sweat and rodents were distinctly unpoetic, but seeing the riches in that community was never very difficult. Rilke's challenge is much harder for me now, doing jobs that aren't very challenging and living in suburbia.
But, in the anticipation of more interesting things to come in a few weeks, and as a way of trying to stay present while I'm here, I decided to jump the gun on my next adventure and go ahead and write.