okiluvinbum asked:Otanjyoubi Omedetou, I hope you have a good one.
Thank you ^_^
Thank you ^_^
Fun times. It would have been nice to stay longer, but Kenni and I decided to go on a much-needed drive.
tumblrs I show the most attention to:
The first six I understand, but not so much the last three. There’s someone who I’m not even following who made it on the list. How the hell does that happen? Fail, tumblr. Fail.
If it weren’t for the fact that I have a reason to rush home to Okinawa, I could get very comfortable here. I haven’t spent much time wandering the streets of Bangkok and I have yet to find a film camera store, but my life at work is very stable. What is nothing short of amazing for me as a professional, is to have a solid schedule that I can depend on throughout the day to handle business. This is something that I do not have in my professional life while in Okinawa. There are a myriad of reasons as to why this is true but to even touch on them would throw a lot of people under the bus and perhaps give my chain of command a black eye. I have to tread lightly when it comes to that. In Thailand, however, I’m wheelin’ and dealin’, hustlin’ and bustlin’, and whatever else old-people-term can go with that. Ambassadors, Prime Ministers, Generals, Admirals and the Secretary of Defense? I’m moving up in the world.
My day began with the harsh shrill of a cheap alarm clock. Although I was still extremely sleepy, I had no desire to remain between the ice cold bed sheets that felt like cardboard. Going to sleep alone is unpleasant in itself, but doing so in such an unfamiliar location can play with a man’s mind. As strange as this may seem, these very circumstances encourage me to be more industrious with my time at work because I want to spend as little time as possible in my room. Conversely, hotel showers in these fancy joints are damn near orgasmic. I could stand in that hot water for a while and feel completely rejuvenated. Maybe it’s all one big plan of psychological warfare that hotel tycoons are using against their customers to get them to continue staying their quarters. Well played, bastards. I have the urge to take a shower now, but in order to do so, I have to leave work. What a vicious cycle.
Breakfast with the co-workers was a pampered experience in the executive lounge of the hotel. The lounge is normally reserved for those who are staying in the premier suites that the hotel has to offer. Fortunately for us, they weren’t joining us at breakfast. This permitted all of us to hold humorous morning banter with each other. Our team currently stands as such, my subordinate, a photographer from combat camera who is junior to me (therefore, my subordinate), and my boss (who is younger than me), and myself. We work well together. The understanding, the respect and the ability to recognize that we’re all young adults in a foreign country where a lot of things are affordable allow us to keep a reasonable perspective. From there, work was/is blur seeing as I’m still here and I’ve completely lost track of time. What day is it again?
I miss Okinawa and I’m not the type to get homesick. I haven’t lived with my immediate family in years and it’s never bothered me. But right now, I miss Okinawa. This a fantastic experience, but I’m looking forward to my return home.
This is happening rather quickly and I’m having a hard time keeping up. Life is good. I don’t have my AE86, I don’t have a brand new Canon 1D Mark IV and I haven’t found a garage with a lift in Okinawa that I can move into, but this is ok. I have wonderful friends, a job that provides me more opportunity than I can even explain and my health. Like I said, I’m alright. I’ll be fine. All things considered, I’m a very happy person. This realization can be accredited to the fact that I am dating someone. It just… happened. There’s no reasonable explanation to how such a strong connection can come about but souls met and souls linked. I feel as though suddenly getting shipped off to Thailand to provide media coverage on the U.S. Marine Corps’ involvement with the disaster relief here is a test for our blossoming relationship.
The flight from Okinawa to Thailand was long one. KC-130J planes are propeller birds, not jets. It wasn’t comfortable, either. Cargo netting and a lack of space due to the number of personnel and gear made eight hours feel like a lifetime. Small change. We had to fly into U-Tapao instead of Bangkok proper due the target airfield being affected due to the flooding. The bus ride from U-Tapao to Bangkok was supposedly an hour and a half. For us, it took nearly four because the traffic in this (beautiful) country is like combining the traffic in Tokyo, LA and New York and throwing the recklessness of Okinawan scooter drivers in the mix. The anticipation was pretty rough. As I’m still getting over the cold I had while still in Okinawa, I managed to sleep a good portion of my travels thanks to Nyquil.
Currently, we’re staying at the Imperial Hotel in downtown Bangkok. Upon arrival, I couldn’t help but chuckle at how the Marine Corps works sometimes. We can’t even get decent camera equipment unless we practically hold a comptroller at gunpoint just make something happen. So when I walk into a ritzy hotel with full per diem, I have to scratch my head a bit. The surrounding area certainly isn’t Miami, but the city of Bangkok is more developed than I expected. It’s very reminiscent of something but I don’t know what. There’s a raw element that I’d like to tap into. The streets here are alive. The men, women, children, elderly, business people, pimps, hustlers, prostitutes, the homeless; they’re all here and I believe if is time for another photography project. That’s become my goal for every country I travel to.
In regards to my actual job, I’ve been busy with getting all set up. I have a small workstation in an open office environment. I work shoulder to shoulder with high-ranking military personnel from their respective sections. I’m just a public affairs guy getting his journalism on. No one seems to truly understand what the hell is going on in our day to day duties, regardless of job or position. We all understand that Thailand is currently experiencing the worst flooding in many years as a result of extreme weather. The government here formally requested U.S. assistance in responding to the disaster. However, this isn’t the U.S. saving the day, as was the case in the Philippines. Like the tsunami response in Sendai, we’re just here as a stagehand to do whatever the Thai government wants us to do. I’ll let the politicians be politicians. I’m just here for the ride and dealing with the busy work that’s getting thrown at me.
I managed to go out last night. I rarely spend time outside of a professional environment with people that I work with but special circumstances call for special behavior. My boss, my subordinate and myself went out for dinner and drinks last night. Nothing special. It was a no-bromo-male-bonding thing, I suppose. We talked about the typical alpha-male topics like sports, booze, broads and did a good amount of people watching. Later on in the night we managed to run into the most senior leaders of the command element at a seedy little bar near the hotel. That was interesting. I just shrugged it off and kept it moving. A few years back, this would be one big playground for me. Am I getting old? The prospective nights of sexual deviancy and debauchery no longer appeal to me. The constant state of inebriation I enjoyed in the Philippines will not be repeated because the idea of it just seems silly now. Adulthood hits hard.
My agenda here is rather simple:
-Find camera store and buy a film camera. I’ve heard of insane stories of guys buying Leicas from pawn shops for less than 5,000 THB.
-Get at least (2) suits made. Thai silk = flyness
-Complete personal street photography project
-Get home to Kenni
More updates to come.
Let me put something in your life
More to come. She’s absolutely gorgeous, isn’t she?