Ian’s recent blog entitled So Here's What I Did got me thinking about things I’ve done. Of course, in my opinion I come up wanting, but that’s my own issues talking… At least I know they’re issues, and I pretty much know where they come from and no full disclosure will be forthcoming. On se garde une petite gène, as we say in French, which translates roughly as “Geez, a bit of discretion here puleeeeeeeeze, there’s such a thing as too much information!”.
So, in the immortal words of Ian, HERE'S WHAT I'VE DONE, and if I’m in the mood for it, what I still want to do.
I’ve trekked in Nepal twice (1996 and 2000) – once to the Annapurna, once to Everest base camp – well, at least I tried. Both times I was hit with altitude sickness and so I never made it to my goal. Even all these years later the failure still rankles mightily even though I did make it to 4300 (or was it 4600) meters before admitting that going any further would probably result in very bad karma for me and BB (he was with me the second time and had it too).
I’ve seen the Swayambunath stupa – which along with the Bodnath stupa is probably the most beautiful in Nepal.
I’ve been to Pashupati and watched the ritual of burning the bodies on the edge of the river. It was both beautiful and nasty – nasty because some tourists had no respect and actually stood beside burning bodies to have their pictures taken. Beautiful because there’s no histrionics, no "oh my god, they really fixed him up nice didn't they?", no dragging on of wakes and such. It's done immediately after the person dies and it's done with dignity. And we stayed on the other side of the river…
I’ve eaten Tonkinese soup (Pho) at 5:00 am in Hanoi while waiting for a bus to take us to Ha Long Bay – that place is breathtaking. I’ve seen ruins of the the imperial city in Hue, been robbed in Saigon and held a beautiful but heavy 10 foot long python in my arms in the Mekong Delta.
I’ve snorkelled off Gili Air Island in Indonesia – and while watching the coral all of a sudden found myself on the edge of a canyon. The Island ends HERE.
I’ve toured vineyards and eaten fish and chips on the beach in Oz and become familiar enough with Paris to know my way around.
I’ve road tripped extensively in the southwest USA – I would sell my soul to live in southern Arizona.
Closer to home is where I start having problems, it seems my life is nothing much here but I’ll give it a try.
I’ve tried illegal mind altering substances. More than once. I never really stuck with it though, my mind is altered enough in reality, never mind chemically altering it. Plus smoke hurts my asthma.
I’ve done other unspecified illegal things which I won’t go into because my brother reads this (On se garde une petite gène).
I’ve read thousands of books. If I start at 10 years old and very conservatively figure two books a week x 36 years since then it comes out to about 3700. I’m sure it’s way more though
I bought a cottage with Mr. Jazz though the responsibility scared the shit out of me – and still does.
I celebrated my 40th birthday by skydiving. Freefalling is the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done (along with picking up that python)
Strange exercise this is… It’s weird because I realize that most of my “accomplishments” took place far from home on the other side of the world, and somehow it seems they don’t really count since I was on vacation and well, you do stuff on vacation; it’s part of the deal. Meh… Next up, what I want to do. That one might be quite a bit shorter since I tend to not know what I want to do until about three minutes beforehand.