Oh Dear

I’m sure this is not what you want to see (boils/danman) when two guys swing into a party. Massive apologies have been sent round the past few days. Ronnie’s behaviour was impeccable apart from falling into next door’s restaurant but I managed offend half the people in there by falling over, knocking drinks and being overly boisterous shall I say. It was Istanbul’s one-year anniversary and a huge bash entailed. About 130 followers of the Nev and Young Soo Mantra arrived and despite my best efforts, a good time was had by all.

Before the meal I’d headed to Ronnie’s house with a 1.75l bottle of Jim Beam in tandem with some Baek Saju. Once that was near polished and along with John, the local BBQ pork restaurant was submitted to our drunken pleasures. Our ravenous throats consumed around 15 big bottle of beer, the owner drinking with us and apparently having a great laugh even as the drunken way of Dan began.

Our arrival into Istanbul was greeted with ironic cheers. I personally have no memory of arriving or much else. The night ended with me at a girl’s house, a jaunt to hooker hill, followed by an egg sandwich and a sleep on a bench. Classy eh? A sense of guilt compound my whiskey hangovers especially as I can usually barely remember what happened. And this time the feeling was right.

So what to do? Do I want to give up drinking? Do I have to? While I have it under control on weekdays, once I start, I’m like a rapist around alcohol. And doing stupid things is not always forgivable even though those here have forgiven me at the moment. As I know from myself though, forgiving is far easier than forgetting. I guess its two steps forward, one step back.

I’ve wondered what I’m missing in my life. As you get older, there are always trade-offs; being married or 100% free is one of the most obvious. I’ve seen my friends in relationships and the compromises are instantly recognisable. But it gives those friends a balance that I don’t have, a controlling valve to mitigate the worst of excess. Nev talked the other night about the size of his wardrobe. After meeting YS, it’s increased markedly from the backpacker size through a sense of stability. Scott has that same quality in his life. I am sensing that’s where I need to go and the compromise is stability, be that a place or a girlfriend.

At present, I have my rucksack with me, one of my best friends, lonestar and I’ve had a lot of luck over the years. My bag will stay with me for one more trip and then I will think. My friends have remained true but nights like Saturday cannot be repeated, for trust and friendship are two-way streets. Maybe it’s time I learnt what the simple pleasures in life are about. Like what Sunday mornings feel like.

Party time

Yup its that’s time again. the weekend and this one is gonna be special. Nothing for my liver as she has got used to this but tonight it the 1 Year anniversary of Istanbul, the hub for my social circle. This restaurant gets the coolest people and makes them cooler by introducing them to other cool people. Tonight 150 people are expected, 2 DJs boxes and a lot of Jim Beam whiskey. The party starts at 11pm and will rage until the morning. Get ready to enjoy.

No more waxing lyrical

Two legends passed today. One I knew, the other I heard and read about.

Pat Morita aka Mr Miyage from karate kid was a seminal character, the grandfather you wanted, embued with with a mysticism and wisdom that kids long for. Someone to make sense of it all, pat you on the head and send you home with some secret knowledge others couldn’t possibly imagine.

George Best died this morning after years of dazzling skills and self-abuse. He’s an example to all of what natural talent and hard-work can achieve and where an unrestrained lifestyle can take you. He was our sad alcoholic, trapped within his life and his vices, and virtues , a man who knew what it had fucked up, coming out with classic self-depreciating comments like “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.” His life seemed like a dream to an ordinary man living in post-world war England and the on-coming inevitable depression of the 1970s. Its a question worth asking: With all the highs and lows, would you take his life over your own? Got to say I dunno. Maybe yes, maybe no.

RIP guys

The Blame Game Begins

Good to see French politicians getting all French and blaming everyone else bar themselves for the riots experienced recently. I remember watching the pin-striped, coiffeured adulterers getting up on stage and denouncing these criminals and their criminal acts. Sure, we know it isn’t legal and incited in a way but there are huge underlying problems of racism, poor education and living standards as well as laziness which contribute and must be addressed.

Gary Glitter arrested again

I don’t know what should happen here. The guy got 4 months in prison in England, left for Cuba and then South-East Asia. I guess a spell in a Vietnam prison might help but the guy needs help and to be locked up in a mental hospital. The sad thing is he is just the tip of the iceberg, the famous face of a very seedy side of human nature.

And then it got cold

The weather has turned here in Seoul, the chilly mornings grind out my walk to catch the bus, the evenings find me sheltering at home. at work, the central heating is centrally located and controlled, so we are without heating until the building owners decide, or the students complain enough. I just huddle under my hat. Daily, I trawl through my rucksack for warmer clothes but after my packing for Thailand, Vietnam and Central America, I fall back upon layers for warmth rather than one pieces.

Did I say Thailand, Vietnam and Central America? Ahh yeesss. 5 weeks to go. Tom has bought the tickets for Hanoi. Christmas Day will be spent on the wide boulevards and austerity of the capital, the next few days on the beach, then south to Saigon, alone, Tom having to head back to Bangkok. Did I say it will be warm out there? Between 20 and 32C the BBC tells me. Now that is a.