I like Singapore more than Melbourne, home is a good place to be. Singapore is multicultural, both cities are but Singapore is a little more I think. Tolerance is something I respect about a city. Not to discredit my city of birth but Australia is a little racist given the way it treats immigrants, boat people as they call them. People who risk their lives in hope there is one for them somewhere. I’ve probably said this before but I’m proud to be German today because of how they treat human beings. 1,000,000 Syrian refugees needed to survive persecution, perhaps they can live a life in Germany or Europe. People should value life and help other humans. People are more or less the same everywhere but there are subtle differences.
Back to my favourite hotel in Melbourne’s Chinatown, another round of recollections. I typically stay in this hotel in Melbourne. My walking seems to be worse than before, it was difficult just now crossing the lane Little Bourke to the hotel. I’m starting to wonder if my gait will ever improve. At least I can walk again, many coma victims can’t, or perhaps hear. I’m not so bad but find it all trying my patience. Now at ‘the Laneway‘, an outdoor bar in the lane called Meyers Place. The venue by the same name “Meyers Place” was one of my favourites, but now has changed hands. A new favourite, that makes 2 in Melbourne, this ”the Laneway‘ and ”Siglo‘, or you might know it as ”the Supper Club’.
More and more recollections. Now I’m in Redhill where my other sister lives, and my older brother nearby. There was a Christmas dinner here ages ago in which I managed the cooking. Not very well but I used to enjoy cooking they tell me. Another thing to relearn.
Redhill has expansive wilderness, very natural and close to great beaches. Another distant memory, I used to come near here camping as a chiId with a friend from school. We came to Point Leo, just around the corner. So many dirt roads in Redhill it’s not at all developed but a country town, for a different and more human life.
We just went to an old favourite spot, the Flinders pier. Redhill has a name and is a dot on the map but that’s about it for a city or village. Then again I’ve been to more ‘out back’ places in Australia, it’s a big country.
More recollections, now at my sister’s home, a place I’ve lived many times since around 1985. I actually helped with the renovations, and the huge garden, so many memories. Actually most people here think my memory is normal, perhaps marginally lesser. Indeed they would know having collected me from Thailand in coma, bringing me back to Australia and observing me at the worst of it. This was the first place I lived after hospital. I’m trying to fit in like old times. Many intellectual conversations that challenge. My niece, who also travels a lot is here too, with her partner. He is from Sweden. Like me they work in technology, which makes for many more long conversations. Fellow coma victims, I definitely progress. I think my mind is getting there, all think I’m the same person. My walking and elocution remain the worst of it.
Well it’s my home town Melbourne, where my immediate family live. Now I’m in Paynesville with my mum, a nice place, the best place in the world according to my father. I took a short walk home from the shop today. For most people a 5 minute stroll but it took me more than an hour. So fellow coma victims there are so many ups and downs, my walking is a good example. A short time ago I thought my walking was about to improve once and for all but then it deteriorated again. It seems I’m back at day one. Well not exactly as I’m no longer in a hospital bed or wheelchair, but day one of learning to walk again. Everytime my wife and I visit Melbourne we go to St Paterick’s Cathederal which was excellent again last week. A world class church, the best in Australia I think.
Well I’m back at a favourite place in Melbourne, time to resume writing. I’ve been coming here for years, it’s now called Siglo previously the Supper Club. It’s lost none of it’s charm, maybe we can catch up here to remember the past. You’ll have to prompt me. A place to enjoy my first cigarette of the year. I don’t need them anymore but an old writers habit, a drag to help one reflect.
Travelling again, another trip to Vietnam. Ho is very close to home, less than a 2 hour flight. Vietnam is one of my favourite countries in Asia although I like all of them in this region. For me Asia is better than my home country Australia because I suspect that many Aussies have doubts about otherness given the boat people policies there. Some people seeking freedom by traveling in boats to Australia are put in prison or desolate places. People in Australia should just celebrate life like they do here. Quite a profound experience again the war remnants museum. Deplorable human actions of the past continue, now in Syria, Iraq etc. Agression is central to humans. Agent orange was devastating and we still use chemical weapons. Probably some of the boat people came from Vietnam, there has been so much suffering in this country.
I travelled today to Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. Time again to make records of my life so I don’t forget. I was recently burned, it took me three days to remember how but not everything. This blog helps me very often with recollection, as I’ve said before outsourcing memory can be helpful. Well I’ve been to Japan recently, Osaka, Hiroshima, Tokyo, Kyoto, trying to remember. I suspect that about covers it and now for somewhere new but I’ve drunk the beer, Sapporo. Indeed the world is an interesting place when one goes from tropical heat to the snow of Sapporo, very slippery for walking though. The last time I had so much trouble walking on ice was in Krofdorf Germany visiting my uncle once for Christmas.
Home again to Singapore after 5 days in Ubud Bali, not for too long, Japan again in two weeks and then I’m thinking Australia. The drive to the airport from Ubud was great, it gave me a better look at Bali which I like all over, even the roadside villages. The people seem most artistic, there are many sculpture places and fine art studios that you can buy from. It seems creativity is a way of life for the Balinese. I also observed substantial intellect from the locals, I can’t remember now what made me think that but indeed Indonesia is an expansive country with hundreds of islands.
We went to see a Balinese dance last night, “the Mahabarata”, an old Hindi story I was once interested in. Balinese dance is renowned and focuses on other things compared to western dance, eye and finger movement. Many of these movements should be looked for in the performance, eyes are difficult from beyond row 10, we were in the first row. Watching it I couldn’t perceive a story from the dance, just movement. Dances can be emotionally expressive but this was not as far as I could tell. I was happy for dinner when the ballet finished. When the dancers held swords it was a little easier to understand.
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. We’ve been here before, I like it. Ubud is quite different to the Bali beach holiday popular in Australia, it has old world charm with temples. Still overrun with tourists you must use your imagination to try and depart the western world. But it has cues to make such an escape easier, temples, old buildings, and the monkeys here in monkey forrest are also trying to escape. I should mention we went to a Sufi gathering here where I tried to whirl again thinking it might help my balance but couldn’t do it. I used to whirl at a Sufi gathering in Melbourne years ago.
Dear fellow coma victims, as I’ve said before I suspect travel is very good for us. What I really mean is to do the things like we did before coma, stay active. Travel also presents the unusual which can be challenging, we need to be challenged. I’m in AoNang Thailand for another Christmas, at least 4 in a row now. Not a white Christmas, quite the opposite, a beach Christmas. Frohe Weinachten.