As a parent it is a hard standing as you are judged by your beloved who you are now but they haven´t seen you growing up woth all consequences.
I want to live on an island on which only kids live, who will forever stay kids, not young, but kids, until I can be a kid again, but a kid I never was allowed to be, a being I am allowed to embrace without feeling bad because I love me.
One of the most expensive suites in Siem Reap costs 1.200 $ a night. Lower middle class? Only fall, no rise. You don´t even fall. – If you have no social security, no health protection, no state support at all, there are not many options for an improvement left, to express the situation irrational. Rational you are fucked and there is nothing left than stay alive. You are born in poverty, you stay in the dirt.
The east sends the exploitatory manufactured and cheap products, commissioned by the west, to the west and the west its loosers to the east. These dropouts, flotsam, digging for gold abroad, arriving here with nothing but expactations become suddenly teachers, artists, designers, businessmen – expats in wonderland. Not interested in sustainability at all, just surviving like kings and queens. Industrialized cannibalism. Designed colonalism.
Textiles produced in Cambodia are imported to Europe – we all know about the bloody strings. From the Third World the textiles are donated, after the trend or the shit has done the job, worn-out, pierced, gone to seed, for so called good, back, back to the source, back to wonderland, for being sold in vintage stores, to mostly tourists, who freak out on having found something named old-fashioned – retro – before, showing off back home in the office their discoveries. Weird, ha?!
So I am a … writer (not, I write not to forget and remind myself to analyse) … photographer (not, I shoot, because I love the sort of neutral medium between me and my surrounding) … tattoo artist (not, I poked myself and love to share a moment of pain) … model (not, I hate to be in the shot, in the spotlight in general, but I love to make other people feel special) … DJ (not, I just like to listen to MY music) … teacher (not, but I love to learn from “my students” and develop together ideas) … designer (YES, because I fucking have to earn money to afford living)
Next, in Ho-Chi-Minh, can I please have a room with at any rate some light? Why single bedrooms so often don´t have windows? – Because solitaries enjoy share their life with walls?
Insomnia is back.And it really sucks. Energy. Strength. Nerves of steel mutate to a slack slurry. I feel like I could sleep for days. Thinking of learning some meditation practices on the Philippines. I truly wanna get rid of these nights, in a row. I read if you are awake three times per week more than three hours go to a specialist. I can hardly remember when I slept without imagine how nice would be sleeping now. Running freaky!
Leaders, dictators, desecraters, biggest assholes of the world, FUCK YOU!!! Manhood, FUCK YOU too. How can we accept the fact that a bunch of idiots, for whom we elected – systemically choiceless, and their ideas, heavy brain diarrhoea caused by capitalist curiosities, pitch planet earth into black, again and again and again… reading their speeches, so called proposals, solutions for good – you survive, we live, without asking anyone or questioned by everyone, who has to suffer their fallibility, makes me desire a death star.
What solution I have? I don´t have. I don´t have to. I don´t create, reign and enrich myself, because I don´t give a shit. Solutions are for ideas and ideas follow paths, which never meant to search.
We are all illusionists. We should use this developed ability to place a difference, not targeting one reality. I hate you world, me, us, for this probably unavoidable ignorance.
All the isms, religions, sciences, discoveries, cognitions are worse than useless as long as nature – Surprise surprise! We are a part of – dies on frantic ground.
Fuck hope. I don´t hope. Hope is a product, designed by man to fence empathy and sympathy, you can literally sell or buy it, don´t know what is more despicable. Returning to the concept of conception…
“Hey man, wait, you look strange, never see people like you, where are you from?” Gosh, one more tuk tuk driver…
Phnom Penh seems to suffer massive attack of an excessive supply of drivers. – “I came back here to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap too many tuk tuk drivers.”, another driver briefed me before. It is low season, basically worst for them, everywhere. You can hardly enjoy your walk, they following, even if you slap through alleys and shortages. Not that I wanna hide, but it is amazing where they sometimes emerge, flawy submarines, drunken captains, rusty planks. They instruct you not to trust other drivers or bums. “They put sometimes marijuana in your pockets.” – Whatever for, wouldn´t mind anyway. One guy was persisting on my back, telling me the story, after I let him know I lived in Munich, that his sister will go there at the end of september to work as a elderly care nurse. He wanted me to visit his house, where he lives with his second wife, to cook for me and to talk to his sister and mainly to his mom, who is very anxious about her daughters live and future. He hoaxed me he is from Thailand originally, where he actually lives with his first wife. In fact, he looked far from Thai, more Philippine, maybe he assumed my eyes are just there for decoration or getting pierced. I shared my (wrong) phone number and told him we can meet tomorrow. – Fuck you! What you expect, asshole?! There are many ways to deal with poverty and I wouldn´t even blame someone after I was bamboozled. If you are hungry and have family, you have to rip, but pull your flip-flops up, this is so hilarious, racketeer! They are not very well-respected anyway, ruining the reputation of honest businessmen. And sort of they are criminalising by their illegality other and in for sure many cases even outlawing. Phnom Penh has changed, as expected, and not in fact for better or good. Maybe not more worse. How you wanna distinguish poverty? How many kilos of dirt are sticked to your body? How many days you didn´t eat? If you can still operate or only be able to crawl in mud, half naked and covered with traumas? In Siem Reap the drivers are mainly dressed proper, because they can afford to conform. – True, it´s a city with maybe nowadays nearly two million inhabitants and all of them have different expactations, but the majority wants something very basic: survive.
“I am from Germany.”
“Oh Munich!” – There is a microbrewery in the city called Munich.
“Where do you go?”
“I just bum around, enjoy Phnom Penh. You are from Phnom Penh?”
“No, but I work as a tuk tuk driver after my main job. I am a policeman. I need second job for my second wife.” Meaning he has two.
“So three jobs, three wives?” He is laughing. We are standing in front of the Royal Palace, near to the area, where all the rallies in the last months took place.
“You look very weird.”
“You like shooting farm?” – Please not the same shit. I expected him to show me the same same chart about the famous touristic spots in Phnom Penh like everyone does.
“I don´t like guns and I am here for business.” This is more a phrase than serious and usually it doesn´t work anyway. They seem not to listen and keep on trying to convince you, do-or-die, they are good businessmen anyway, and offering “(..) just for one hour a ride around the city, bong”, so they have a couple of dollars to buy petrol and food. But not the policeman.
“Ok, I see. You like kickboxing? Today is a fight. You like to go there? Ticket for free.”
“Thanks, no, I am busy.” I am actually not, but I am getting bored of this trust-and-error game. I more and more feel like a documentalist and I am fine with that. More freedom, less Boom Boom, Bam Bam, Bang Bang or any other BB´s. I give myself an A+ for this behaviour. We will see for how long I can resist and sustain…
I left. I left! On the road again. By nightbus to Pipi, nickname for Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. One of my brothers, Orong, asked me a couple of nights before when I go next time to Pipi. I was deejaying and I assumed he wanna take over, he doesn´t like the music. I laughed and replied, “I pee in the bottle, bro”, and hit it. Picture the battle cruise in his face. Bottle-feeded termhunt.
After a sleepless ride as usual, after sleepless nights of farewell in Siem Reap, as usual, I felt stomped. Dizzy. Maybe donating blood before I jumped on the bus, in my condition, taking painkillers, wasted, canned, beyond feeling balanced, wasn´t a brilliant idea. Never donated blood before, but the work of Dr. Beat Richner, the founder of the Kantha Bopha hospitals in Cambodia, saving several millions of children´s lives, offering treatment for free, exactly for free. And blood is desperately needed. I didn´t even know my blood type. – A rhesus positiv. The process took less than 30 minutes. As a thank-you gift you obtain a shirt, free Coca Cola, free iron and vitamin pills, free blood test. Shocking! I didn´t expected a value received. And such a nice one. Felt strange. I wanted to give something, a geegaw, not to get a cool shirt. So I rejected the Coke, I felt so uncomfortable, even if the nurse recommended warmly to drink, because of low sugar level. When Joost and me, blood brothers, were sitting on the bike after, we realized the well-meant offer, running blackly on energy. In average around 15 people donate blood every day, cambodians and foreigners. And it is still not enough. “(…) than I stopped thining and started to dream.” Dr. Beat Richner when he dedicated the first and reopened Kantha Bopha hospital 1992. My deepest respect.
So. Nightbus. Hell of a ride, always. Too old for that shit and I don´t have to challenge my wayfarer identity, collecting the worst rides on from floor to ceiling stuffed with chickens, babys and motorbikes vehicles, sitting compressed, bluring like the filling of a dumpling, for hours, to take a freaky adventurous record from it, struggling with bone-crushing pain the next days. Not worth. Joost was with me. I arrived at my hotel at 6 a.m. and of course the room was not ready to check-in. “You have to wait until 2 p.m., Sir.” I felt like a zombie and as I heard that, calculating, I have to deejay at Showbox at 4 p.m. and I need sleep, urgent, I suddenly had an intense desire to cut the receptionist open and lie in. I missed the comfort of an own apartment. I didn´t think. And know I was too tired to deal with, so I just stayed in the posh lobby, stretched myself on two chairs and gave sleep a try, hoping that I piss on the hotel´s policy, so they will put a bit more efforts in preparing the room as quick as they wanna get me out of the reception area. At 9 a.m. the receptionist handed the key on to me. I was happy like a pack of unicorns having an orgy on a rainbow. They rang me two hours later, over a noizy phone bell, down to the reception to pay the bill. Again, welcome to my zombieland! – Fine! So I don´t sleep, left the hotel for a walk and lunch. Phnom Penh is an amazing city. Vibrating. Covering backyarding oases. Skypscrapers shading aged weird architecured mould. Never saw such good roads. Miss my motorbike and the independence comes along with. The tuk tuk drivers are pretty annoying. Not because they ask, “Mr. Tattoo! Hey! Where are you going? Killing Fields? Boom Boom? Shooting Farm?” – “No Boom Boom, not on a farm and not with a farmer, thank you.” Because they don´t know me, another comfortable advantage of living at a place as long as you are well known, which takes in my case less than days – bless my beard and tattoos. I am excited to see more and if some corners will remind me to my first stay here, ten years ago. But so far, poverty has different faces, especially in a city like Phnom Penh, more frowning, dismissed the idea of hope. Miss my cheeky begging kids in the streets of Siem Reap, always good for a game. And all at once you find yourself back in solitude, cutting the strings, spreading the wings – “Hail Icarus!”.
Deejaying was a pleasure again. Hiding in the background, being the master of disaster and vice, basically being able to listen to my music, my taste of – I am not self-convinced dude as you might know, but when it comes to music, I can be pretty ignorant, rather releasing my overbearance. If you don´t like it, fuck your iTunes library! Showbox and its regulars are fabulous. Phnom Penh is soaked with western influences, inspriring a generation exploring, manipulating, transforming a traumatized cultural identity, packed with a punk creativity, creating space and empathy, inviting the possibility of a change. And lots of expats, who spread for sure more over the city than in tiny Siem Reap, concentrated in isolation, constructing a neutral, exchangeable, meaning global atmosphere of boredom. Showbox with its graffiti, paintings and rancid design in general is a place of a kind, located next to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Carla, one of the owners, pleased me after a couple of Hip Hop tracks to switch, because the music might rouse the gangs of this quarter. Mixed smooth back to Black Metal praising the ghosts. – Thanks Carla and Myles for the opportunity to listen to my music loud and fuckin´ uncensored. After we went to a bar called Blue Dog. Same like in Siem Reap, getting heavily wasted, with one difference in particular to Karma Bar, more than two people around me. What a stress! What next? Drowning my libido. Refusing the invitation for lovely company. Jumping on a tuk tuk, regreting my decision, cursing my disability, ritualizing my unfulfilled needs as a punishment, for an insane idea of shame. Instead of accepting and bring it down to the point, I am not interested! I won´t loose myself on being someone else. Even if sometimes it hurts, sort of kicking a ball against the wall and it bounces straight back cracking your cojones. Of course you feel self-inflicted and humiliated.
In front of my hotel tuk tuk drivers waiting, “Boom Boom? Smoke?” Last chance to exit. And I slayed! Stayed on the road, on my road. I missed you.