The last two days in Manila, the last days of an amazing stay on the Philippines, a journey closer and closer to myself, exploring balance and peace of mind.
After a miserable try to get my head tattooed here in Manila, for god sake I was sober enough not to go for the turd I would have now to endure, I decided to kill some beers, slaughter a pig and hunt some punters down. Best company I can imagine, my spiritual brother Levi. We met at the Kalinga tribe. We met and set. Sometimes something happens for good. I would have been rather on my single room, meditating the pain, sticked with my head on the pillow. Instead, raging the disappointment of a failed inked landmark, I ended up with best people, drinking, enjoying the alternative of Makati and its red light district, hanging out with artists, all kinds of boarders, dudes and other eminently precious scum. At places I would have never discovered by my own, realizing again the wide variety of choices you have here in Manila. With pride and self-awareness, hearty and naughty. Subversive and angry. – The glossy nightmares of the Manila. Thank you Levi for introducing me to your crew and for introducing yourself as a bro. Thank you home, thank you Kalinga. Some – not even – bars reminded me of Berlin, boozy but without vegan burgers. A gang needs blood between its anger, right? Other places of Munich, posh, classy but with a metropolitan taste, the salient contrast. And Red Horse, the worst dark beer I ever had to suffer, in particular the following day. This is what I was searching for! Some rigid asian subculture. Fuck my head, fuck the inky souvenir, this is a start, this is worth the disapointment – shame on me I was, what the fuck, move on! One more many-reasons to return. The shared gratefulness leaves me as humble as fullfilled. I guess I am getting on my old days a bit spiritual, even though no worries, sacrificing on the sarcastic part of a vomitive karma. I was back at the guesthouse on 4 a.m. Alone, sneaking in, no reports, no records, no bragging about… guess I start to peel off my backpack. My notebook holds again some pages of passionate fury about the behaviour of the so called backpacker community. But you know what, I am not part of this world. I don´t waste my energy anymore on them. I sneak and hide, I tear my heart and rage if necessary, but I don´t waste my focus because of their existence, which is more a rustling noise, small human beings. “You wanna join us?” “I never wanted, my loved munchkin in the grass.” Oh, I feel the sour waves of anger rolling against my abundance of arrogance – switch.
On the next day I woke up in a the dark arse of the Red Horse. The last day before I catch the plane tomorrow morning. And my plan was to visit Cesar and the homeless in the cemetery, bring some cash with me and see how they are doing. My body was hardly movable. Neither focusing worked, no horizon in the dark arse in sight. And I knew, the visit will be intense and I will have to put myself together, not to break out in tears or feeling uncomfortable, paranoid by inattention, hang over damage. I crawled outside, nervously twinkling behind sunglasses. Had a bagel, a muffin, a coffee, felt more worst after. The light was loading up, yellow laminated darkened sky. I needed to go. I will feel very bad if I wouldn´t have kept my promise and more not knowing how they are, because of a drunken selfish fun night. No remorse. Cesar was in front of the entrance, greeting me with a smile, guiding me inside, explaining to a guy I haven´t seen before, sitting on the ground, under a pink pillow, homemade security post, that I was here before and I am only here to talk to him, Cesar, he translated. “My sister was suspicious about you too, but I told her, Florian only tries to help us and he will come back, you will see.” We passed his former grave for the night. It was demolished. The church, by order of the descendants, closed the memorial. So Cesar had to move to his daughters place. They share now a family grave, split up with a baffle made of cardboard boxes, the roof patched up by all kinds of plastic, about not a lower arm high from the stony mattress. “When it is raining like yesterday at night, we can not sleep, it´s leaking and very loud.” On one side the tomb is broken at the top, the coffin half rotten, revealing a still for god sake half covered by a red shroud decaying head. As we approached the family grave Cesar was shouting in tagalo, “[…] Florian […] Florian!” Some kids followed, one of the younger girls holding my hand, smiling. She was so scared when I first was here, about 28 days ago. The daughter welcomed me like the most of the residents of this surrealistic hell, unconfident, but denying. Ceasr explained, that the other part of the cemetery is abandoned now. The more younger homeless, more involved in illegal art of survival, opened all the coffins, took everything, what has a value, gold teeth, jewelries and other grave goods. I had to think of my bro Travis. The tomb raider would only find a pebble, covered by stacked blood, a wandering mojo. “The father was complaining why me or the others didn´t stop them. How can I? They are young and violent. They don´t want to work. They could easily find a job there”, pointing on the threatening construction site just directly behind the north wall of the cemetery, “but they are lazy. I am over-aged. Hopefully I can renew my driver license so I can work as a taxi driver. I have a friend, he is the owner of a taxi company, he promised to offer me a job if I have the licence.” I saw tears in his eyes. Again, like the visit before, the smiles disappeared, their heads falling down, I am again surrounded by hanged man, the living deads. I prepared already an envelope with some cash. When I gave Cesar the money, he didn´t even check how much it is, putting it ashamed in his pocket. This time he pleased me not to tell the others. “I need the money, Florian, I need a job. I need the money to renew my licence.” He has not to explain anything to me. Who am I to judge how he should spend the money. I feel very touched by him, in person, his fortune, his past, his wife, who already was condemned to death, the doctor, who took advantage and embedded him and his children to the vicious circle of poverty. Improving his life means improving the lives of the other 7 families, living here. I would never forget. “I hope next time, when you come back, I can offer you a chair, I can rent an apartment.” Tears rising, “Close your heart, close, not now, not here.” Rain was starting. “Please don´t tell the guard, ok?” “No worries, Cesar, I have some more money, I can give him, so he will not ask.” I told cesar the money I gave him is fundraised. I feel better if he thanks not me in person, which only works in my mind, but it works. We walked around. “You see my cats. We have snakes next to our sleeping place, I feed the cats to keep them alive, when the snakes approach, they will warn us.” I delivered the rest of my money to Bird, the guard, who is installed by the church. Suddenly his grumpy look turns into a smile. “Please share to the others.” Less smile. The kids posed for some pictures, calling me “Mr. Tattoo!”, after “Hello Florian.” They remembered me. I promise to return. I promise it from the bottom of my heart. I wish Cesar… it sounds so not enough… heart, bottom, wish… “I thank god for sending you again, that he used you as an instrument, to suport me in the right moment.” Writing this makes me crying… if man are that lost, only their belief keeps them alive… his god took everything from him… I still see the deeply rooted desperation of his lostness, emptiness. “I will be back, Cesar, I promise and we will have coffee at your apartment.” We both, maybe I persuade myself of, have tears in our eyes. Maybe because we know, that just to believe in a shift of fortune, needs more than an image of a godness. But there is now a tiny chance… sometimes it seems something is pulling the strings. Coincidence of the coincidence.
Thank you Philippines, thanks to all of you, my brothers and… no sisters yet… anyway, thank you, I return, guess this is my tip of the hat and I pull it, you metaled my day, in a most surpising inspiring and illuminating way.
What a day again. The Philippines like to surprise, or me myself the Philippines. I am excited where this road ends. But step by step, right. Enjoy now, not a maybe. So I woke up early, limbered up with some excercise, had breakfast, pretty normal day thus, felt vital and prepared for a walk, prearranged by google maps, down south to Pasay, the Victory Liner bus terminal. Mission to accomplish, buy the ticket for tomorrow, to Tabuk, a 14 hours overnight ride and a first stopover on my way up north, to Buscalan, to trekk up to the cool breeze of the mountain´s height, visit the home of Whang Od, to be poked by a 94 year old woman. – But step by step. Today was kind of these days on the road. You think you did everything, planned accurately and out of a sudden, dead end. Yesterday the receptionist did me the favour to call the office of the bus company to ask where I can buy the ticket. The recommendation was, go there one day before, in the morning. Where? To Kamias, the terminal up north, from where also the bus will leave. About an hour ride by taxi. I estimated the costs. It´s a return ride, so this will be more than I spend on the bus trip itself probably. Or I might walk back? About two hours to Makati from Kamias, google´s speed rating. So around three, if I wanna get lost, what is always the goal and the path. So I decided to do some more research on the internet. Wanderer bless the internet. The explorer curses it! – I wrote the company on twitter, which was their advice to get in touch with them. They prompt replied, informed me I could also go to their terminal down south, instead of a two hours walk, one hour from “Our Melting Pot”, my guesthouse, which sounded acceptable and duable without spending money on a taxi ride and blaming the driver cheating me by providing me a city tour. Today it was the first sunny day since I am here. Clear blue reflected by shaded skies, mirroring in tremendous panes. So Pasay is the final goal for today. I was so excited! My camera, batteries fully charged, bounded to my wirst, my bald head creamed with sun protection and welcoming the beauty of Manila, the diversity and variety of choices. And of course, no rain! I felt also kind of proud not to followed the easy way, discovered another, a suitably solution. And finally not that punishing. Felt like an explorer, who picked up his first golden coin on his way to the treasure, assured being on the right – FUCK!!! I am writing these lines during I enjoy a delicious Falafel in a first-rated israeli micro-bistro, surrounded by four israelis, one of them is the owner, the other three are fucking serious snobbish motherfuckers, behaving as rude as assholes, gesturing the (local) staff they aren´t right in their heads, basically they are very busy with orders and the kitchen is not a neo-fordist space ship. they took the biscuit by telling their local business friend, “Enough! Enough!”, not to use so much of the red hot – which was far from hot – sauce. How ignorant and stupid can you be to tell an asian not to eat spicy, hahaha, fucking twats of expats. If you don´t like and respect the culture here, why you don´t go home!!! Hate!!! No, not because I am german and you are israeli or jewish, I met lots of lovely ones, you are just serious twats. They despised me as well, the beard, the tattooes or maybe because I was just there and not in their home country. – Breath… so back on the treasure map… Holy land!!! So I slapped on my shoulder, “You see, wake up and squirt some more efforts on your road and it´s metal!” So it shall be. No idea what the thermometer measured, but I was more sliding down south. Passing the business district again, following the – by google – suggested route. Ending up at the gates of one of this hyper-protected villa village areas. Security with their pump guns welcomed me, assuring me without mention it, no way through, not without permission. So I had to make a detour, through industry districts, under and over multiple laned urban freeways and finally being lost, asking my way through, passing pitiful maniacs, micro slums, districts, where I felt at first precariously, but after a couple of corners I realized, nobody will harm me here. Some of them are waving me over, inviting me for a beer or a dish, some of them targeting on me grumpy. My camera felt a bit unsafe, I could feel her handcuffing my fingers. I was sweating exactly like a pig, even I am not sure if pigs sweat. The sun and the exhaust fumes were raging my pores, sunmilk was cascading my face, whitening my beard. Finally I arrived at the bus terminal, after hours, felt like, it was actually one and a half. Went to the counter and asked, bit of a foreshadowing under my tongue, for a ticket from Manila to Tabuk. The female service staff looked at me, alienated. “Sorry?” – “To Tabuk.” […] “I know, but your main office (wrote me on twitter – I put that aside, why should someone walk two hours sun-drenched, because of a message on twitter, I felt suddenly alienated too) told me, I am able to buy a ticket here also, same company, right?” To keep the hassle short, I didn´t receive a ticket, they would have, if they would have been allowed to, for sure, but no way. Only the way back… I was pissed, sure I was! Crap, fucking israelis! Oh no, their turn is later. Fucking sun! So I walked back. No, I haven´t thought about jumping on a taxi. This would have been most ridiculous. And the walk was in the end truly amazing. I mean, I don´t have to proof myself wrong, without this so first-felt wrong decision, I never would have come down south, wandering on this roads, passing this corners, ran into fabulous people, mad and welcoming. Manila, you are grand! – To heck with the sweat, blood and tears, all was worth to go through. Later on I decided to go up north on the same day, having a break halfway through, next to Our Melting Pot. But, I jumped on a elevated railway instead of a taxi. Manila has one, yes, discovered, without asking anybody, bahahaha. 30 minutes ride, about 25 cents. Not that I care about money, but, yes, even this ride, the walk to the – correct – terminal, Kamias, packed with lovely smiles and staggered by my appereance. A perfect day, missed and accomplished the mission, all-around carefree package. I am excited how I make my way through tomorrow, an about 20 hours trip in front before I will arrive and knock at Whang Od´s door and get some ink! – By the fact that one of my last german customer quit the cotract today, who care if I get my head done, completely. Me? Not. But by the way, that means, plan b becomes more and more urgent. Maybe I should make some crowdfunding, “Send me wherever you want on this planet, to fullfill your dreams, I digitalize them for you!
A dead world I didn´t expect. Located next to a catholic church, behind painted walls, there supposed to be the South Catholic Cemetary. I walked around searching for a possibility to enter. Why? Why not, I like the dead ones, they are pretty calm guys. But no official entrance, no gates, only a tinny doorway, backed with heavy chains and a lock. Here and there an angel´s white blank ass finks on the noisy streets of Makati. I am not sure if I can just climb over, I mean, not everyone is welcome to heaven´s fleshly paradise, right? I went back to the tinny doorway and it was opened. I pushed my head through, couldn´t hardly unblock it, the green painted iron sheet was heavier than it looked like. As I expected, the cemetary ws a ruin, covered with plants and waste. But my curiousity pushed me through, scratching my arms bloody. I stumbled inside. And at a glance it crossed my mind, fuck, it doesn´t look really safe here, Dude. I entered a shelter, a hidden place of the homeless. An old guy was sitting next to the gate, gazing, moony. I turned around, through the green gate teenagers squeezed inside, half dressed in poor clothes. I was trapped, even I didn´t feel like. I did what I always do, I greeted them polite and with a smile. And, not surprisingly, they smiled and immediately jumped on me, interviewing me about my tattoos, enthusiastic. I had to undress myself, of course. They asked me straight away if I can tattoo them. I replied with the stupid question how old they are. Fifteen, fourteen and sixteen the girl, who will be later blamed as a lesbian. One of the boys had some letters on his back, but I was not able to figure out what it means. I asked if I can take a picture. He neglected, but waved to someone. At this point I was more concerning with investigating the kids and if I can trust them. I was still close to the gate, so I didn´t really feel snatched by them, even the gate was opened less than a shoulder wide now. Whatever. I surrendered to my fears. Fuck off. I decided to trust them. Why not anyway. Because they are poor, yes. But beside the short panic attack I sensed, there was only curiosity, for each other, so we shared sort of an interdependence. An old man approached, presenting me his tattoo on his upper arm. The kids behind me motivating, “Picture. Picture!” And laughing there asses off. He agreed. I calmed down and looked about. Headless angels, stony coffins, broken or used as a washing line, shelve or bed. “This is were I sleep.” Another elder came along. He introduced himself as Cesar, in very good english. He welcomed me and after the mandatory questions – where are you from, how long you stay in Manila etc., he asked me if he can guide me around, leaving the exit, heading for a religious surreal jungle trip, passing scrambled tombs, defiled graves, last resting-places transformed to urban resting places, shelter for the unloved. They live here illegaly, but accepted by the police. “They know our situation, so they let us stay here. […] Yes, the church as well.” – “Do they support you, providing food or clothes?” “The church?” “Church or government.” – “No. Nobody cares about us.” Cesar lost his wife nearly 10 years ago. He has three daughters and one son. He sold his house for the treatment of his wife. She had lung cancer. She died. He had nothing. A couple of years ago her youngest door showed up, divorced, without education. She lives now on the cemetary as well. “I always told her, go to school before you marry and than suddenly she was here. I gave already everything, why I have to take care about her again now.” Cesar is 60 years old. He repeats again and again that he doesn´t want to have charities or donations. “I want to work, I can, still. I can carry two sacks of rice, no problem, I am strong like fourty years old. I need work, to safe money to afford someday a house again.” He tried many times to apply for a job, even lowest paid, “I don´t care. I need work to create a sustainable life again.” On this part of the cemetary eight families survive, day by day. In rainy season of course it is worst. The tombs, where there inside manage a plce to sleep, are flooded, clothes don´t dry anymore. He shows me his belongings. “This is all what I have.” Two shirts, two shorts and a pile of unfolded cartons, his matress. He sleeps on a coffin. His daughter, during we talk, was cleaning his house, she is kneeing on the ground and with a plastic water bottle she frees the place from the water, like on a sinking ship. Than she cleans the coffin, preparing his bed. The kids, standing around us, listening, don´t smile anymore. I am nearly crying. Cesar appologizes, “Sorry, that I don´t have another story to tell, this is my life. […] I hope you will enjoy your stay on the Philippines.” Randomly foreigners loose the way and end up here. Eight since Cesar lives here, since the cemetary went rack and ruin. He calls them missionaries. My only hope is hope. “That someday someone comes across and helps us. They all promised to return. But not one did. But it gives me hope, I am waiting every day for them, we don´t have another option.” Hope is their only choice. Why is the cemetary in a state like this? Cesar is sure next year they (the city council) will chase them away and build a shopping mall with appartments. This explains why they are tolerated. “If this happens, I don´t know what to do.” He points on the kids. “I tell them every day, don´t do soemthing illegal. If you go to jail you will be marked forever and will never find a job. We only can hope and share what we have.” Another guy approaches, bit of suspiscious about the situation, about my visit. I feel sorry that I just entered their home. “No, it is not our property.” “But you live here, property or not.” “No worries, you are welcome.” Cesar tells me, that this is his friend and he is the security guard. He has, like Cesar, less than a handfull of teeths left, black and bit of boggy. He is not really happy to see a white guy, a foreigner here. If something would happen to me, without any harm caused by the families living here, and if not from the beginning I am very sure now, that they would never humiliate or mug me, so for them it would be worst, police would have to investigate, drag them down, close the gates of their little green paradise. His friend has tattoos on each hand, MG and GL. He is not firm in english like Cesar. “Brotherhood. Brotherhood always protects you.” Ok, he is the scary security guy. The other part of the cemetary is occupied by nearly a hundred and they are famous for illegal operations. “Don´t go there, promise. You saw the gate? With the heavy armed policemen? They let you pass but they will tell you, you are from this point on responsible for your belongings and your life.” Promised, I don´t go there. I feel a strong desire to take more pictures to publish them, to document, to record their life-stories, but I have to leave now. “My friend is closing the gate now, you have to leave, you are not allowed to stay here for longer but you always can come back, my friend.” I ask Cesar, if I can give him some coins. “Of course, but up to you, you don´t have to.” I didn´t want to embarass him, he is more proud than a lot of people I met, in suites or in rags. They need work, not charity, not donations, not an other dependancy. Humans, why ever stranded, are still humans, so why shouldn´t they desire a freewill, to decide, to create their live and identity and not being created. “All what we have is hope and each other.” – One of my most precious and salutary moments of my life. I am so grateful having met this families, living on a catholic cemetary, forgotten, sleeping on tombs, one step away… between luxury appartment buldings, shopping malls and finance business blocks, in one of the most wealthy districts of the city, probably of the Philippines, not a scream for help away… just around the corner I had a delicious lunch at a vegetarian restaurant, for nearly 10 dollars. – It´s a sad world, always, but sometimes we can and have to enjoy, even though I deeply hope I will never loose reality again… now I can cry.
It took less than one hour I was soaked, by rain, and surrounded by prostitutes and viagra sellers, sitting in a roadside turkish snack bar, drinking tea, eating shish kebab, investigating arabs bargaining with smart phone sellers. I have to learn. Couple of minutes ago I bought a locker, staying at hostels always makes me feel uncomfortable, not because of the staff more because of the travellers. But the Philippines are quite a tower of coins more expensive than Cambodia or Vietnam. Coins! They have coins here, pesos is the currency and it happens to me always, arrived, exchanged money and getting ripped off – just two dollars finally, before I can convert. I would like to learn first before I have to learn. And it´s true, they population here speaks excellent english. My plan was not to drink during my holiday. – Yes, I am on holiday! And being traced by all this cheeky and smart business ladies, I should definitely NOT go to a bar. How stupid I am having booked a room one corner away from the red light district, located in Makati, a sort of downtown quarter of Metro Manila. Skyscratching apartment towers, shopping malls, high-end restaurants, mobile happy end massage trailors, decaying mold covered stuffed with waste houses, constructions sites everywhere, varity of churches, walled and secured urban villa towns (what you expect, richy rich, isolating from society in such an obvious and down-looking way), any kind of food, beggars, bankers, bikers, riders, policemen supplied with pump guns, upper and lower, classes of the masses – this city reminds me to Singapore, a bit more apocalyptic. And a strong influence of american culture. I love it, immediate. How can you not explore the nightlife here! But I am gravely scared to hang around in their territory, knowing myself, the amorous rampage! Less that I wake up in a trailor, wouldn´t mind at all, more I don´t and spend my money on drinking and keeping them away. At least I have some condoms – thanks Joost – in my pocket, well, on my room. The girls could easily act in an anti-starve-for-a-model-job or anti-drug whatever fucked up campaign. I leave the snack bar, so put yourself together! I am less eye-catching on the street, in conclusion the Philippines has a very energetic tattoo scene. Haven´t seen that many asian people with basically professionell tattoos. About this, we will talk in a couple of days more, about headhunters and warriors, guarded by ink. Back to the booze. The receptionist handed out a useful advice, don´t drink on the street, fee is 1.500 pesos. I replied, “No problem, I don´t drink.” Haha. How dare you. After the shish kebab, still daylight and raining of course, I allowed myself a beer and a shortie package of cigarettes. But they had a promotion, three beers for only 150 pesos and the name of the beer sounded so interesting, Red Horse, fucking 8,9 %. Bit of primed I was browsing around, ran into a guy, who was waiting for me, more and literally searching for me, awaken and told by his friend, a deaf-mute parking-lot checker, that a man with a beard send from heaven to help him. Jojo, who sleeps under a tree next to the parking-lot, sometimes in it, to feel more safe. He was deported from the US. Reminded me a bit of Khosal´s story at first, so I listened to his life-story during he was guiding me to a famous tattoo studio, propably to get commission I thought. He has beaten up a white woman. They locked him up and than deported him to his home country. There he was blamed, punished and humiliated in public for weeks, “because of the catholicism.” he explained with a strong american accent, why I believed him. At the tattoo studio we enjoyed a warmly welcome. One of the artists was tattooing and the other drawing. They hardly greeted him. So no commission and I was straight away sure, that I don´t wanna hanh out with these snobbish kids. So we left. Passed restaurants packed with senior white guys. I have never seen such an unbalance of travelling sexes. Viagra junkies. Couple of weeks earlier, having reached his home of tree again, Jojo told me at the hospital they discovered, after a tame accident, that he has diabetes. Ten dollars is the shot. The doctor suggested to amputate his leg. Jojo left. He has to afford treatment, every day. The church puts not its other cheek in the line. No other social service. Just his deaf-mute friend, who wakes him up if an angel falls from the sky. They reminded me in a way to Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, a younger versin of them. I gave him ten dollars. He embraced me, with true gratefullness. He passed his friend 200 pesos. “We have to share, otherwise we both will not survive. He is my only friend I have.” Than he started this angel speech. Christ! How can you believe in something, which crucifies you every day. It´s everything he has. “I don´t like what you did, but I hope and I see, you served your sentence already.” “I want to invite you tomorrow for a real filipino breakfast. Now I have to go my friend, I need to go to hospital for the shot.” – I will not have breakfast with him tomorrow. I will learn later, from expats, rarely but friendly ones, that his story his true, but Jojo has lost control. They offered help but he messes it up, selling phones they provided him, so he can call them if he needs help, being attacked or not being able to afford a shot, etc. I will be back on my room at 2 a.m., pretty late for a guy who doesn´t drink. I will loose the next day on dealing with my hang over, dragging me to the next restaurant and back, trying to figure out where to go next, after Manila… in a country being composed of 7.000 islands, not that easy as you can imagine. And I have for friday an invitation for an expats event. Guess more booze and more girls. But I will leave before. Deal. I asked them about possibilities to set up business here… they laughed, “You would easily find business here, man. You would have just to expose yourself a bit, they would love you here, as an artist and an idol.” based on, nothing is accomplished without sacrifice. So I laughed, for a different reason. I wanna get tattooed, NOW! Face whatever. If so, I wanna have a mask between them and my disability to hide myself.
Footnote: I received today an email from, guess, a NGO, I was working for, for days, for free, of course, me idiot, illustrating a campaign, after doing their job, making a proper concept. They loved it without any questioning and appreciated the professionell consulting, all of them. Today they asked me, because of their sponsoring partners, who like the concept, but… if I can redraw it, because they don´t like how the bird looks like, not birdy enough. I quit. I surrender, NGOs. What da fuck is wrong with you. It was not a matter of criticism, it´s a matter of professionalism, they do just a really worst job. I tried, I failed, mission not accomplished, back to start… not. If I will work again as a full-service provider, I only work for high-end business, they understand at least what I am talking about. I was so pissed, you can imagine. Worked for nothing, not even a reference. I am so done with this. And it kind of feels liberating. I hope NGO can proof me someday wrong. Someday, after many many many days…
It´s judgement time. NGOs – collecting pound for western dropouts and volunteering greenness. After more than 6 months staying in Cambodia, mostly Siem Reap, so my horizon is a bit of narrow, granted, but even though my minds are struggling in anger. I might be polemic, dragged downwards, with all your furious enthusiasm working for good. I might not be in the position to accuse, but to reflect, necessarily, urgently, to learn – what, and this is one of the worst facts about, you don´t, you people of rusty hearts and shredded qualification, arriving in the southeast, in third world countries, and managing out of a sudden programms, projects or whole companies, so called non-government organizations. You never heard about? Oh yes, indeed, a NGO is a business. Surprise! If so for you, don´t read further, close the window, you never opened one anyway. Educating poverty for independence doesn´t increase the capacity of a NGO, but of their clients. Loosing a client means loosing money. No money, no business. It´s a deal, serving both sides? Seriously? Doesn´t serve poverty your prosperity sufficiently? If you don´t want to loose, share your benefit, you shouldn´t have opened this window. You are still working for your advantages and only for, everything else is rethorical.
There is a difference between help and helping, seriously, yes, wow, you heard about harming people, a generation and the next by your stupidity? I know I am unfair, poor dear. Tissues?
Help has so many demands. Your fucking mission is basically to be aware of, even if you are too shallow minded to combine, to transform, to modulate, to adapt your idea of help to the surrounding, to its needs, on a political, psychological, sociological and finally sustainable level. As I mentioned before, raging anger is chasing me, my sanity and in my dreams. I am sorry if I offend with this article – actually I am not, if I hurt your feelings, but you are offending people, provinces, a country, in such a destructive way. You are the anti-development force. You are the minus way. And your ignorance doesn´t protect you. Sorry. I pitty the third world, exploited and devastated by us, by you, and now they have to rely on you, trust your knowledge, your unforgivable private deficiency. You felt ashamed in your home-country, of the politics, of the fact that we are living in a fenced, protected by modern colonialism, wonderland? Still. You want to give something in return? Sacrifice your wealth and security – controlled and always a plan b in your pocket, better if though, don´t fuck it more up with being stucked exploiting their goodness… hell of a storm in my veins! Writing, assorting my fury, express this trap in words, finding words for it, without cursing by each letter, is bothering me the last days intensively and emotionally. I am loosing my aquired kindness, my positivism and my language, so excuse my spontaneous outbreak on the lines, between the dots. – You can not do something good without doing bad. In fact. But you can make it more worst.
If you don´t have experience in managing, setting up programms or projects, just don´t. You haven´t been able to do this in your home-country? Oh here your knowledge is good enough to actuate, in particular your ego? Ask yourself why? Maybe you don´t have the qualification? Maybe you are not open-minded enough? Maybe you are a lazy bulock, covering your desires, fucking prostitutes at night, drinking after your hard work, feeling rewarded in the morning by smiling kids – “Than I always know why I am doing this, why I am here.” (You are here because nobody wants you somewehere else!!!) – and satisfaction by pretending, of course with an understanding smile, doing good.
“I am pleased to see how happy they are.” – After providing them food, after promising villages improvement, yes, indeed, just by your arrival. And this is it, end of the campaign, strategy and concept of your programm? The donors we will find after we interviewed them, after we shot them, published the images of starving and suffering families. How can we find donors without exposing them? Oh, you would have to activate your brain cells, by the way located not between your legs or up in your arse. – Argue, defend your concept, your idea, your vision of a better world (who doesn´t want to live in better world, even if it is just to feel not guilty) like this in the private economy sector, as a manager, they will kick you straight from the rooftop. Hilarious. Ridiculous. Contemptible. I feel disgusted. I know you never wanted to be a manager, you just attempt to help. Just don´t. Just don´t, if you missed the first level, knowing your strength and not developing by using the poorest, exploiting poverty for your advantage. There is no fucking list, there is no god, purify yourself with acid, dumbasses! Helping needs creativity. Surviving needs creativity, experience, investigations, exploring, pointing solutions, widen your knowledge, not your power and your influence, instead of sitting in your offices and blessing yourself, you ignorant lurkers. And dear directors of NGOs, how can you dare to recruit them, “Everyone is welcome who wants to help”, and if so, recruit some nurses first, who provide them pills, hard drugs, to domesticate their lunatic insanity, egotism and boast.
Dear volunteers, if you don´t receive in front proper information from your NGO, you choosed to improve your experience, for your CV or what you call soul, don´t, just don´t go there. If your idea is to do something, jsut something – so what do you offer, travel agency? – good, after school, before you enjoy the opportunity to study, to increase and manifest your illusions of a career, before you build your house and raise your kids, telling them on christmas your story… long time ago, when I travelled around the world and saw the madness, the impact, presenting them pictures of playing with their flip-flops, in their shabby shirts, but happy, happy happy happy – for a couple of days or maybe weeks, combined with pleasure, -moon parties, drunken nights, backpacker orgies, watch “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and donate money to some beggars in your hometown, but don´t jump on a plane. Please!
If you miss to proof at first and realize, arriving and dealing with the useless and senseless mostly english teaching, ask yourself if you are a teacher or you want to play with kids and be a kid.
Teaching cambodian kids with books, with concepts made by the western world, reading with them fairytales about castles, knights and a princess, what the fuck for? In particular in a country like Cambodia, lost in cultural transformation after the brutal period of the Khmer Rouge, traumatized, beaten literally to down into the ground, burned to ashes, haunting history, falling past, wouldn´t it be an idea to explore with them their past, their identity, their future? Translating folk stories and songs? Oh, sorry, this is more work, true.
And you develop with them self-awareness, self-confidence, strength, so the kids, if they are forced by parents, relatives, villagers, to work, to sexual abusement or just not to be a kid, being treated like a dog, so they stand up for their life.
Or educate elderly how to set up their own business, support them with knowledge and ideas, a credit if necessary, I guess in the west we call this coaching. True, you would loose them as a client. No-go!
I only can endure this very grave problem NGO – and Siem Reap, with sarcasm.
I feel better know. Do you?
I could write filling pages with examples and ideas how to create sustainable structures. Ten minutes ago I left the taxi from the Manila Airport to my guesthouse. “Some of them are corrupt, most of them, they [politicans] just talk, promising everything to be elected, after they only ask how much commission you pay? If you don´t help poor people, they become rebels, of course. If you are hungry you do everything. Hunger makes people crazy. You have to give them a life. A sustainable life. So they are independent and built a future for their family and the next generation.” I kissed him, metaphorically speaking. He understands more than lots of peope I met in Siem Reap or elsewhere in Asia. Don´t get me wrong, I don´t exclude myself, but if you want to change something you have to start to listen and change yourself, otherwise you please fuck yourself and go home. Don´t marry. Don´t get a nice looking and humble servant for your retirement and to suck her out. Don´t get kids, please, breed your DNA dipping your dick into toilet water. Whatever, but don´t.
I don´t judge your efforts. I accuse you to be a lazy ignorant bastard. Educate yourself before you find yourself a tribe and teach them a lesson, to feel like the big kahuna. Watch your cheek, both of them, I´d love to beat you more than twice.