Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Revisions of the Tour

Unfortunately, a revision of the Wall To Wall (U)nicycle Hosomichi* has been necessitated by a severe depletion of funds saved, working in China for over two years, due to coming down with Shingles (the same virus as chickenpox) in Seoul, Korea. There I sought medical treatment---consultations with doctors and purchase of antivirals and topical creams. It cost me a fortune.
I will unicycle as much as I am able, however, the whole European leg of the quest will have to be canceled. Additionally, due to the one-month duration of some countrys' visas, I may be forced to unicycle for 2 or 3 weeks, and then bus out of the country---in order not to overstay. Renewing visas is not really an option, with my current means. At the time of writing, I am in an internet bar in "Chinatown", Vientiane, Laos. My passport was issued a Vietnamese visa today and I should have Thai visa by tomorrow. I will pick up my passport from the Royal Thai Embassy in the afternoon if the mosquitoes don't eat me first---airborne piranhas as they are.
The Tuk-Tuks, these 3-wheeled perilmobiles, rickshawish contrapitons, the kind of "taxis" that double as "hearses"---they're THAT dilapidated, smoke-belching, and dangerous---they might drop you softly and baby-fresh at your destination or you might endup mangled in a tropical muddy puddle of the reddest, orangest ochre clay under the skyline of looming, swaying palm trees, chuckling at your corpse beneath them, giggles of derision on the equatorial breeze.

In a few days, I intend to do some unicycling from Vientiane to the Vietnamese border---but I may take a bus once in the mountains, due to time-restrictions and the fact that I am still recovering from the neuralgic symptoms of Shingles which the Korean doctors told me could persist for months.

I am certainly getting some writing done. Writing aphorisms and poems in the evenings over a beer, the molasses thick air of Vientiane night bathing my skin like homemade flapjacks in maple syrup, my roommates ass-wagging little lizards darting their long grey tongues as they skiddaddle cute reptilian lightning bolts up the peeling white walls of my very basic room.
This Chinatown guesthouse is something of a relief. Not speaking a word of Lao, Mandarin Chinese is spoken---and I can get by. Moreover, the very basic room is a castle. For soon I will be sleeping in a jungle hammock strung between palm trees along the roads between Southeast Asian civilization.

* 'Hosomichi'---from the great Haiku Poet Basho of Japan (the tiny, modest museum dedicated to whom---I just visited in Tokyo last month---visiting the brushed scrawlings of the man who'd so influenced my turn to "concision" in poetic verse, where before I would "sprawl")---his seminal work being a travel account in prose and Haiku, "Oku No Hosomichi" (Narrow Road to the Deep North/Narrow Road to the Interior)

Lastly, let us take a moment for the over 15oo lives lost in the recent earthquake and tsunami in Nippon---may Ha''Sh bring peace to their souls---Shalom 'Al Nafshoteihem.