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I have always wondered why mosquitos love me. In fact, the best repellant for anybody else is generally me.  Maybe I should sell myself as over priced repellant hanging from those rotating displays, that you find in all over priced travel shops. The smell of Colin…nice.

Anyway, I have done my reasearch and it all comes back to life style:

“Science has found that organisms that carry disease, such as mosquitoes, prefer an acidic environment.

Well, insects are more likely to bite if your blood is sweet and has an acidic condition. If you don’t take sugar or alcohol, mosquitoes won’t bother you very much.
Macrobiotic teacher Adelbert Nelissen survived many trips to Africa where, once the windows are open, the room ceiling gets covered black with mosquitoes. But he dislikes sleeping in an air-conditioned room. So he avoids getting bitten by keeping an umeboshi plum (yang/alkaline) in his mouth all night long. Thus, by restoring the body’s acid-alkali balance, umeboshi helps to restore health”.
So no beer and a plum in the mouth is the way forwards for these little buggers.
And then onto the stomach, I can swear by citracidal.  Add a few drops to a bottle of water or take tablets twice a day it will kill off potential pathogens and keep Deli Belly at bay.

 

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I have finally come to realise/accept the fact that carbohydrates make me tired in the afternoons.

Potatoes, pasta, white bread and similar products that Satan devised give me the overwhelming desire to snooze under my desk or find a suitably convenient park bench (that has not already been occupied by a carb. intolerant tramp) and take a kip for an hour or five. 

Infact the only cure for any of the  reactions above is a vast quantity of beer. 

A dish comprising of several, medium sized, potatoes will lead to the desire to go out and get completely drunk.

To alleviate tiredness the brain will become focused on this point in time. Furthermore desire for beer will be accompanied by a need for a cigarette – simply because they go well with beer.

Potatoes = Beer + Cigarettes.

Its all about sugar or so it seems. Carbs give off a sugar high or rush, which then drops like a stone. As this stone dropping takes affect; so too is a small amount of brain removed and placed into a jar and placed somewhere reasonably safe, appropriately labeled,  and only returned at a convenient time. Usually several days after the potato eating and its subsequent activities.

The solution – no spud if I any form of concentration is required….Lots of spud if i want to go out and get completely bladdered.

Novels about war reveal great truth as to what it is to be human. Maybe more so than any other genre of writing. I am going to dig out some quotes from novels and place them here, just for the sake of placing them here and no other particular reason.

Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse 5

“American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation.

The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel, containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, german fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new.

When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.”

 Gregory David Roberts – Shantaram

“Men wage wars for profit and principal, but they fight them for land and women. Sooner or later, the other causes and compelling reasons drown in blood and lose their meaning. Sooner or later, death  and survival clog the senses. Sooner or later, surviving is the only logic, and dying is the only voice and vision.  Then, when best friends die screaming, and good men maddened with pain and fury lose their minds in the bloody pit, when all the fairness and justice and beauty in the world is blown away with  arms and legs and heads of brothers and sons and fathers, then, what makes men fight on, and die, and keep on dying, year after year, is the will to protect the land and the women.

You know that’s true when you listen to them, in the hours before they go into battle. They talk about home, and they talk about the women they love. And you know it’s true when you watch them die. If he’s near the earth or on the earth in the last moments, a dying man reaches out for it, to squeeze a grasp of soil in his hand. If he can, he’ll raise his head to look at the mountain, the valley, or the plain. If he’s a long way from home, he’ll think about it, and he’ll talk about it. He’ll talk about his village, or his home town, or the city where he grew up. The land matters, at the end. And at the very last, he won’t scream of causes. At the very last, he’ll murmur or he’ll cry out the name of a sister or a daughter or a lover or a mother, even as he speaks the name of his god. The end mirrors the beginning. In the end, its a woman, and a city.

Joseph Heller – Catch 22

“There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, that specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of the clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.

“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka replied.”

Everybody is now aware that I am leaving this country. The dust has settled. The plan is building. But why on earth is everybody being so nice.

Not a day passes without hearing people say “It is a brave move”, “Good on you, break away from the corporation”, “What an opportunity”. Pats on the back and encouraging words are the norm. Even Company Directors that would not normally give a toss are suddenly interested in where I am going, and dare I say, who I am.

A vale of tension has been lifted. Everything is becoming clear. But then here lies the problem. Even within my job I actually feel positive about it. Maybe I do provide some service,  greater than just being a number, or a cog, or a numbered cog to that matter.

Maybe this though is the pangs before the question that any soul in this position must ask itself: “What the bloody hell are you up to”. 

It is the test phase. When I am forced to question my own existence and come up with the answer “You know what, I’m doing alright, why do I want to change anything”.  Why not stay in my normal safe existence, and if I worked hard at it I could be cynical of all things foreign, I could become a Bigot so that everything has a position stabled nicely below me and why not even become a racist and join some nationalist party with better flags than the flags of other nationalist parties. Why not just stay at home and have a cup of tea and wear jumpers.

I am currently reading Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. A great novel and interesting provider of insight into Indian culture and its ways.

This is a quote that intrigues me (P367) “When we act even in the best intentions, when we interfere with the world, we always risk a new disaster that mightn’t be of our making, but that wouldn’t occur without out action”.

This quote is relevant to my interest, and to a certain degree, concerns about charity work.

I would like to place myself in a situation whereby I am helping those who most need it. But here lies the problem – if you educate and help people and increase their chances of opportunity then what if these opportunities do not exist. All then you have done is provide a false sense of hope.

A false sense of hope is a dangerous concept. It can lead to apathy, drug abuse, violence etc. This is something that I must keep aware of and will be one of the biggest challenges surrounding the charity aspect of my trip.

Some people say that that was the quickest mid life crisis they have ever seen. Hit fourty and quit my job to go travelling, bang just like that. Well I actually handed in my notice two days before my birthday, so I guess it was just, slightly, pre mid life crisis. Furthermore, I believe that I will live to 93 so that pushes the crisis well into the realm of pre pre mid life crisis.

What is more, lets face it, life is full of crisis – the type of crisis that is easy to deny. Crammed on public transport as we suffer a job we don’t really want to do, only to pay for our overpriced existence. Violence in the papers, war, death and plague spurting from televisions, bread going stale etc.

Crisis is everywhere. We can hide this crisis and place it under the banner of “Not my problem” or “It is the way that it is” or “Things will get better”. We can accept that crisis is not part of the crisis. Most importantly we have to question, does it make me feel good?

So every good plan needs a plan.

Quit job and work out 3 month notice. This will allow the company plenty of time to re structure itself and figure out what on earth I did for them.

Carry out one month TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign Language) course. It’s always good to have a safety net as fall back. Also it makes my English betterer and will aid in learning something foreign.

Move to India. Everything about the country facinates me. Plus, I love curry and yoga.

In India I intend to carry out atleast 3 months charity work. Not too sure of the reasons behind this yet. Whether it is: maybe I am a good person or maybe I need the impression that I am a good person or maybe I do these things and become a good person. This I am not sure of.

After the charity work, for whatever its reasons, I intend to travel. I want to see as much of India as possible, spend time in Ashrams, travel to Nepal and go to Everest base camp, travel to Myanmar (Burma) and catch a boat to the Andaman and Nicobar islands. 

Carrying out Yoga, photography, writing and getting close to the people and culture are essential to the plan.

Over the coming months this plan will evolve. Place names, time and goals will hang off it like a brightly decorated Christmas tree. Eventually there will be a structure to the plan where all its integral parts will exist in symbiotic to one another with enough space to grow and be fluid.

Planning the plan builds the dream in the head. The dream becomes the future and ultimately becomes the past.

The English (from Old English) are a nation and ethnic group native to England and who speak English. The largest single population of English people reside in England, one of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom.

Zen (Japanese:) or chán (Chinese:) or Sŏn (Korean:) is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism notable for its emphasis on mindful acceptance of the present moment, spontaneous action, and letting go of self-conscious, judgmental thinking.

It emphasizes dharma practice and experiential wisdom—particularly as realized in the form of meditation known as zazen—in the attainment of awakening. As such, it de-emphasizes both theoretical knowledge and the study of religious texts in favor of direct individual experience of one’s own true nature.

On February 11th 2008 at precisely 11.45 AM I, Colin Laidlaw, handed in my notice at my regular job.  

Regular work, regular money, regular friends, regular faces, regular conversations, regular annoyances, regular habits, regular sandwich at the regular sanwich shop, being a regular at the regular’s place at the regular bar.

Regular as I knew it will never be regular again!

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