Friday, January 14, 2011

Tummy rubs

It's been a while. I recall promising to get to some underbelly, and now I have. I got to kick off 2011 by getting robbed--of rather a lot of money, and very nearly every penny I had here. And I found this out the day a good friend finished his trip, leaving me doubly bereft. (Luckily, I was pretty anesthetized by the time I got home and found my big backpack dragged halfway across the room to the window with its slit screen, through which the thief had been able to stick his arm out far enough to get to the money sock. Yes, I realize there are other--some would say better--ways to store one's money.)

So back to the thrill of poverty, temporarily (I hope). I've been saying that I had the money so briefly that I hadn't had time to get attached to it. I've been saying that, hey, it's just money; it could happen anywhere; there's no use crying over something I can't change; I'll earn it back soon enough. What I'm not saying, and trying not to think, is "This is me and money."

The thing is, this really quite unpleasant event has ended up showing me how many people out here really care. The Aussie couple are falling all over themselves trying to offer me gifts (not loans) of cash. I don't know what I'd do without them, even if I'm not taking them up on their offers. B. is ever-present with beer and an ear; even G., the baby Frenchman with a knack for the accidental insult, came in to cover my drinks at the after hours bar the other night. A. refuses to allow my new penury to derail our plans to meet somewhere ex-Laos and insists on bearing most of the burden of a trip to...well. Where, exactly, is still up for discussion. But when your options are beautiful hippie mountain town or beautiful beach, straits are really not what one would call dire. A fundraiser in Turkey has been offered.

(And, of course, because I want to make myself commit to Laos for a while, suddenly Turkey and the Middle East are calling again. But no, not yet. I don't think.)

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