venerdì, aprile 25, 2014

Happy Anzac Day

Further to the last post . . . what had been really getting to me is seeing Godzilla change after a week or so now in this more child-friendly sort of place . . . seeing him blossom. In Melbourne he was already shutting down with strangers a bit; really slowing down with the flirting, getting less and less reactive to the few strangers who were interested in interacting with a baby (mostly older Vietnamese women). Now he's back up to a nice social, friend-making, giggly, speed . . . just in time for us to head back to Australia on Monday and for his social programming as an atomized, faceless noise machine to be rebooted.

I have sometimes wondered aloud why Australians are as they are, and how they're so mind-bogglingly aloof in lifestyle and outlook from their nearest neighbors in their quest for a degree of isolation the dimmest armchair psychologist could see is doing them no good at all. The F-word says it's because of the same island mentality that makes the British get so bogged down in their own exceptionalism they often can't mix properly with other Europeans. That may be the cause for all I know, and I'm seeing the means in Godzilla's socialization - strangers keeping themselves estranged.

Thank god we're leaving. Even given how much happier I am in Melbourne than I was up north. I just can't manage it anymore. I have about three months of travel planned out of the next six, and then we're in the home stretch to the permanent departure in June or July next year. There's a new urgency to this, besides me desperately wanting to not be so far from family and so far from all the social and cultural reference points from the first 30 years of my life; I really can't bear for my son, who I love more than anything in the world, to have to deal with being an Australian. 

mercoledì, aprile 23, 2014

Kiddie love

Thailand isn't like anywhere I've been before, and I don't really want to leave. That's notwithstanding that Bangkok is kind of gross, environment-wise. I haven't seen this many rats, nor such big ones, since I was living in Paris, and it is simply too fucking hot - a natural 35 under a heavy blanket of humidity and car exhaust. And I can't eat as my id would bid me because of my allergies.

But everybody is being so sweet to us, I think because of Godzilla, though generally I've never been anywhere where absolutely clueless foreigners (that is, us) are treated with such kindness and forebearance. It's like Spain or something - everybody making such a fuss of babies and being so tolerant of their noise and importunities. I feel sort of bad for raising Godzilla in Australia and planning on raising him in Germany, places that I think have little surfeit love for little people. I can't imagine Germany is worse than Australia - their school system is too evidence-based and fun relative to the Australian ones, that pack them into military formation and chuck the three Rs at their head way too early in a politicized fashion, in the vengeful-on-the-young spirit of "I was miserable at school and so shall my children be, damnit."

More later. I've got a living to earn.