Exams and Intellectual Stimulation? What?

To the rising star of QUT, Kitty Sutherland (from the show “Cooking and Cleaning with Kitty”),

It’s exam time, which can only mean one thing… I’ve done nothing but procrastinate. For this reason, my letter to you today has a number of irrelevant topics including mistresses in Thailand and German and Dutch honesty.

They say, “Behind every successful man, there is a woman.” However, it seems this saying has a cheeky twist in Asia…. “Behind every successful man, there are sometimes at least two, three or maybe four women.” The question on everyone’s mind is: why are multiple wives and mating partners normal in Asia?

My interest in this topic started from three experiences. Firstly, I once stayed with a Singaporian who appeared to be the son-of-a-mistress. He knew his father, but had no idea where he lived, what he did for a job, why he lived in another house, and why he only saw his father when they were together with his mother. Then, my Swiss friend went for some drinks with her Thai (girl) friends and their boyfriends (who were all 23-25-years-old). The boys sat there, talking about the naughty things they did with their mistresses the night before. The girlfriends didn’t react. Furthermore, my Thai friend told how her dad has a mistress, and how it’s more or less accepted in Thailand. She also said men quite often go to bath-houses for reasons ‘unbeknown’ to her.

Now, I must admit that apart from the above situations I don’t know how common this is for today’s generation; last week I asked some guys in my class, “Will you have multiple wives when you are older?” and they got a bit angry at me…. (which either means, “YES, but please don’t ask about it in front of the girls we are trying to pick-up,” or “NO”). The mistress is called a ‘mia noi’ (minor wife), and the more wealthy you are, the more minor wives you have. The major wife takes care of the family and children, where as the minor wife takes care of the husband. My ‘research’ stated that husbands don’t talk about personal , work and relationship problems to their major wife. Instead, they off-load all this information to the minor wife. Additionally, it seems this situation is a win-win-win for the husband, major wife and minor wife (plus more –win-win-win’s if there are more minor wives): the husband is not bored and has a person he can confide in. The major wife doesn’t have much pressure to have sex, the husband is more ‘satisfied’ so less likely to get a divorce, and the kids are financially taken care of. Finally, the minor wife is happy because she has a man in her life, but doesn’t need to clean his dirty laundry.

The thing I want to know is if having a mistress is an Asian phenomena, or is it just more accepted and visible here than in western cultures? Just like corruption is… maybe? Additionally, could having minor wives be the solution to rising divorce rates around the globe? From a evolution perspective, does polygamy increase the likelihood of survival and the successful rearing of one’s offspring?

Next on the agenda is the brutal honesty of Dutch and German people. They really practice the philosophy of, “If you are truly friends, you’ll be honest to each other.” I mean, some people call it harassment, polite people call it rude, nice people call it insulting, while the general population will say it’s offensive. They call it honesty and integrity. Having lived in the Netherlands for almost a year (with many German friends), I must admit I feel like I’ve ‘suffered’ through this cultural difference. For example, if you say, “I feel really lazy,” they will reply with, “Well that’s because you do nothing and you are lazy.” If you say, “I feel like my parents drink a lot of wine,” they will reply, “well, you seem like a bit of an alcoholic yourself.” If you get a new haircut that they don’t like, they’ll say, “Sam, that s a disgusting haircut. Can you please get it changed.” Nonetheless, now that Dutch and German’s make-up only about 40% of the exchange student population, I feel they are a healthy balance to, let’s say, the Americans. At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, if you tell some of them, “I think my jeans make my butt look big,” they will of course be nice, polite, happy, tell you that you’re awesome, that you are the best thing since sliced bread and that the world would not be the same without you…. and that they love you, would catch a grenade for you, would jump in front of a train for you, would do anything for you and that they want to have your babies…. when really they should have said, “Yes, maybe we should try some other jeans.” (Sometimes though, the cheap flattery is appreciated).

So, I have come to trust my Dutch and German friends more. As someone who is paranoid that people don’t actually want to hang out with me, I find it relieving to know that if the Dutchies and German’s don’t want to see you, they will say so. Conversely, if you ask to hang out with them and they say, “Yes, I really enjoy your company,” you know that it is true! Isn’t that just great!? Furthermore, this honesty is expected to be returned; if your Dutch or German friend is annoying you, they expect you to tell them. Otherwise they will take your silence as acceptance. What I am trying to say is, their honesty takes away the guessing in friendships. You really know where you stand with them and how much you mean to them.

Which brings me to this super phenomenal French guy who I met last week. Do you know how sometimes you meet someone and then for days on end you can’t stop thinking about how amazing they are? How everything they say is so funny and everything they do is so cool and when they speak French you just don’t want them to stop because it kind of gets you excited? And then you are reminded that he already has a partner (so nothing could ever happen) and he is quite happy with life as it is and will be hopping on a plane in a few days to go back home…. it kind of sucks. Nonetheless, due to a series of fortunate events (well, they were fortunate for me anyway), namely the floods in Cambodia and the pouring rain in Thailand, I got to see him more than I expected. That was nice! His smile, his voice, his stories, his French passion, his big throbbing… heart were all so groovy. In fact, I don’t often feel close to people, so it was extremely nifty to feel a connection with him straight away- he is one of those people you feel close before you even say hi.

As they say in Thai: Sam sad now. Sam miss his fliend.

You know I love you,

XOXO

P.S. Here are some photos of people…

P.P.S. One of the funniest things you can experience is a German and Dutch person disagreeing. It is a long process of two people fighting about something that doesn’t matter. Neither side will give in, and they will both think the other person is very wrong. You will most likely be sitting there, clapping your hands, smiling, and saying, “In the scheme of things, IT DOESN’T REALLY MATTER IF WE MEET AT 12:08 or 12:10!!! Can’t we just all be friends?”

Swiss, NZ, and an Aussie: being full of sass, as usual.

Hanging out with the naughty locals....

Is this real life?

To my dearest QUT – the most generous university of them all,

First and foremost, I would like to express my extreme gratitude to Andrew Paltridge, his team, and also the QUT Exchange department for sending me here to Thailand! A few times this week I had to stop and think, “Wow – this is breathtaking; it is so cool to be here.” Then I went on to feel so sorry for Andrew, his team and QUT staff and students for being locked up in their offices and lecture theatres while I’m out here on this idyllic island, lying in the sizzling sun, swimming in the beautiful blue ocean, snorkelling with the dazzling topical fish,  trekking through the lush forest, partying on the sand with the full moon and having orgasmic Thai foot massages to the sound of the waves … As a result, I thought it would only be too appropriate for me share some photos with you, just so you can live a little through me … (but only if you want to, of course).

The stunning sunset after a mountain hike

Gaby and Sam go searching for Nemo!

…the beach where it all happened.

Over the last ten days, 12-16 of us exchange students escaped from Bangkok and went down to two Southern Islands – Koh Phangan (the Full Moon Party Island) and Koh Tao (the Full Moon After-Party + Snorkling and Diving Island). We really needed a break from Bangkok, as it is very loud and hot and there seemed to be the start of a Measles break-out amongst the exchange students here at Evergreen. Nevertheless, whilst we were away we all started to get a bit homesick, yearning for Bangkok! When I think about it, I can’t decide what specifically I missed: it wasn’t the air we choke on, it wasn’t the smells that make us feel like vomiting, it wasn’t the mysterious parts of animals that turn up in our food, it wasn’t the air conditioning that causes our lungs to fill with mucus, it wasn’t the ladies at the end of our street constantly yelling, “Thai masssssaaaaarr [massage], Foot masssssaaaaarr, Oil masssssaaaaarr,” it wasn’t the sassy uniform we need to wear to university, and it most definitely wasn’t the homework that we needed to do!

Instead, I really missed the kindness to normal Thai people. Thai people (especially the ones at Chulalongkorn) are so gentle, kind, caring, lovely, and smiling. They really have your best interests at heart and genuinely care about your well-being. This is not the case on the tourist islands, where people are quite often rude (sometimes understandably), and don’t care for you more than the money you give them. I therefore conclude that if you are a short-term Tourist in Thailand you will not see the best side of Thai culture and its people. That’s why I recommend a semester abroad at Chulalongkorn University … why would you go anywhere else? I also missed the food here in Bangkok; we eat so well here, for so cheap! I missed my morning fresh-pineapple ($0.30), my daily iced Mocha ($0.50), my should-be-weekly-but-is-consumed-daily deep-fried bananas ($0.30), my chicken-noodle soup ($1), and my favourite chicken, chilli and basil dish ($1.10). Needless to say, I’m putting on weight. Moreover, I think I just missed Bangkok’s vibe – it has character, it’s cosmopolitan, it’s sassy, it’s chic, it’s yesterday, today and tomorrow … or maybe it’s just something in the brown tap-water that we brush our teeth in.

The guilty pleasure of being the only caucasian in a class…
Me: “Sorry professor, I need to go on holiday during the first week of exams. Do you mind putting your exam on Dec 2?”
Professor: “If it suits you, Okay.”

BUT! What about the Full Moon Party? OH! What a night…. for three nights in a row! My expectations were low: we were all going to get food poisoning, all our belongings would be stolen from our hotel room, we’d all catch some horrible disease from standing on used needles, we’d get our drinks spiked and end up dancing naked on the bar, we’d then wake up married to someone we didn’t know, in a town we hadn’t heard of, in a country you can’t enter without a police escort and have three children named Cornholio, Myrtle and Wolfgang.

However, nothing like this happened (almost). I never thought I would say this, but the three nights of partying on the beach were some of the best nights in my life. Our group had such a nice vibe about it – it was a fantastic bonding experience and I think we are now all pretty close – emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even physically for some. Our days went like this: slept until the afternoon, then dressed-up in our tacky fluro outfits, painted ourselves with a mixture of rainbow flags,  naughty song lyrics, and pretty patterns, then we’d have a cheeky bit of foreplay in our room (drinking a bucket of soda-pop), before hitting the beach to dance all night long! There were 3-5 main dancing areas along the beach, each with a different type of music. We’d start at one end and, as we emptied more buckets, we’d move along the beach. Our group always danced on the tables and stage – a great way to find our people and also to look at other people…and By Jeepers George, there were so many amazingly good looking people on the beach. I think the majority of us were just thinking, “I wanna do bad things to you,” whenever we saw another person. There were hot English people, hot French people, hot German people, and most surprisingly, so, so many hot Israelis’! But as a matter of fact, being surrounded by extremely good looking people is so distracting. You become so entranced  by these people that you just become addicted to looking at them and their erotic physiques and can’t focus on just dancing! Nonetheless, most of us left with some permanent ‘souvenir’ from the party. I left with a burn from someone putting their cigarette out on me, a friend left with a burn from a firework that exploded on her (‘cause baby I’m a firework…), two friends left with large burns from jumping with an alighted skipping rope (such a stupid idea), while others left with the fond and mind opening memories from their ‘happy shake’ experience at Mellow Mountain. Then some left either without their mobiles, camera’s or dignity. Due to the large amount of motorbike accidents that have already occurred within our exchange student population, we took precautions and as a result there were no vehicle related injuries this time around. Nevertheless, there seem to be as many hospitals (including psychiatric wards) as people on this beach, which is both reassuring and disheartening. I’m not sure if it was something in the Thai Red Bull, but I really was floating on a cloud for the three days…. I felt so much like David after visiting the dentist: “Is this real life?” It was just so awesome!

Somehow I missed the only Chula group photo!

The American and I

We then went on to Koh Tao, “Turtle Island” for some much needed R&R. Of course, everyone else from the Full Moon party had the same idea, and we partied just as much. This island is well known for its diving courses (PADI Licence for just $300), but we decided that would require concentration, so we opted for the day of snorkelling instead. It was a fabulous day of  “Searching for Nemo,” swimming in the beautiful clear blue ocean, and visiting another island which was pure paradise. Just like Darryl Kerrigan, I was always thinking, “How’s the serenity? So much serenity.”

...we're a bit wet after the long hike to the beautiful view

The gang of fish-lookers.

I think my housemates were a little sad that I hadn’t talked about them on this blog. So, Michael is a blonde-hair and blue-eyed Norwegian, who is tan, works-out a lot and likes to walk around in his underwear… (need I say more?). He has the most scandalous love-life of us all, which he doesn’t like to talk about, however he quite often finds himself confronted with questions about it from me.  He has only eaten McDonald’s once this year and he has taken on the role of being my other housemate Kjell’s mother. Kjell is very, very special indeed. I don’t quite know how to capture the essence of him in a few sentences, but Roald Dahl writes a good explanation in the Big Friendly Giant (BFG). He likes to cough throughout the night (he’s sick), spend private time on the internet (reading annual reports) and to participate in live shows (about Thai culture). Together, Michael and Kjell were generous enough to buy me a sassy bread plate with my photo on it (see below) . Lovely, aye? Finally, there is Axel (as in Axel Rose from Guns’n’roses). He is a really good bloke from Sweden, who I think is actually a bit of a cheeky wolf dressed up in sheep’s wool. Axel is super friendly, and the type of guy who gets along with everyone. He loves chewing tobacco, quite often stumbles into bed at 3am and, in my opinion, has a future in writing poems.

What a sassy gift!

You know I love you,

XO XO

P.S. If you have a bit of naughty shabu-shabu with someone in the night, and then in the morning they either don’t address the topic or say, “Wow…I was so drunk last night,” does that mean they do or don’t want to do it again?

Fun, Fun, Fun, in the Sun, Sun, Sun!

To my most Ron Weasley-like brother, Nic.

Oh, how you have grown, little Won-Won. It seems like just yesterday you were boarding your first Hogwarts Express train – dirt on your nose and all – and now look at you, popping out little gingers! Flippin’ lucky that Nev was there to save you with the sword though!!!!

Having just seen the last Harry Potter movie ( – IT ALL ENDED – ),  I’m a bit sad. The series was, after all, such a significant part of my childhood. Nevertheless, I’m in Amsterdam – the land of flowers, cheese and things that please, so there’s no point being miserable! In fact, a couple nights here and Moaning Myrtle will have to get a new nickname…. (*wink*) – it’s my mother… she’s been very ill!

“But, Sam, what have you done this past month?” I hear you ask.
“Why, jolly good of you to ask me young chap – I’d be awfully pleasured to make you all-the-more knowledgeable,” you hear me say.
“Eh, okay.”
“…Banter.”

So, as mentioned previously, my first destination was London, Baby. Here I embraced some stunning friends and colleagues left-over from when I lived in the UK, and also people I know from N.Z./ Australia. There’s always a ‘feel-good moment,” when you are reunited with creatures who are so classy, chic, cosmopolitan, and NOW (minus one, who was so yesterday’s technology, delivered today). Additionally, it’s nice to see actual old buildings – a sweet reminder of how relatively recently Australia was taken over by those Buckingham Palace inhabitants. I also visited Canterbury, Cambridge, and Manchester, which are all super cool. Highlights would include 1) going to Bing-Gay (which is Bingo hosted by a Steve called Eve) and winning not just a tin of SPAM, but also a Jesus Clock and (!) a sassy toilet-seat cover (or, as the incomprehensible Chinese label called it “Floss an urinal the mat of warm” – ya-ha, one suggestion for next time: use a better translator), 2) something I can’t talk about on this blog, and 3) something else which also cannot be mentioned. Needless to say, it was fun!

For me the U.K. is a very special place, as it makes you ask yourself such necessary questions like how many times does one need to be told to please mind the gap between the train and the platform before they remember it and was the tube this hot when it was used as a bomb shelter during WWII and in the old days did people also need to treat themselves to an upward nudge of the thermostat in the middle of summer and now that I’ve seen WICKED twice will I defy gravity faster? There are also more contemporary questions, like, why should you buy whole onions when you can buy them pre-chopped and cooled? In fact, why should anyone buy any fresh food when it is so hard to come across? Why can you go clubbing with the London divas any night of the week and have guaranteed contact with stud-muffins? Will London’s infrastructure cope with the 2012 Olympics? Why do people care about my Kate and Will when Pippa’s dress was remarkably more revealing at the wedding?  And most importantly, did anyone need to see a doctor because they were sick of hearing about the PHONE! HACKING! SCANDLE!?

Then it was to Hamburg, Germany! First stop, McDonalds. One cannot go to Hamburg without having a Hamburger; just like one cannot go to Frankfurt without having a Frankfurter and just like one cannot go to Bangkok without … never mind. Then back to Berlin for the third time– oh, how I love it!

I must admit, waking up in an old-school apartment in East Berlin to the sun shining and Edith Piaf singing, I swear I felt like those people waking up on the first day post-WWII or post-Berlin Wall. Freedom at last! And Coca-cola! I stayed with  some German friends (beautiful people, beautiful people). Then, on to Rheda-Wiedenbruck: here I stayed with friends Katrin and Andrea  and their cute little mother and funny father and party-animal brother. This town was really ‘interesting’ – there were fake fat people statues EVERYWHERE! Like cute little painted fake fat people sitting in restaurants and fake fat nuns outside the church and fake fat tourists getting fake photos taken and fake fat people dancing in the town square. Did you know German’s only drink bottled water? Unbelievable.

This really long blog is almost over – sorry! One month of travelling and I’ve got a lot to say. As a break, here is a quote: “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” – Mark Twain.

Then, via Amsterdam, I was off to Mallorca (or, if you’re uneducated /on an all-inclusive holiday, Majorca with an emphasis on the J), an island off Spain, with my Daddy and his lady-friend Caroline. We stayed in a beautiful Spanish-style villa in the north of Mallorca and drove the most untrendy Fiat van around – luckily we saw no-one we knew.

After some cute father-lady friend-son bonding time (which involved drinking ridiculous amounts of Spanish wine and eating enough cheese to support an entire cheese factory; time to switch to skinny-water I think), we were joined by lady-friend-Caroline’s friends, and together they formed the three witches + partners (a word of advice: if you go on holiday, invite adults as they cook amazing food for you every night!!!!).

One night we heard there was a huge party in the town square and naturally, we went to shake our bonbons. As it turned out,  it was a celebration of the Virgin and everyone was wearing white – like, everyone was. Everyone but us. Too bad we missed the memo, especially since one of the witches was dressed in all black – needless to say, the message the locals got was polar opposite to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

NOW, I’m back in AMSTERDAM! It’s gay-pride week. There are rainbow-warriors everywhere – they can’t help it if they’re fabulous! Party time! Also, my wonderful friend, Caroline from New Zealand, is here. Woo-hoo-hoo! I’ll let you know how it goes later. But for now, I’ve been learning a bit about business as Dad’s Caroline is the manager for Personal Care (shavers etc.) at Philips (the Dutch electronics company). She was saying how Philips was known as a grand-daddy company, and the youth of today just didn’t want to use products that their fathers did. Understandable. So, they tried to make their personal groomers more appealing; Caroline launched the marketing initiative during a Philips meeting (with really old and conservative males) and asked them if they trim their pubic hairs with scissors (OH NO!). For obvious reasons this is very dangerous, yet a lot of them did! Despicable. Philips then made various really funny advertisements regarding electronically ‘grooming’ your man parts and the benefits it offers – i.e. your face may be the king of the boardroom, but your Bonsai is the king of the bedroom so you better present it well! Watch one of the videos: www.philips.com.au/c/mens-grooming/15259/cat/. One could almost say many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising, or grooming in this case.

I’ll be in touch again soon,

You know I love you.

XOXO

Lions and tigers and bear. Oh my!

To my dearest friend, Mummy.

Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my! Lions and Tigers and Bears! OH MY! LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS! OH MY! I’m going on exchange! Woo-hoo-hoo! What a thrill, what an adventure, what a pleasure! In the words of you-know-who (not Lord Voldemort), “I can feel the adrenaline moving through my veins…”

Preparing for exchange is not exactly a streamline process, so I hope to guide you somewhat through it. Additionally, I’ll let you know how I feel about going to Chulalongkorn University (Chula) in Bangkok. Then, I’ll fill you in on my visit to Christchurch, N.Z., as I am just at the airport getting ready to leave.

So firstly, how does one get to be at the airport, ready to study in another country for a semester? Applications are due about one year before your planned departures (why – I don’t know), and the first step in deciding where to go. Although you need to check the university has subjects you can do, chances are it will all have changed by the time you actually leave, so don’t stress. Most important is to decide which country to go to. I like following the ‘3-C’ continent-country-city model; it works every time (just like how telling your partner you love them gets you breakfast in bed). To decide the country, you can choose between Asia, the America’s and Europe. Each level of ‘C’ has questions you need to ask yourself, which will assist you. (Actually, these are just joke questions; the continents mentioned offer much more.)

For Continental Asia, ask yourself:
1) Do I like smelling stinky fish in markets?
2) Are my lungs able to handle breathing in dust (and not oxygen) for six months?
3) Do I want to ride Elephants, play with monkeys, tickle tigers or float with fish?

For the Americas, ask yourself:
1) Do I like McDonalds?
2) Do I want to live life on-the-edge in South America?
3) How much time can I afford to spend  in airport security?

For Europe, ask yourself:
1) Do I have the money to travel across the world, and spend my highly-valued Australian dollars? With the Euro in this state, simple shopping in the Euro-zone is like donating to charity.
2) Do I want to engage in naughty, bedroom behaviours with attractive people?
3) To what extent do I like churches?

Now that you know which continent to go to, the country must be chosen. Questions for this could be similar to: Do I want learn how to locate a country on a map (U.S.A.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3iNxZ8Dww , or do I want to eat at the Peruvian burger chain, Bembos (whose burgers are orgasms in buns)? Do I want to chunder everywhere (U.K.) – please see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKFjWR7X5dU ? Or, do I want to pose for as many photos as celebrities do (Thailand)? Then, choose your city! (REMEMBER: these videos are extremes/jokes and the U.S. and U.K. are much more normal in real life).

Afterwards, QUT will approve your exchange and put you in-touch with your host university. About 4-5 months before your exchange, expect to hear your first words from them. Once the host university has contacted you, you will need to re-apply through them. You will receive an outline of the subjects available that semester, and you will need to get approval from your QUT course co-ordinators if you make any changes to your original. If you are lucky, you will get a letter of acceptance from your host uni before you leave or need to apply for your visa. Then, choose your accommodation and book your flights! Because I have issues with feeling lonely, I chose to live with four people in one apartment, even though a studio apartment was the same price.

Now secondly, why did I choose Bangkok? I was tossing-up between Universitat Mannheim in Germany or  a character-filled Asian country. Did I was the prestige or  the poverty and character? Since I couldn’t decide, I followed the advice of a psychiatrist and meditated on it. As fast as the sorting hat put Malfoy into Slytherin, I knew I was going to Asia. Then I wanted to choose between Hong Kong and Thailand. Because I am cheap and have a curry-fetish, Thailand it was! Also, I spent an amazing week at Chula’s (my university’s) international conference in 2011 – it was fan-tas-tic! I actually did ride elephants and play with tigers. Today though, I’m actually really scared about going… just the other day we got sent a list of our flat-mates. I share a bed-room with a Swede and the apartment with Norwegians. I am think this is good news, as I’ve never met an unattractive person Scandinavian! I may have tried to stalked them on Facebook but couldn’t find them…. or their photos (more important). What happens if they aren’t stud-muffins? How can I fix this problem? Oh well… sleeping with room-mates probably isn’t a good thing anyway. Also, from my experience in Bangkok (BKK) it is very smelly, dirty, loud, messy, disorganised and above all, naughty – but the awesomeness seems to make up for it.

Finally, en route to Bangkok I have been in Christchurch, N.Z. (my home for 18-years), and am on my way to London, Manchester, Hamburg, Berlin, Amsterdam and Mallorca (in fact, I am drinking lots of wine at the airport now – viva la Areo Nueva-Zelanda). For those of you who don’t know, Christchurch has had 3369 earthquakes since September 2010, 25 of which have been over five on the Richter scale. Have you ever visited a city in which 600 building have been destroyed from the C.B.D.? Can you imagine Brisbane with no CBD for over half a year (we experienced only a few days during the floods). Do you have adequate bladder control? The photo below shows the process of liquefaction, referring to the process by which sediments are transformed into a substance that acts like a liquid. The car’s driver, a friend of my aunts, and his son had to climb out the boot. Sadly, the father left his mobile in the car and made his son go back and get it! … typical Audi drivers.

Talk about being stuck in the mud!

Time here has sure been ‘interesting’. No bars to party in, no cafe’s to coffee in, and most importantly to us business students, no offices to work in! Man alive, it was weird! The roads in many suburbs are what you’d expect from Sierra Leone! People don’t really leave their homes unless the need to. And not surprisingly, people are getting fatter! Conversation revolves mainly around the earthquakes, which in itself is exhausting. Nevertheless, the people at large remain sane and strong! Power to the people! It is nice to see how well-adjusted the creatures are, and how they are doing the best with what they have got!

For now, the wine is getting to me, and my flight is about to leave!

You know I love you,

XO XO

Sam