Daddy Longlegs, The Rising Sun, and Time.
I have long harboured the notion that pheasants and daddy longlegs hold equal top place in the Silliest Creature on Gods Earth league. Riding home from hospital tonight I began to have a change of heart, dogs are pretty moronic as well. The way they yap and bark as you cycle past as though they know no fear, and then you brake, and what do they do? They stop sharp and scurry off tail between their legs. Then you start moving again and, having waited for you achieve a safe distance, they resume their posturing and yapping and strutting around as if to say ‘there, see, showed the odd two wheeled beast a thing or two’. So I had just elevated dogs to number one on my list of mindless beings when it dawned on me that during the simple three kilometre ride from the hospital to my lodgings I had managed to get lost. Dear reader, you are now absorbing – or at least scanning – the words of the most dim-witted being on God’s earth.
Being lost though brought me through the old part of Kanchanaburi at night, the no mans land between the Thai party river and the falang (foreigner) street. And interestingly I found this the nicest part of the town I have seen. There is some lovely old architecture, brick built colonial style and traditional Thai wooden houses. It was quiet and, having been overcast all day, it was cool. I liked it
It was nice to be cycling again, to be doing something after a few days of forced idleness where I feel I have become stagnant.
I saw a strange sight on the way to the hospital. I was merrily riding along when I saw a young Asian lad ahead on a very old sit up and beg style bicycle. On the front of it, on a stick attached to one of the front forks flew a small Japanese flag. I quite liked it when I first saw it. There was something pleasingly retro about not just the bicycle but….. after I had passed it dawned on me, the flag. It was not a modern Japanese flag, it was a Second World War Rising Sun. Now, bear in the mind the history of this town. Some quarter of a million Asian labourers and Allied POWs worked in apauling condition to build the Burma railway to supply the Japanese forces there. Of these, 90,000 Asians and 16,000 Allied POWs died. I do not believe in blaming an entire nation for the acts of the countries leaders, and I certainly have no time for mindless bigots who for example speak to young Germans as though the two World Wars were in anyway their doing, I find this is absurd. But to fly a WW2 era Japanese flag in Kanchanaburi is akin to visiting Auschwitz waving a Nazi flag. It is, in my opinion, very poor taste and likely to cause offence. But what do I know? I got lost.
So now I am visiting hospital every eight hours for my fix of IV antibiotics. I have to say that it comes as a wake up call. Although not serious I hope, it was whilst feeling sorry for myself it dawned on me that many people across the world at precisely the same moment had discovered that they had a life changing, or life ending condition. And this strengthened my already firm belief to make the most of your time whilst you have it. Time is priceless, without it everything else is rendered worthless. The only thing that you will run out of is time, for sure, no doubt. With anything else; love, money, health, it is possible that you will finish your days with an abundance of it. But not time. I know it is quite obvious but I have been thinking for a while now that I have some unfinished business adventure wise in South America. This situation has just intensified my already strongly held belief regarding time. Get on and do it whilst I am still a fit and healthy bipod.