Brain Dead?

It’s possible you’ve missed this important piece of news on account of all the chaos Trump’s presidency has caused, and the social media explosion on account of Queen Bey’s twins. Good thing for you, you’ve got me.

Scientists (gosh, don’t you love them?) have discovered that completely locked-in patients, patients that have no control over their body, can now communicate thanks to this brain/computer interface that reads patients minds!

OMG, a mind reading computer. Right now, it can only read answers to yes or no questions, but … can you  imagine the future?

One of the patients who was being tested had his daughter visit him, She asked him if it was okay for her to get married to her boyfriend. The answer came back as a ‘no’ 8 out of 10 times. What blows my mind is not the father’s really strong rejection of her boyfriend, but the fact that she did what all children do – she kept asking the question till he got tired enough to get a yes.

Funny how we can manipulate parents, eh?

2012-10-29-05

Full report here: Completely ‘locked-in’ patients can communicate

Trumped Up, Trickle Down Economics

Nearly everyone has weighed in on the Trump debacle – whether the rant is laced with pro or anti keywords, it’s hard to get on the internet and not be faced with some Trump related news. Even in remote Bangkok, the capital city of a country run by a military government, there is an air of desolation, and everyone who’s everyone has shared their thoughts on the issue.

So instead of waxing ad nauseum about the same things (a lot of someones on the internet have captured the feelings better, and written the words more eloquently), here are a few pictures from the FCC-Thailand event I attended on President Trump’s inauguration day.

Trump Inauguration Bangkok.jpg

Organised by Democrats Abroad – Thailand, the event included the watching of Trumpland, an open mic to air your views, and an insightful panel discussion by experts in fields like climate change, economy, human rights etc.

As the night went on, I got more and more desolate. I’m not American, but it’s hard not to dodge around this doomsday feeling that is everywhere we look.Something one of the panelists said struck me. He said that the election was not won by racists voting. It was won because of economics. People can’t give a shit about any of the big issues when their day-to-day life is so difficult. He said that if jobs were fixed and a living wage guaranteed, the world would stop tilting to the right. Suffice it to say, a lot of alcohol was consumed that night.

However, I decided to focus a bit on the positives.

  1. Americans can drink you under the table, while passionately quoting from very intelligent books/poets/artists/TV personalities.
  2. The ‘useless millennials’ are raging, and are underestimated because of their choice of favourite beverage (something about a pumpkin spice latte?). This is good when a revolution strikes, the element of surprise will be on their side.
  3. Trump was voted in my a minority of people, and by a flaw in the election system. So while he will try to push through archaic/damaging edicts, the people will rebel.
  4. There are good people in the world.
  5. We can actually do something, instead of wallowing in our ‘THE WORLD IS DOOMED!’ social media rants.
  6. The American system of government and politics actually give its citizens the rights to be heard, to participate in democracy, to have your voice heard. I struggled to think of instances where I felt I participated actively in the politics of my own country.

There is a buzz in the air threatening to promise you the opportunity to live through historic times. I don’t know what to make of it.

Country-less

<rant>

It’s sort of tragic to think that since my country and that of my boyfriend has placed so many restrictions on us being together that we’ve had to ‘flee’ to a country that was not even on our Top 100 places to see before we die list. We’ve made the best of it and the country has been very kind to us but it isn’t home. 

And employment opportunities for both of us are limited aka I hate my job and his 5-4 teaching job leaves him with no energy for anything else. 

You may say I’m nitpicking but when you’ve moved countries to be with each other but only get to see each other for 3 hours a day, it sort of defeats the purpose. It doesn’t help that we only came here to buy some time before we moved somewhere more permanently. Time, unfortunately, doesn’t change visa rules and no matter how much I beg the universe, my passport isn’t likely to transform itself into a free-pass to the world. 

For the sake of doing something, and this time in a more desperate rage, I am shamelessly sending out my CV to every country/agency/recruiter. Gone is my fear of rejection because after a few degrees of it, you stop feeling as disappointed. 

I’ve also been spending hours day-dreaming about giving up everything and becoming a volunteer recluse in some island or forest where visa rules only come in the way once a year. 

In the growing intolerance in the world, I wish countries would view people genuinely in love not as a threat but as people who could genuinely make a difference. Happy people are less likely to spread misery? 

Sigh.

</rant>

P.S. If anyone knows anyone who will hire a third world girl with mad skills, willing to relocate ANYWHERE in the world that will have me, let me know 🙂 

The Perks Of Dating A Teacher

My mum was a teacher when we were growing up. She eventually gave it up for non-governmental, non-profit work but there are still embarrassing memories of being treated as a teacher’s daughter. However, being as young as I was back then, some of these memories have blurred into one and have started to fade. I am, now, however, dating a bookie-turned-writer-turned-teacher. This brings with it its set of perks!

You appreciate the mornings –

Our day starts at 5am, the unholy time his annoying alarm starts chirping. No matter what stage of sleep I am in, once that alarm goes off, my day begins. Even if my work starts at a more normal hour of day, I am forced given the opportunity to literally listen to pre-sunrise birds. The three hours I gain from this means I have time to binge watch the blacklist go to the gym and eat a healthy breakfast.

You appreciate the nights –

Having woken up at unearthly hours means that your body is slowly fading by the late twentyonehunderhours. This means that the three hours that you do get from the time you leave work are spent in the best way possible – cooking a meal, binge watching ‘Making a Murderer’ while he either grades papers or lesson plans spending quality time together and sleeping. Weeknight date nights? Umm, what’s that?

You appreciate the weekends –

A teacher’s idea of a lie in during the weekend means waking up at 7am in the morning! When you date someone who is a loud waker-uper, you are doomed given the gift of having a really long weekend. So instead of waking up shortly past noon, you have the whole day ahead of you to do whatever you want. Unless, of course, he’s brought the lesson plans home again.

You appreciate your health –

Working with cold-carrying munchkins kids means you become quite kid too. This has helped me take to naturally occurring sources of Vitamin C like it is the newest weight loss fad. This also means that I have become quite good at tossing masks at his face and ducking for cover every-time I hear a sneeze making hot chicken noodle soup and being the excellent nurse that I am.

You never stop learning –

If you are lucky enough, you get to hear their teacher voices all the time. You not only get to brush up on nursery rhymes you thought you’d hear again. Sometimes when a point is being made, certain people (I’m not naming any names) stand up and make the point. On the plus side, you get to be up to date with the latest hits on the 2016 nursery rhyme chart!

Go find yourself a teacher. If nothing else, you will get ugly adorable fridge magnets and wall hangings to decorate your house!

Masala Chai and Misty Mountains

Chai Wala

I had a bizarre dream last night. It started of as a stress dream about work. I was sent out on an errand. While wandering the streets, I saw an old Caucasian man sipping a cup of chai (the elixir of life). I felt a sudden and unconquerable urge to buy myself a cuppa. I asked him where it was. He pointed me to a scene that made my chest constrict and my eyes tear up.

Unfortunately, I had to get to work so I had to peel my eyes off, wipe off my drool and slowly walk away. While attending to boring work details, I suddenly hit upon a thought that work didn’t really care about me, so why should I care about them? It was an idea put into my head thanks to a lovely cup of chai. And so I left work and went in search of the chai wallah.

I couldn’t find him.

Depressed Gif

Someone bumped into me and I found myself holding a key to a dilapidated old staircase. I decided I might as well climb it and see what was above. After a long “I’m going to die”climb, I reached the top. Opened the creaky door at the end of the claustrophobia inducing tunnel.

What I saw next blew my mind. Instead of blue sky, the earth was filled with green, misty mountains and rivers. So when I looked up, I could see mountains instead of stars and the sky was where the rivers were supposed to flow. I was on a tiny ledge on a cliff. It had a tiny wall around it to stop people from accidentally falling off, I guess.

You might want to turn this image upside down to see it in its original form
You might want to turn this image upside down to see it in its original form

And there on the corner of the ledge was the hot kettle of masala chai.

I wonder what the universe is trying to tell me.