When the Amtrak delay happens, perhaps it is inevitable to turn to my Day One journal. Not out of anger because anger solves nothing besides causing other things like frustration, irritation. Lots of tions. A ton of tions. So instead its worthwhile to just write wherever I choose to write. To just let the time go by. Not zoned out or in denial. It is easier to just be with it. I don't feel like accepting or denying it. I just feel like sitting where I am in the beautiful lighting of the station.
With the free wifi streaming down from wherever free wifi comes from. Consider how many times things have happened and I changed a thing or decided to reboot a little vagabond in some way or other. See what you think.
- Manila Philippines. The winter of 2019 going into Christmas I decided I did not like Manila all that much nor did I want the rest of the trip upon waking up at my friend AFT's condo. So I set about cancelling and redoing the whole thing. Where to go? Well, there was Malaysia. A nice, friendly, warm place that I knew and then I knew I wanted KL. So I checked this friendly app called Skyscanner and found a flight I wanted that would take me to Malaysia the next day in 2 hours or so. There were no visa problems getting in because a US passport would give me 180 days free of charge. So I went. Initially the plan was to fly back to Manila and then fly to Tokyo Narita and then back to the US in 2020. I decided to reboot all that too. So I cancelled that flight and booked a flight to Saigon for 10 days. I would go to Vietnam yet again and party, eat, party, drink coffee, and just be. Vietnam is a good place to just be. Then I booked a flight to Hong Kong and then to Narita. Of course, in the meanwhile natural events occurred like a volcanic eruption outside of Manila which made me rethink things.
- Bangkok Thailand. I finished up with Bangkok and was supposed to go somewhere. I don't remember where. Instead I cancelled all that and booked a one way ticket to Siem Reap Cambodia. There I would party on Pub Street, eat on Sok San Road, and otherwise dispense beer and food into my willing system plus walking and taking pictures every day. Then I had a retirement extension of stay visa in Cambodia that was good for a year. I could come and go as I wanted. Very handy to have a backup country I loved! After Siem Reap I flew to Phnom Penh and I don't recall what happened after.
What did I learn from these events. Travel is not real. Destinations change with a whim and little effort. What matters always is the going and that you want the going. So now I apply these easily learned rules to sitting in Denver. I could have done like others do and get mad, cuss the Amtrak agent out, rail against the injustice of it all. Does it change the reality of the freight train breaking down or the delay? For me, does it make a difference? Won't I still end up in Omaha tomorrow? What is the difference. In the occasions above, I intervened and decided to make a change and then enjoyed the fruits of that labor. I enjoyed Saigon and KL immensely. The second time Siem Reap took me on a tour of the magnificent Angkor Wat ruins for the second time. They are something to see.
So I just apply the hobo rule. If I leave on time so be it. Yay! If the train is delayed, I am not missing anything where I'm going and I cannot change anything about it. Yay! So I can sit and write and just enjoy listening to the conversations around me and engaging my armchair anthropologist. I wonder at all people in this mode. The station is busy. Wisps of conversation float by. I remember Red Ambrose the cowboy; telling me,
you will know when you get there, cause you ain't here no more
Thanks Red. I know cowboy logic when I hear it.
Then there's the writing. Do I write in the journal too? Do I write here only? Is there a hard and fast rule when there are no rules? There's a thin line between what goes where to me but I don't often cross it. The Day One experience is a private world for me and I would never let someone else read it or even print copies out as books. It is that personal. Sometimes a thing I write there, I decide to blog. Often though I start with the best of intentions to blog the thing and the entire universe conspires and the words shift. I just write the words and then the words write the words. Kinda like what my mom told me about drinking from an old Japanese saying,
First the man takes the beer. Then the beer takes the beer. Then the beer takes the man
So it is mom. Perhaps the same with me for writing these things.