Friend request

Friend Request! Culture shocks and surprises

Sunday night, sitting with my three best BKK friends drinking coffee and eating stoner desserts, I'm asked, now that I've been here almost a month, what have been the biggest surprises? 

if weed is so illegal here how do they come up with this stuff?

if weed is so illegal here how do they come up with this stuff?

One of them, I noted, happened just minutes before as we parked. The street spot was left short by the car parked ahead, so my driving friend simply got out and pushed it, then pushed his in behind it.

This wasn't some great strength feat--cars are left in neutral here for just that purpose. From what they said this is largely voluntary--an unwritten rule. And like many unwritten rules, violators--especially those who box another driver in and apply their parking brake--can end up with a nasty note on their windshield or key carvings in their paint (I guess mai pen rai has its limits).

And I'm sure most of my American readers are shaking their head, maybe with the same thoughts I had: "That's so smart--no way in hell would it work in the U.S." People in The States think they own not only their car, but feet in front and back.

'muricans are a kind, neighborly bunch

'muricans are a kind, neighborly bunch

Then I shared one I encountered soon upon arrival but didn't fully understand for weeks. My first room was lovely in ways (scary enough the next two beds were even harder), with en-suite bathroom and shower--tough to beat at a hostel. It was missing one thing: a sink.

time to get creative

time to get creative

Okay, no big deal, I decide. After all, in my old Kentucky home we had just one bathroom and, when we all had to get ready for church or whatnot I was sometimes relegated to brushing my teeth over the toilet. I could do the same here. And washing my hands, well, it did have a sprayer beside said bowl.

So I made it work because I'm not fancy. Though later I clogged said toilet when I put toilet paper in it, because I thought they were made for each other.

Not in these parts.

Long story short, the toilet-side sprayer is known as a bum gun. You use like a hand-operated bidet, and with soap, a good reach, and practice you get much cleaner than the American approach. I mean, seriously, think of it, we don't like walking around sweaty or with chicken grease on our hands, but...

okay, don't think of it. Just trust me, it's better. Of course, nobody tells you these things in advance, you just have to learn it the hard way and get a little embarrassed.

But not you, O my brothers. You learn from my embarrassment. What a bargain.

And here's a bonus lesson--test that bum gun first:

Reader request! On Krzyzewski and Allen

My friend suggested I post on Mike Kryzelwooski pardoning Most Likely to Date Rape superlative and Ted Cruz spawn Grayson Allen as his final act before back surgery. Trip three players, get one game. How does that happen? In fairness, how does anything happen?

Fucking integrity. How does it work?

I haven't posted about sports thus far, but as a Tar Heel I do have the obligation and sweet sweet privilege to crush The Dookies whenever appropriate. This one's terribly unsatisfying.

We love to hate, but that hate comes with grudging respect--otherwise you have no credibility. Kshashevskee is, at minimum, on the Mount Rushmore of college coaches. He may well be the GOAT. And sickening though it is to hear ad-nauseum how Duke does it The Right Way, that had been largely true on the court, despite half their student body being a basket of repugnance ("thank your grandpa for my nice cotton shirt!") and/or disgraced former Presidents

But this is so flimsy. Karspersesky is slicker than this: it seems mailed in. Fuck You, I'm Fully Vested. 10 years ago it was a different story: George Mason senior point guard Tony Skinn threw a nutshot and coach Jim Larranaga suspended him for the NCAA first round against already favored Michigan St. What did Krezizkevkey say?

if he was here right now, I’d give him a big hug. We need more coaches to have the courage to step up in situations like this and say to our kids, ‘That’s wrong; I’m not making excuses for you.’ If I were in the same situation, I hope I’d be gutsy enough and strong enough to do the same thing, but I can’t swear to you that I would. If a big-name coach did something like that, people would be fitting him for sainthood by tomorrow.

How does the right thing happen? How does anything happen?  

As Christ thus did say unto thee, "turn the other foot." --Grayson 3:16

As Christ thus did say unto thee, "turn the other foot." --Grayson 3:16