Monthly Archives: April 2010

and…. back to asia

After 3 weeks back in the US, I took off for Asia once again.  This time, I’ve headed to Thailand, for 10 days of detox yoga on Koh Samui.  I’ve been to Thailand before, but the last time was 12 years ago, and I’ve never been south.  This time around, I arrived late at night at the airport, and flew out relatively early the next day, thereby bypassing Bangkok in the midst of politics and violence.

The rest of Thailand is untouched by the happenings in Bangkok, and nowhere would that be more evident than in the islands, where an entirely different Thailand resides.  Here, the main currency is tourism, and foreigners flock to the resorts, bungalows and beaches for some R & R and/or late-night partying.

Koh Samui is popular, but it’s possible to avoid much of the crowd by staying in some little retreat or hideaway tucked away from the beach.   In this case, I’m at Absolute Sanctuary, home to some great yoga and a fantastic kitchen.

I’m doing 10 days of yoga and good food, no caffeine, no alcohol, and very little of the outside life, internet not withstanding.  We have a TV, but it’s small and not really worth watching.  There’s a gorgeous pool, a nice view of the ocean, and did I mention that kitchen?

So, Day 1 consisted of some pranayama and two low-key yoga classes.  Breakfast was some amazing vegan concoction involving tofu and peppers and divine spices, plus some coconut-based yogurt and tropical fruit.  And pineapple juice with ginger.  Lunch was even more yummy, with fresh corn in a sweet potato soup, spicy papaya salad, the most amazing sauteed kale, and a wonderful coconut curry over brown rice.  I am sure dinner will be fabulous too… but before that, it’s time for my daily massage.

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reverse culture shock

I’m not actually sure what that term means, but someone asked if I was experiencing it upon my return to the US.   Well.  I haven’t been gone that long.  But a lot has changed in America, most notably in politics.  There’s this whole lunatic fringe now, which I suppose might have existed before but has some how gained some sort of legitimacy.  From outside the US, Americans looks a little crazy.

And then some things haven’t changed at all.  We still eat the most disgusting foods (and too much of them), we still buy way too much stuff, we still love our professional sports players.

I did come back before tax day, so I do get to take advantage of the freebies that many places offer to “ease taxpayer woes” (because a free doughnut will go a long way for that).

Other than that, there’s really not all that different from America and the rest of the world.  Today’s headlong rush into globalization is shrinking the culture gaps, especially as American culture continues its pervasive spread overseas.  It’s really not that hard to come back and re-assimiliate…. except of course, I will definitely not be able to go to the spa nearly as often as I used to.

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