NICHE MARKET … As the nation heads into what promises to be at least a recession, and certainly a serious readjustment – as peak oil and political incompetence take their toll on the post-WWII American Dream, Telluride is going to need to re-examine what will work to continue bringing tourists and visitors to a distant community in the mountains of Colorado. And I think the long-term success of the Telluride Mushroom Festival may provide one clue …
LIVING IN LAOS … With my eldest daughter teaching in Vietiane at an English-language school, Iris is getting the opportunity to travel around Asia. Here’s an edited account of her recent trip to Cambodia. The “we” refers to her computer wizard boyfriend, Bert Fan.
TREKKING IN CAMBODIA … Angkor Wat is the main attraction in Cambodia. Famed for being the largest religious structure ever built, it is breathtaking. Built of huge sandstone slabs, you can't help but wonder how in the world was this thing built? And how is it still standing? You can walk inside and around the ruins and can usually climb it, however we had the bad fortune to visit while it was under restoration, so were unable to climb the treacherous stairs. Beyond Angkor Wat there are numerous other temples from around the same time period (the 12th and 13th centuries), some in good condition and others overgrown by the jungle with trees wrapping their roots around walls and growing on top of roofs. You feel like an explorer discovering the ruins for the first time, overrun by nature, except for all the other people and there were many of them . . . tourists everywhere sporting cameras and lining up in the designated photo spots, which made the smaller less popular or out of the way temples a treat in comparison . . . where you could find a spot to sit and imagine what it was like, once upon a time. But crowds aside, the temples were amazing. We visited one called Bayon, which was topped by towers with over 200 faces, so wherever you stood looking up at the temple or within the temple, the faces were looking at you. The faces are very similar to the the god-king who was ruling at the time, possibly created as a means of control over his kingdom . . . he's always watching you. After three full days exploring temples we were effectively templed out.
We returned home to Vientiane and two days later, Bert was on yet another plane headed to Boston where he is now working on the Obama website (Go Obama!!!) until the election in November. It was a quick decision, but the offer was too good to turn down. I have begun my second term teaching and am trying out living on my own for the first time. One week down and still rolling! Anyway, I'd love to hear from you and learn about all the adventures life has taken you on. Feel free to give me a ring, my US phone number, 818/528-4292, is working well, you can even leave a message! . . . but the time difference is a bit of a pain . . . just think morning or evening and you reach me at the opposite time.
Oh also, feel free to check out some of the many many photos we took on our trip at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bertrandom/sets/72157606323588312/
WEEKLY QUOTA … Oh, right. I didn’t translate that Pope Julius quote last week. Well, it’s a great quote and here’s my translation: “You don’t know, my sons, by what little wisdom the world is run.”
GREEN THUMBS UP … Rep. Don Marastica’s 4-Day Work Week Bill for Colorado … Utah’s 4-Day Work Week law is estimated to save the state $3 million in energy costs,
THE TALKING GOURD
“brilliant but troubled”
put the scare on us post Twin Towers.
Paper said he’d OD’d
on Tylenol and codeine.UP BEAR CREEK
“A massive dose.”
It’s not mushrooms or pot
that will kill us
but all the strange drugs we make.