Ventura Ranch, CA

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I know I’ve missed many days in between, and I’ve recorded some of them and will write about them soon.  However, I feel compelled to write about my evening at the KOA (campground) in Ventura Ranch, CA.  I woke up around 8:30am on Thursday morning, and in rolled a man in a Suburu type off-road vehicle.  He had a super-tent compared to mine: a 6-man, one story high, navy blue pyramid of a forest-mansion.  He was Caucasian, thin, gaunt, middle-aged, with black pepper and grey hair.  He wore a neon yellow vest and a normal blue jeans and work boots.  He sat down after rolling in front of his tent, and sat on a stump and spoke with family members for an hour or so.  When I got out of my shower he was still there and we struck up a conversation.

Apparently, he’s from Riverside, CA and works for a union in which he sets up the fencing and various carpentry/landscaping jobs for $35/hr.  He has to work 15 hour shifts away from his family in Ventura, CA for 4 days out of the week.  He camps out to save money, but he also likes the outdoors and the cheaper prices than hotels.  All campgrounds have bathrooms and showers, and if you don’t mind a tent (and in his case, a cot and other modern, comfortable ammenities as well) then it is the more natural and cheaper way to go at $10-20 a pop usually.  However, Ventura Ranch, CA asked for a stunning $38 despite most KOA’s only charging $25 for a good night’s rest. 

We talked about the nature of his work and how he works all night, gets back, and showers and may only get 4-5 hours of sleep.  He has a wife, family, and a few children and grandchildren.  We talked about how he left his town of Detroit, MI and how he quarreled with his parents and that his father said if he wants to go out on his own that California was the place to go.  He hitchhiked 7-8 times and only had a few bucks to his name.  He found work out here. 

He talked about arriving in 1979, a year before I was born, and how he met his wife 2 years later.  I told him I was still single and he told me that the joy of love and marriage will happen when the time is right.  He also commended me in pursuing my dream.  He has a hard life cut out for him as he is 52 and wants to keep this painstaking manual labor up until he is 67 so he can retire with a pension.  He is making a living, but in my humble opinion he and many people are making a “dying.”  They’re killing themselves just to survive. 

We also talked about our parents and how he had only visited his parents 3-4 times in Michigan since he left and that his father told him as he died in his arms: “I’m proud of you.”  He told me how much it meant to him, and in a way I’m glad I had made my amends with my parents long before any of us died.  Being an eccentric, and black sheep of the family, many of my values and life decisions have not been hailed by my family by any means as we have different life views.  After quarreling for almost 15 years I believe we had come to some understanding and have developed a relationship.  Life is not perfet, but a good relationsip with the parents and seeking forgiveness and understanding is something that many parents/children do not get to arrive at even before their death beds.  I am so glad I have.

As we talked more, we also discussed various places to live and their cost of living.  He told me Riverside, CA is ideal and inexpensive.  He also insisted I had a cup of coffee with him, and when telling him I don’t drink coffee but would for him and offered me a bottle of water and some honey buns from the supermarket. 

He also talked about a funny story how he had an incident in which he was arrested for having a generic name and spent a weekend in jail on his way to a new job.  His name is the same as a famous American Tai Chi master also.  The judge told him he knew he was guilty because he had a tatoo of “Jr” on his left forearm and sure enough when the bailiff checked there was NO tattoo on his arm and they let him go without an apology!

He also said he  meets way more interesting characters when camping than in a hotel.  He asked originally if I was a “wanderer” which I answered “yes” but I had a vehicle in the parking lot across the campsite.  He also told me about a Russian guy who cycled across the country and how he took him to the Familia Diaz Mexican Cafe in town once and that he treated him back before he left.  Beautiful stories. 

This guy was truly blessed.

We talked about God, talking to God, prayer, and meditation.  He told me he was restless and I told him about the beauty of meditation.  I also recommended that he tried yoga for his back and recommended Rodney Yee dvds.  Lastly, he had me listen to this Christian contemporary song that I had already forgotten the artist name.  He said it was his “meditation.”  He also offered me more honey buns while we listened.  I munched on the sweet, gooey, and crumbly goodness while we listened in silence to the beautiful song.  He offered me the rest of the box, but being Chinese and raised to be overly polite and to think of others first, I declined politely with vigilance and shyness (“No, no no… while waving my hands and shaking my head politely).

When I parted, he said he’d look out for me.  I hope to fulfill his hope.  I will drive on with the power and might that’s been given to me. 

Have a great day!  😀

The Box

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I feel we’ve all been conditioned to live in “the box.”  Whether it’s an apartment, a house, a job, a lifestyle, or the restrictiveness of a boss and employer.  The 9-5 schedule and the 40 hour work week is another box.  I feel we’ve been forced into the position which casts institutional, economical, and spiritual oppression on people in society.  Confining us in a box represses our spirit and drive and talent as human beings.  I wish there was a system which doesn’t just profess to raise individualism, but actually champions people’s true talents and help them to harness them.  We live in such a plastic, manufactured, and artificial society.  Our technology have already surpassed our needs and seem to have turned against us while we blindly advance towards an unknown and unthought-of direction. This is a short post, but this is a concept that weighs on me intensely: the lack of lifestyle variations in our modern society, the cookie-cutter feel of the machine of society (all for what?  to keep an over powered nation going?  To keep a strong economy going all for profit and abundance that we’ll never see?  because some economist, theorist, philosopher, or politician felt this was the best way to live? Because this once was a revolutionary concept that has sky-netted it’s way back to us and have decided to feed on our souls?), the over rationalization and bureaucratic nature of our society, and just the bland, grinding, and unimaginative nature of our work schedules, our surroundings (why are all subway stations grey, concrete, and cold?).  There’s too much that is wrong in society; I have to do more research on Sweden and other European countries that my friend mentioned which have free healthcare and other benefits for their participants.  He said they also require all workers to have 2 months of the year off for vacation and if someone leaves a job their serverance package includes 2 months of vacation.  How wonderful. 

Anyway, there can be a better life out there for everyone, and I’ll try in the next 2-3 years to deconstruct capitalism, our addiction to technology, and the vapid, spiritual emptiness which surrounds our oftentimes well-to-do lifestyles.  Spirituality is a very personal, individual thing, but social forces also can increase or decrease the potential of human beings, and I hope to do both in the near future.

Take care! 😀

Reality vs. Fantasy

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Yes, by the sounds of the title I am contemplating some epic truth, some timeless dilemma, or some deep life meaning.  No, I’m on my trip, I’m almost done running around and camping night to night and instead of writing 5-8 hours a day by or near a beach I’m writing court excuses for some stupid tickets I’ve acquired in Texas and California and hoping I don’t get my car impounded for some stupid tail light citation from April that I got fixed. 

Just great.  Gotta keep on truckin’!  Right?  🙂

In other news, as I said in my previous post, I am in love with Mountain View, CA.  I feel my attitude and reaction to stress softening as I paced their downtown area.  There is a tolerance, intellectualism, and laid back manner in the pace of the town and it’s soaking into my uptight, hard, and worried East Coast mentality.  Also, I’m surprised how spread out parts of the town are.  In Maryland, every INCH is being utilized.  In this warehouse lot in San Jose, CA, I could have seen 2-3 rows of warehouses being built in the span of their huge parking lot.  It is a fact that the more crowded the circumstances, then the more stressed the inhabitants.  I’m looking forward when they build luxury condominiums on top of their luxury condominiums. 

Good stuff. 

I can’t wait to settle and hit the ground running.  In a way, I have no choice: I’m desperate! 

I’m still doing as Steve Harvey said: Jump!  Take the leap!  Chase your dreams! 

Love is all around.  I feel so happy and blessed.

Trouble in Paradise

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So a series of “unfortunate events” have occurred in the last day.  I’ve had a pretty seamless trip from the East Coast to the West Coast (well, technically I was pulled over in practically every state from driving too slow, not wearing a seat belt, to not swerving to the left lane when someone else is pulled over etc.).  However, yesterday took the cake: I camped out at the KOA (Campgrounds of America) in Ventura Ranch, CA where they also charged me a stunning $38 for a night at the camp site.  I met a great guy named Robert from Riverside, CA also (more on that later – we talked about God, cost of living in different states, his union and retirement plans etc.). 

As I was pulling away from the campground, a cop saw me with the double whammy: I was leaving a friend a voicemail from my speakerphone AND my seatbelt was off because I had just left the campground and there were NO cars around!  He pulled me over and gave me a citation for each. Within 2 minutes of pulling out of the lane my father called and told me some stupid warning citation I got for a broken tail light back in April came back to get me!  Apparently, I had to get the tail light approved by some inspection station or police station in Maryland, and get back to the MVA or my tags would be suspended!  Well, guess what?  I just found out yesterday.

I went to a Fillmore, CA police station and they refused to sign off on it (come on!  It’s just a tail light!  Say it works and let’s get on with it!) because it was “outside their jurisdiction.”  Stupid cops.  Next, I went to this Boost Mobile store and talked to a woman named Joanna (this is a bit of a Quarantino – this happened after visited the police station, them telling me I needed a hard copy which my father E-mailed to me, then going around trying to find a way to print it out –  and she agreed to print out my ticket from my E-mail.

So here I am, in Mountain View, CA (near the Bay Area), and some thousands of miles from home – I’m not going home based on some fuckin’ traffic violation.  If you see me on some high speed police chase, pray for me (pray that I outrun the authorities!).  I got the tail light fixed the same week of the citation back in April, but that was all.  I didn’t get any notice in April, June, July… and now I get one in August with the deadline of my suspension?  WTF?!!  Anyway, I’m enjoying my stay in California and look forward to looking for more jobs, settling somewhere, and getting to work and posting about my adventures since Arkansas. 

By the way, I’m in love with Mountain View!  Only here does everyone seem friendly and you can pass two people having a conversation about how “these music videos are just a microcosm of…”  – what intellects!

I found a few sites through Freelance Writing Gigs and Freedom Writing including textbroker, iwriter, and elance which are sites that content consumers post projects and assignments, and writers can pick them up and get paid – the higher your writing the more you get paid.  I’m all about it . I’ve applied to close to 20 jobs already before finding these sites without any luck.  Wish me luck.

Oh yeah, I’ve decided not to Anglicize my name from Ching-Yin Lee even if it opens the door to more job assignments –  this is my birth name and is special to me.  My name means “Honest Politician” and I’ll be damned if I don’t live up to it.  Also, I love how Mountain View has Chinese and Asian restaurants and decor everywhere.  I also like the smell of Chinese pastries and buns and dim sum on the street.  Reminds me of my upbringing and is a sign of my longing and nostalgia for my Chinese upbringing.  I feel my family was so eager to Americanize us and assimilate into American culture that some of the old traditional-ness has been lost, but nothing’s perfect.  I do miss the sense of Chinese-ness that my grandparents brought with them.  Regardless, I’m not complaining; my parents did a bang up job: just look at me!  😀

Have a great day!  🙂

Fear & Everyday Life

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Before leaving on my trip, there were many people who feared for me.  There were people who were afraid my car would be stalled, that I’d get kidnapped by the KKK in middle America, that I’d get jacked, or I’d meet some kind of weird fate that will take me off the grid.  What really happened was the opposite.  I believe most people including myself are afraid of the unknown, uncertainty, and the unpredictable as well as the uncontrollable.  This trip was all of the above and is STILL one of the best and safest experiences of my life.

As much of a safety net that urban or suburban life in a single city provides, it also has many pitfalls as well.  Most people believe that staying in one place and working and “grinding it out” is the most secure way of living.  I’d like to counter that assumption by pointing out that a number of things can go wrong in a typical suburban work situation:

–  Getting a reamed out by a boss

–   Paying bills, missing bills, or over looking bills

–  Worrying about credit, debt, savings, and the all foreseeable “future” all the time;  even if that spoils the present

–  An over dependence on technology

–  Major distractors: consumerism, technology, happy hours/bar scene/club scene – in my opinion, all of these distract us from the fact that the system we work under is flawed and that is prevents us from manifesting our potential and innate talent as human beings (more on this later as some detail oriented individuals will point out how I’m so “vague” about talking about talent, potential, or “meaning”).

–  Rush hour traffic or basically any traffic in busy local roads and highways – I, myself, was hit by a vehicle last May and

–  Health –  the “grind” or any career really sucks the life out of us.  I recall a particular period back in February or March of this year when I had  worked a particularly hard day :

10am-1pm –  Tutor at University Writing Center

1:15pm-2:45pm –  Eat lunch, freelance as a tutor for a private client

2:45pm-:4:50pm –  Drive to work with a client for a private tutoring company

4:50pm-6:45pm –  Drive through rush hour traffic to work with another client for same company

6:45pm-9:30pm –  Coach Martial Arts

9:30pm – 10:30pm –  Close up, talk with student, arrive home

***

That night when I walked up the stairwell of my apartment, I felt a sharp pain underneath the left part of my chest, and my left leg almost gave out.  The left part of my body was a little numb, but being a martial artist, I willed myself and the left part of my body into action and completed the stairs.

–  Typical drama and crises:  there is always a friend in crisis every week or month (or yourself) that you have to tend to, personal or work drama, something in the house or the car that needs to be fixed, some new expense that must be attended to

–  Personal obligations: weddings to attend, meeting up with friends, novelty events (concerts, movie screenings etc.)

–  Chores:  buying this or that, running that errand,  shopping for groceries cleaning that laundry, mowing that lawn, dusting the house etc. etc. etc.

–  Staying fit: working out and exercise takes a lot of time

–  Actual health conditions: allergies, medication, doctor’s visits etc.

***

Among all the above factors, there are MANY things that can and do usually go wrong.  Even a successful life with a good home, savings, and regular work there is just too much stress and too many things to attend to on a weekly basis.  That in itself is: physically and mentally draining, most of the activities lack meaning or a deep purpose, and things can and do go wrong at any misstep which people call “life” (ie – losing job, car accident, mortgage problems, paying bills, sudden change of health etc.).  I think this debunks the fallacy that regular, mundane life is in fact safer and more secure than a life of travel or a life with fewer guarantees.  A life with fewer guarantees could possibly yield a happier, more carefree life without piles and piles of obligations, the harshness of churning it out in an empty, broken capitalist society, and the health problems that can result after a prolong period of living in this way.

In the process of trying to earn a living in my local area in Takoma Park, MD, I have found the most damaging factors to the health are:  the nature of daily work and living, traffic (very clogged, stressful, and lots of distracted drivers), and the several near-death accidents that I avoid (I find technology has caused people to become more and more distracted).  The nature of daily living is so stressful, meaningless, and never-ending.  In addition, the system that we work under has much to do with it: a capitalist culture in which there are private owners and therefore employees to fill in the work.  According to Marx, we are basically used as “tool” to function the machine as opposed to individual living entities.  His Theory of Alienation dictates that as time goes on we will become more and more estranged from our work, ourselves, and others.  Hegel believes we’ll lift from a period of ignorance to self-actualization, and Weber or Durkheim (another sociologist) believed that a society built upon rationalization and beauracracy will lead to unhappiness (a lost of magic and enchantment). 

My efforts to work, pay bills, and get out of debt have led to many outrageous incidents in the past 5 years:

–  Fired from two jobs

–  Laid off from one job

–  At least three jobs that had no more work for me without actually letting me know ahead of time

–  Two car accidents and one car that broke down on the road

–  Late fees from landlord for the first time I was late in 3-4 years

–  Cockcroaches and later bed bugs in my apartment complex

This demonstrates that anything can and will happen even in more seemingly secure living conditions.

 

Having been on the road for just over a week, I have not experienced even a little bit (perhaps the occasional tailgating because I drive an old car) of the above problems.   Most of the drivers on the road (I took I-95 South from Maryland to North Carolina, and I-40 West across the country) are relatively polite and would pass me if they think I’m driving too slow.  I was pulled over once in Oklahoma for driving too slow (given a warning) and once in Texas for appearing lost while leaving a campground and then ticketed for not having my seat belt on (great).  Those incidents are on the lower side of stressful compared to the life I led in Maryland as a young working professional. In addition, I’ve learned new ways of making a living and getting by such as pitching a tent at a campground (it has showers and bathrooms) which only costs $10-20 a night, how to be more resourceful (buying a lot of groceries ahead of time and living off them instead of eating at restaurants),  have been recommended websites where I can find: freelance writing jobs (www.freelancewritinggigs.com), inexpensive living (www.airbnb.com), and volunteer work in exchange  for food and shelter (www.helpx.net – costs a small $25 to register). 

I’ve met some super friendly people on the road including two Texans that gave me $40 as a donation when I told them my story.  They told me: “we Texans look out for others and keep our doors open at night.”  Quite beautiful.  Well, they also told me that every Texan packs a gun because of the local culture and despises Obama because of his decisions on the oilfield, but we still had friendly, civil conversation about politics (they happened to have agreed when I talked about the positive qualities about Obama: his policies on women’s rights and education for example). 

I almost met a nice traveler named Ted who has been to so many places in this country and even in Mexico and has so much knowledge about the process of traveling.  I was blessed to have met him.  If anyone knew how to survive on a budget and how to stay safe and happy on the road, it would be him. I offered to help him co-author or work towards a book because that’s what I do now, and I’d like to seem someone with his kind of knowledge to be able to inspire and educate others to give this lifestyle a try: for a short term retreat opportunity or as an alternative lifestyle to the whole work, mortgage, family, and retirement path.  He is an awfully friend person too and I would like to learn as much from him as possible as a friend and mentoree/student. 

In conclusion, the road is fun, open, embracing, contemplative, exhilarating, and educational.  Everyone should attempt it at some point because they’d be surprised at what they can find.  Also, being on the road takes me out of my immediate environment and gives me the perspective on how when we get older we eventually surround ourselves with the same environment and life situation on a day-to-day basis and that sort of fogs our perspective, learning opportunities, and ability to appreciate the greater and broader things in life.  Traveling and the road can help with that contemplating and settling issue – I’ve learned so much about myself and life in just the past week. 

In the near future I’d like to blog on: My Trail of Tears (letting go of the past), blast the 40 hour work week and 9-5 requirement, and get in some good Sociology writing.  While not the worst place to live in the world, a capitalist society certainly has its limits, pitfalls, and plethora of inequalities.  I hope in the future that I can help change that process within the system by having people question the ideology and mechanisms of our capitalist society and help people to make change on an internal and grassroots level.  Who knows, perhaps our society can move away from a capitalist society without any changes in our democracy.  I am  not Anti-American, anti-democracy, nor anti-indivdiual, but I am anti-oppressing the soul, anti-conforming to the status quo and society standards without questioning, and anti-lack-of-opporutnities-for-all-people.  

Have a great day!  I’ve recently downloaded 150 pages for free on Emile Durkheim, one of the founding fathers of Modern Sociology from this link on Google (it’s a PDF).  Take care!

 

 

Fear & Everyday Life

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Before leaving on my trip, there were many people who feared for me.  There were people who were afraid my car would be stalled, that I’d get kidnapped by the KKK in middle America, that I’d get jacked, or I’d meet some kind of weird fate that will take me off the grid.  What really happened was the opposite.  I believe most people including myself are afraid of the unknown, uncertainty, and the unpredictable as well as the uncontrollable.  This trip was all of the above and is STILL one of the best and safest experiences of my life.

As much of a safety net that urban or suburban life in a single city provides, it also has many pitfalls as well.  Most people believe that staying in one place and working and “grinding it out” is the most secure way of living.  I’d like to counter that assumption by pointing out that a number of things can go wrong in a typical suburban work situation:

–  Getting a reamed out by a boss

–   Paying bills, missing bills, or over looking bills

–  Worrying about credit, debt, savings, and the all foreseeable “future” all the time;  even if that spoils the present

–  An over dependence on technology

–  Major distractors: consumerism, technology, happy hours/bar scene/club scene – in my opinion, all of these distract us from the fact that the system we work under is flawed and that is prevents us from manifesting our potential and innate talent as human beings (more on this later as some detail oriented individuals will point out how I’m so “vague” about talking about talent, potential, or “meaning”).

–  Rush hour traffic or basically any traffic in busy local roads and highways – I, myself, was hit by a vehicle last May and

–  Health –  the “grind” or any career really sucks the life out of us.  I recall a particular period back in February or March of this year when I had  worked a particularly hard day :

10am-1pm –  Tutor at University Writing Center

1:15pm-2:45pm –  Eat lunch, freelance as a tutor for a private client

2:45pm-:4:50pm –  Drive to work with a client for a private tutoring company

4:50pm-6:45pm –  Drive through rush hour traffic to work with another client for same company

6:45pm-9:30pm –  Coach Martial Arts

9:30pm – 10:30pm –  Close up, talk with student, arrive home

***

That night when I walked up the stairwell of my apartment, I felt a sharp pain underneath the left part of my chest, and my left leg almost gave out.  The left part of my body was a little numb, but being a martial artist, I willed myself and the left part of my body into action and completed the stairs.

–  Typical drama and crises:  there is always a friend in crisis every week or month (or yourself) that you have to tend to, personal or work drama, something in the house or the car that needs to be fixed, some new expense that must be attended to

–  Personal obligations: weddings to attend, meeting up with friends, novelty events (concerts, movie screenings etc.)

–  Chores:  buying this or that, running that errand,  shopping for groceries cleaning that laundry, mowing that lawn, dusting the house etc. etc. etc.

–  Staying fit: working out and exercise takes a lot of time

–  Actual health conditions: allergies, medication, doctor’s visits etc.

***

Among all the above factors, there are MANY things that can and do usually go wrong.  Even a successful life with a good home, savings, and regular work there is just too much stress and too many things to attend to on a weekly basis.  That in itself is: physically and mentally draining, most of the activities lack meaning or a deep purpose, and things can and do go wrong at any misstep which people call “life” (ie – losing job, car accident, mortgage problems, paying bills, sudden change of health etc.).  I think this debunks the fallacy that regular, mundane life is in fact safer and more secure than a life of travel or a life with fewer guarantees.  A life with fewer guarantees could possibly yield a happier, more carefree life without piles and piles of obligations, the harshness of churning it out in an empty, broken capitalist society, and the health problems that can result after a prolong period of living in this way.

In the process of trying to earn a living in my local area in Takoma Park, MD, I have found the most damaging factors to the health are:  the nature of daily work and living, traffic (very clogged, stressful, and lots of distracted drivers), and the several near-death accidents that I avoid (I find technology has caused people to become more and more distracted).  The nature of daily living is so stressful, meaningless, and never-ending.  In addition, the system that we work under has much to do with it: a capitalist culture in which there are private owners and therefore employees to fill in the work.  According to Marx, we are basically used as “tool” to function the machine as opposed to individual living entities.  His Theory of Alienation dictates that as time goes on we will become more and more estranged from our work, ourselves, and others.  Hegel believes we’ll lift from a period of ignorance to self-actualization, and Weber or Durkheim (another sociologist) believed that a society built upon rationalization and beauracracy will lead to unhappiness (a lost of magic and enchantment). 

My efforts to work, pay bills, and get out of debt have led to many outrageous incidents in the past 5 years:

–  Fired from two jobs

–  Laid off from one job

–  At least three jobs that had no more work for me without actually letting me know ahead of time

–  Two car accidents and one car that broke down on the road

–  Late fees from landlord for the first time I was late in 3-4 years

–  Cockcroaches and later bed bugs in my apartment complex

This demonstrates that anything can and will happen even in more seemingly secure living conditions.

 

Having been on the road for just over a week, I have not experienced even a little bit (perhaps the occasional tailgating because I drive an old car) of the above problems.   Most of the drivers on the road (I took I-95 South from Maryland to North Carolina, and I-40 West across the country) are relatively polite and would pass me if they think I’m driving too slow.  I was pulled over once in Oklahoma for driving too slow (given a warning) and once in Texas for appearing lost while leaving a campground and then ticketed for not having my seat belt on (great).  Those incidents are on the lower side of stressful compared to the life I led in Maryland as a young working professional. In addition, I’ve learned new ways of making a living and getting by such as pitching a tent at a campground (it has showers and bathrooms) which only costs $10-20 a night, how to be more resourceful (buying a lot of groceries ahead of time and living off them instead of eating at restaurants),  have been recommended websites where I can find: freelance writing jobs (www.freelancewritinggigs.com), inexpensive living (www.airbnb.com), and volunteer work in exchange  for food and shelter (www.helpx.net – costs a small $25 to register). 

I’ve met some super friendly people on the road including two Texans that gave me $40 as a donation when I told them my story.  They told me: “we Texans look out for others and keep our doors open at night.”  Quite beautiful.  Well, they also told me that every Texan packs a gun because of the local culture and despises Obama because of his decisions on the oilfield, but we still had friendly, civil conversation about politics (they happened to have agreed when I talked about the positive qualities about Obama: his policies on women’s rights and education for example). 

I almost met a nice traveler named Ted who has been to so many places in this country and even in Mexico and has so much knowledge about the process of traveling.  I was blessed to have met him.  If anyone knew how to survive on a budget and how to stay safe and happy on the road, it would be him. I offered to help him co-author or work towards a book because that’s what I do now, and I’d like to seem someone with his kind of knowledge to be able to inspire and educate others to give this lifestyle a try: for a short term retreat opportunity or as an alternative lifestyle to the whole work, mortgage, family, and retirement path.  He is an awfully friend person too and I would like to learn as much from him as possible as a friend and mentoree/student. 

In conclusion, the road is fun, open, embracing, contemplative, exhilarating, and educational.  Everyone should attempt it at some point because they’d be surprised at what they can find.  Also, being on the road takes me out of my immediate environment and gives me the perspective on how when we get older we eventually surround ourselves with the same environment and life situation on a day-to-day basis and that sort of fogs our perspective, learning opportunities, and ability to appreciate the greater and broader things in life.  Traveling and the road can help with that contemplating and settling issue – I’ve learned so much about myself and life in just the past week. 

In the near future I’d like to blog on: My Trail of Tears (letting go of the past), blast the 40 hour work week and 9-5 requirement, and get in some good Sociology writing.  While not the worst place to live in the world, a capitalist society certainly has its limits, pitfalls, and plethora of inequalities.  I hope in the future that I can help change that process within the system by having people question the ideology and mechanisms of our capitalist society and help people to make change on an internal and grassroots level.  Who knows, perhaps our society can move away from a capitalist society without any changes in our democracy.  I am  not Anti-American, anti-democracy, nor anti-indivdiual, but I am anti-oppressing the soul, anti-conforming to the status quo and society standards without questioning, and anti-lack-of-opporutnities-for-all-people.  

Have a great day!  I’ve recently downloaded 150 pages for free on Emile Durkheim, one of the founding fathers of Modern Sociology from this link on Google (it’s a PDF).  Take care!

 

 

Day 5: Aug 20

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Last night I slept pretty well at this quaint place on the outskirt suburbs of Memphis, TN called “Memphis East Campgrounds.” It was a nice grass and gravel lot with a pond in the back. The locals were friendly and I even had an opportunity to coach these young Latino boys in how to market and sell products for school funding. They were riding around on a bike and asking random people “do you want to buy a coupon book?” I told them it would be more effective to first introduce themselves, tell the person what school they attend, and where the money will go to. Also, I told them to make eye contact, smile, and sound persuasive. This seemed to help as a few of them actually sold a few before it was too late in the evening.

The road is getting tiring and I am approaching Little Rock, AK which is where I plan on settling tonight.

A few funny quirks of the South:
– Very few Wi-Fi spots but their McDonald’s always has a decent connection. Let me rephrase that: I didn’t think they had any for a while since they Starbucks and Panera Bread’s seemed to be more and more sparse the further South I went.
– They LOVE their 24 hour Subway restaruants for some reason.
– Waffle House: everywhere.
– Some places in North Carolina seem to have some forced friendliness while Tennessee natives appear to be real sweethearts. As an Asian American and minority, I do get a few weird looks from time to time, but I assume it’s because it’s their first encounter with awesome.

I’m finding it more and more difficult to keep up the writing routine as 80% or more of my focus goes to the road trip and keeping moving. I am meditating more and feeling healthy in spite of eating mostly canned foods. Trader Joe’s prepackaged and pre-prepared Indian vacuum packs are awesome! I also really like to raid Walmart as they’ve become a mini-Costco as a opposed to a poor man’s Kmart.
I’ve applied to two jobs this week. Wish me luck!

Too many topics and interesting topics have come to me on the road or before showering/sleeping lately but by the time I’m in front of the computer I am too tired to write about them.
One of them is: is showering and bathing a symbolic or “energetic” cleansing of the soul/the day’s work/the day’s sins? Most people have their best ideas when they shower or when they relieve themselves in the bathroom.

I also have thoughts of being a hermit. I mean I love human beings: I just can’t stand being around them. Also, spending time or living away from the city and the suburbs might give me an opportunity to live a less hectic and chore-filled day. I just want to do what I love in peace and help others while doing it. How hard is that? I plan on working and interacting with others on some level (such as coaching, attending class etc.) , however, while doing my daily living I want to be away – heck, maybe even start a vegetable garden. I saw this video of a 70-year-old woman who was a full vegan and grew all of her food around her house in Florida and eats them raw and juices them with rain water. I’ll have to post the video next time – Thanks Frank!

Almost forgot! I had an affininty with this playful, friendly, and polite stray cat at the campground last night. I saw a few stray animals in the South already, unfrotuantely. This cat watned attention and a playmate, so I humored him a bit when I was refining my tent after the shower. However, every time he got too close I shoed him away beause I wans’t sure if he had an health problems. I think we both felt a strong affinity towards me too. When I set up my camp, and went to bed I kept thinking of him, how cruel the world was, and what I’d do if he was my pet. Soon enough, as I was thinking of making him an obstacle course he started climbing my tent. I had to shoe him off from insdie. Then he started grabbing objects and playing with them through the tent cover and in the morning he tore off my rain cover and looked inside a few times from the net. My tent was the Leaning Tower of Ching when I got out to assess the situation.

Have a great day!