Bangkok:  hand; TG duck and a can of foie gras; love; Transat

November 29, 2021

My hand is recovering, slowly.  Ten days after the surgery I can type better but making a fist or holding anything with some mass is still out of the question.  Yesterday I went for a run for the first time since the surgery and did some pull-ups.  It will be a while before I can do a full workout.  I just hope that three weeks from now, in Grenada, I will be able to sail Antares — of course with Marina’s and Natalia’s help.  I guess I underestimated what the surgery would be like.  Even if the quality of care at the Bumrungard International Hospital was excellent and I got a nice room (see pic). And that, despite all the drugs I had to take, the doctor didn’t prescribe cutting on gin or wine.  

Natalia and I had a pleasant Thanksgiving.  Because of my hand, she was in charge of the cooking. And because it was only the two of us we changed the main dish:  duck confit instead of a turkey.   But following our tradition we had foie gras served with Sauterne, red caviar from Latvia, and plenty of cava and red wine.  We did have major problems though opening the can of foie gras. We are staying in a temporary, furnished, apartment and don’t have all the essentials. I got us a can opener at a store close-by but it was not up to the task so we had to improvise (see pic).

This morning I was reading a post by Webb Chiles where he refers to a French proverb: “Love is friendship on fire.” I often think about the meaning of passionate love, also referred to as being-in love or infatuation.   According researchers in the field, passionate love differs from romantic love (or Eros) in that there is an element of obsession (I like that distinction).  Both can happen at any age (not only teenagers experience infatuation) and are very different from companionate love, which involves deep friendship, easy companionship, and sharing of common interests, but not necessarily sexual desire or attraction. Some theories argue that over the long-term passionate or romantic love inevitably converge to companionate love. I would like to disagree but that is not the point.  

The questions I am interested in are why are we able to experience passionate love — which if you have, you know can bring happiness but also tremendous pain.  What is going on in our brains when we are in-love?  Why when a relationship is over we cannot simply move on instead of having to suffer for months?  The consensus is that the neural machinery needed to experience passionate love evolved to maximize the probability of transferring our genes to the next generation. Not surprisingly, when we are in-love our brains are in a state of chemical unbalance; the person we love is a sort of drug. And like with alcohol and other drugs, quitting is not easy. Not a very romantic view of love but fascinating.  To the point where I have bought a copy of:  “The New Psychology of Love” by Robert J. Sternberg  and Karin Sternberg.  Will report if I like it.  

The Transat Jacques Vabre is coming to an end.  It is a race that I like to follow — mainly the IMOCA class. All those boats are now in Martinique so I need to find myself another distraction. 

The last photos were taken yesterday. We went for a walk mid-afternoon and then had a drink at a rooftop bar (Belga Roof-Top). Alas, Natalia then went to have dinner with a friend and I had to manage alone. I had plenty of time to contemplate my hand.

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