Bangkok:  new place and elephant;  my hand and Hemingway’s advice; Annihilate; passage Grenada-Panama

February 1st.

We moved to our new apartment 7 days ago; it was an uneventful, stress-free move.  Everything we own has found its new place, including paintings that were hung on Wednesday and even Natalia’s shoes and bags.  Over the weekend I also bought some new art:  a beautiful elephant I found in the local souck (see pic).  We like the new apartment. The neighborhood, Phrom Phong, is calm, yet we are at walking distance from cafes, restaurants, and a supermarket.  The metro is also close-by.

Tomorrow I have a doctors appointment.  The hand-doctor who operated my hand wants to see how things are going.  Two months and a half after the surgery the hand is doing much better but it has not yet achieved 100% of its functionality; maybe it will never.  The little finger is now extended, but it can’t flex fully and I have difficulty lifting things heavier than 20 pounds or so.  I will need some therapy but I won’t be here for long…  

The good thing is that I can now type normally, something that is quite important because, as I had mentioned in a previous post, I make a living writing — no literature but reports and articles.  Which brings me to Hemingway’s advice.  He wrote somewhere that it is good practice to write while under the influence but to edit when you are sober.  I’ve noticed that I do the opposite. I write while sober and edit while under the influence.  I am not saying mine is a better strategy and that what I write is the proof, far from it, just wondering what more common behavior.

Thinking about literature, I just purchased the Kindle version of Houellbecq’s new book:  Annihilate, which I will start reading tonight.  Like his other books, I am sure it is excellent. If you are interested, there was a good review in the Financial Times this past weekend, including an interview with the author.  

Although we just moved and we like the new place we will be leaving in a few days. Natalia and I are flying this Saturday.  She is going to Latvia to visit her parents and I am going first to Tunisia, Morocco and Paris for work, then to Grenada to sail ANTARES to Panama, and from Panama to Ecuador also to visit my parents.  If all goes well I should be back to Thailand mid April with Marina and Sofia who will then be in spring break. 

I have started planning for the passage, with some encouragement and advice from one of the legends in the art of sailing. For now some some basic things such as ordering freeze dry food, replacement parts, and gear that needs to be replaced.  Since this will be a downwind passage where the pole is likely to be used, I have been sorting out the sheets and blocks that I will need.

I should fly to DC on March 4th from Paris to gather all the gear&stuff that I have ordered, including the solar panels — and the dinghy that never made it in the last trip.  I expect to be in Grenada on March 7 and 8, spend some 4-5 days preparing the boat and depart around March 12-13.  If all goes well, the passage to Panama should take 8 days or so. All for now.

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