21 June 2017

Midsummer in America

Summer solstice, Midsummer in the Northern Hemisphere.  I miss the bonfire nights there. 

Here the differences between daylight hours and dark ones are always small, still almost half-and-half.  And there is no twilight.  Dark falls quickly, and dawn springs up suddenly. 

At noon this time of year, the sun is north of us!  That is confusing – if one doesn’t have their compass at hand! 

I did my 90-day-report of address to Immigration in person yesterday.  We hire an old retired taxi driver to take us there.  He is a happy friendly guy and a real treat to ride with.  When Tuk is along they jabber and laugh about things in Thai. 

There was just him and I yesterday, and we have quite a language barrier.  I used the Thai/English talking dictionary on my phone to communicate a few key words to him.  I explained that my hearing is not good, due in part to Vietnam experience.  He tried to tell me something about himself related to Vietnam, but I couldn’t follow.  (Tuk will straighten that out at some later time.)  He did somehow communicate that he valued my Vietnam service, as Thai people generally appreciated the US help to keep communism at bay.  They knew what horrors their neighboring countries experienced. 

I told him that my father was a farmer – something that most Thais really relate to and respect.  He was curious about our farm, and I told him we always had two dozen head of dairy cows and 200 chickens.  We traveled through miles and miles of countryside to and from Immigration, and I so enjoy seeing the rice fields, farms, and tiny villages.  I don’t get out much, especially to the countryside. 

I have not been into the city much either.  But I did get in to see two movies of the Bangkok Silent Film Festival.  (I wanted to see more films, but travel kicks the shit out of me, and I was just too much in pain to go more often.)  I saw the master filmmaker Fritz Lang’s 1921 Destiny, which was amazing in its drama and visual imagery. 

The 1920 The Mark of Zorro was one I especially wanted to see, and it was worth the effort to get into town for.  Douglas Fairbanks was an astoundingly acrobatic actor – jumping, climbing, riding, swashbuckling, outclassing numerically superior adversaries at every turn, and laughing in their faces!  He defined Zorro in that film. 

Zorro was one of my earliest heroes, in the 1957-58 Disney TV show.  He was a lone individualist with a strong sense of justice, and he was always against tyranny.  He accepted outlaw status and bore his illegality with pride.  He loved the night and the full moon. 

Ayn Rand, as a teenager in Russia’s Bolshevik slaughterhouse, saw Western films such as this 1920 The Mark of Zorro, and she said these romantic movies saved her from having her spirit extinguished by the brutal horror all around her.  When I read Rand’s novels and then found out she was a Zorro fan like me, I thought, “Of course!”  A kinship of a heroic “sense of life.” 

I will stop here and post this.  A big windy rainstorm has just hit at the fall of darkness, and I’ve been tying down windows blown open.  I need to inspect the rest of the house. 



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