when the rooster crows at the break of dawn.

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Growing up in my house there was a lot of Grateful Dead. A lot of John, Janis, Joni. I deeply understood from this early age that I missed something; that a movement had happened that I was meant to be a part of it.

Every piece of Dylan resonated in my blood and I was sure I’d overshot my generation.

In my adult life, I’ve spent a lot of time coming to terms with this, in a way that was, at first, angsty and apathetic. I had friends who felt the same way, so we recreated in our smallest ways possible and talked. Talked and read and listened to music. And did nothing.

Until now.

People asked all the time why we were coming here. I cycled through several answers about writing, about this being our chance, about all things Lao, but all felt like half-truths.

I now know my answer in the purest form possible—the revolution.

I came here because I knew, in that bone shaking part me, that the revolution is out here. And I knew that with Bryce, I could finally correct what had felt like a huge generational oversight.

It’s an overwhelming testament of collective consciousness that this movement brings me here, to this part of the world that so deeply shaped the revolution I longed for.

So, here I am, with my amazing partner, in this country of profound beauty and grace, able to think clearly and let the momentum take me.

Here: truly happy and sure that I’ve found my revolution.

Imagine what will happen, the forces we will fight, when we educated the children and empower the women worldwide.

This is the revolution of my generation and I couldn’t feel more at home in it; like the home of my childhood, filled with Dylan, it feels right.

on the pavement.

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Major development: I can ride a motorbike. A manual motorbike at that.

In the backpacker culture, I was awkwardly behind the game; I was starting to feel a little middle school in my lack of experience.

Today, just outside the city, Noy pulled over and told me to scoot up. (My only previous experience was two days ago doing two laps around a dirt track before I killed it and couldn’t restart.) Bryce blew past us on the back of Nu Si’s bike, with a look that I tried to interpret as confidence but was, most realistically, ‘what the…’.

Noy called each gear in my ear as we drove down the road, through the hillside and greenery on our way to Ban Kia Luang. We butted right up against a cattle truck: “Dhak Vhai, slow and slower. Three, two, nothing.” Nothing, it turns out, translates as neutral.


By the time we arrived at Ban Kia Luang to scout out some playground equipment, for B to replicate and improve on, Noy and I had only had one or two full-body muscle clenching moments. She informed me she would be driving home. “You are very fast learner. But enough for one day.” She wanted to let me rest, I’m sure.

On the way back, oddly running on schedule, B and Nu Si’s bike got a flat. Lao time. The number one Lao lesson: never expect anything to happen in a timely way.

Stuck on the side of the road in a small village, it didn’t take long before a pack of local kids were following B and I, the two falang. I had some pencils in my bag so sat down in the dirt with them and started handing them out.

Unsharpened and without paper. Perfect for drumsticks and swords. Kids came balling down the street to play with us; to have a good look at the two random falang.

We spent a while there, Lao time, waiting for the tire to get fixed. The first mechanic said he couldn’t help because he hurt his arm. The second directed Noy through each step and she did it alone.
On the way home I sat behind Noy. We shared my headphones, danced the whole way back. Johnnys in the basement mixing up the medicine, I’m on the pavement thinking about the government.