Sunday, December 15, 2013

Up to the Date

I left off kind of outlining my many future adventures. I haven't yet heard back from Fulbright but in pure Mateja fashion I am really doubting my credibility. To put it bluntly: I'm not holding my breath. Yes, I have a lot of things going for me like that I am familiar with the culture, language and geography but I'm really competing with the big dogs here. I realized my competitors are most likely PhD candidates, published and just real life scholars. You can't even apply to the Slovenia grant without your Masters...or better. Anyway, just wanted to stress my worries about that situation. Luckily, I have a back-up plan: move to Austin! The city I have promised myself I would live a couple years of my 20's in. I have been looking at some Assistant Professor positions at the University of Austin Texas. So, there's that.

I also informed my readers that I was going to Nepal! Well, I did that. And it was a culture shock, to say the least. I have never traveled to SE Asia before this and I really don't know how to put my experience in words that are euphemistic enough to say what I mean. But it was wild. If anyone wants to be really "believe" in overpopulation, go to SE Asia. If anyone wants to "believe" in global warming due to the waste we produce, go to SE Asia. I thought I was prepared for a third world country traveling through Chile, Central America and some grungy parts of Europe. But wow. This level of poverty was something I could not quite shake. The amount of social responsibility, especially for a Westerner, was sometimes too much to bear. I couldn't bring myself to haggle for a 1.50$ in Rupees. This is quite a negative review. There were so many positives to add to the (initially) overwhelming negatives. The Himalayas are spectacular. Humbling. Fantastic. Freaking Huge. But if I saw one more piece of trash littering the most beautiful mountain range on our planet, I probably would have lost it. It got better as we got higher but, my god. My Mt. Everest. Nepal is amazing though, in it's own special third worldly way. Anyways, going way into this and there are more things to update y'all with. Like that I'm going back to SE Asia.

My boyfriend is traveling Thailand and Cambodia until February. Until I can join him. Yes, after all that I am going back to SE Asia. I need more, I guess. We are meeting in Vietnam and going up through Cambodia, Laos and Northern Thailand, then traveling down the Vietnamese coast back to Ho Chi Minh City.  We'll see how it goes...I had a dream about riding elephants last night so I am taking it as a good sign.

Here is a poem to leave off from my venting. Actually, instead of leaving you with someone else's poem, I will write my own.. It's time. And I am now in a creative writing group and I have gotten some pretty good feedback. I was always petrified of other people reading my writing but I don't think it's as bad as I think...

Double Edged Sword

This is different.
On the one hand it's just that, different.
On the other hand, it's sad.
This state of life is not a state of life.
Crawling out of a pile of trash as an insulated house is not life.
But maybe it is, it's their life.
And you look at their faces, raptured with such humbling happiness.
And you can't be happy with your three car garage and your 45 K salary.
Because it's hard.

They take their happiness from the looming mountains above them,
From their children's gleeful smiles,
From that extra dollar the westerner gives.

While people use their country everyday for the humbling experience of their nature,
this is their every day life.
This is what they live for.