Monthly Archives: July 2014

Down it goes

toilet

Oh look, a toilet. I guess this reflects my general mood lately. Of course, watching the news doesn’t help either.

Off for a vacation on Thursday. The last time I went to Japan, I didn’t really enjoy it. I feel like I’ve been to Tokyo too many times, so it’s a nice little change to go to Osaka this time around. It’s been years since I visited Osaka, and this will be my wife’s first time. She’s kinda thinking I would know my way around the play, but with the way things change, especially in Asia, I doubt if any place I visited while I was there last time would still be there.

My mother-in-law however is not really too thrilled with the idea of us going to Japan. She thinks that we’ll end up sick due to Fukushima radiation. I’m sure most travelers would dismiss this as the concerns of an out-of-touch woman in her sixties, but many people don’t realize that Japan has a growing number of leaky water tanks just sitting there like rows poisoned canned soup. But damn it, I really need a break. I’ll try to worry about it once I get back and start discovering weird spots on my body.

I’ve said it before, but I believe the best part of a trip overseas is the airport. There’s just this overwhelming aura of possibility once you get there, rolling around with your luggage, looking at flights. It doesn’t matter what the trip is for. I just have this feeling that at any moment, my life could change. There’s just something about the prospect of being in the air and being around so many travelers. It’s like being in the one place where things actually begin to happen.

The rest of the trip is just icing on the cake.

I hope the trip improves my mood.

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Winnipeg, I love you.

Forces_aligning

Yes, I do feel it, forces lining against me. Friends are nowhere to be found as well. I sound like a high school kid, I know. And that’s part of my depression. I should be too old to sound like a high school kid right now. In any case, it’s a good thing my wife is here with me. We might have our problems now and then, but she truly is my silver lining lately

Saw this on Vice News the other day. It’s a bit out of nowhere. I’m watching news on Ukraine, then the plight of the abandoned English interpreters in Afghanistan, then boom, something from my old neighborhood… the Aboriginal gangs of Winnipeg.

God bless Vice News actually. They actually do stories which other news outlets choose to ignore since it doesn’t fit their narrative. Anyway, I was a bit surprised with the resurgence of Aboriginal gangs in Winnipeg. The last time I heard of the Indian Posse was back in the mid-90s. Then the Hell’s Angels came to town and the Indian Posse as well as other Aboriginal gangs sort of disappeared. And the last time I had any conversations with locals regarding crime and gang activities in the city, it was mostly Asians involved in gang activity, not Aboriginals.

I’m really glad they did this story. I’m also glad that they also looked at the systematic racism that the First Nations have suffered and continue to suffer through. It’s something that is quite common knowledge with anyone who’s open-minded enough to take even the most superficial look at the subject, but you still get people arguing against the “benefits” Aboriginal people get. Canada can be the most inclusive, most generous country in the world. The country prides itself in its multiculturalism. Around 95% of landed immigrants eventually become citizens and truly believe they belong in Canada. Yet it’s a big shame that many Aboriginal people see themselves as marginalized, or worse, their rights downright ignored. No wonder you see poverty, substance abuse, and gang violence.

I would go into a rant about the Canadian government abusing the environment and harming Aboriginal communities in the name of the almighty dollar, but unfortunately the history and list of grievances would be too long (Alberta oil sands is one of the biggest news at the moment). I leave that to the conscientious reader.

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Cock Violence

bloody_cock

I’ve been to a couple of cock fights, not in Canada of course.

The first thing that struck me was the amount of attention the owners gave their cocks. They would continuously stroke their cocks prior to entering the ring. some would even speak to their cocks, whispering who knows what. It truly was as if they were grooming a prized fighter. And yes, I suppose they were prize fighters. Some men would walk around with their cocks and people gave way as if they truly were somebody, like we were in Las Vegas, not in a tropical village somewhere.

The second thing I found peculiar was the betting, particularly the way people took bets. People yelled around pointing at cocks, gesturing at people around the ring, nodding, making signals, confirming with a dead-set serious look on their eyes. I did not see any notepads. People just yelled out bets, made some hand signals, and it was set.

Then, the match started. And as quickly as it began, it ends. Many people think it’s cruel. And yes, it is cruel. You can go to Youtube now and see how quickly the matches can be. What began as a ferocious looking cock with a blade strapped on its like quickly becomes this limp, pathetic, little thing, lying on the dirt and leaking blood. What’s eerie was that as loud as cocks can be, after all, you can hear them all over the barrio in the morning, they do not make a sound as the slowly die after a violent affair. No gasping for breath, no animal cries. The referee would pick up the loser cock, see if there’s any fight left, then leave the poor animal on the ground as he declares a winner. Whoever owns the losing cock would pick them up, tsk tsking from what I imagine is regret for losing a match than mourning for a beloved pet.

I guess losing cocks end up getting eaten. After all, I didn’t see any cock graves. It’s like what George Wallace said about chickens, “A chicken never dies of natural causes.” Now I’ve never eaten cock, but they must be pretty tough because those birds are bred to fight. It doesn’t matter whether it’s dark meat or if I sink my teeth into some breasts, I’m sure it’ll be a tough meal.

At the end of the match, crumpled money is either handed or thrown across the room to whomever is owed. I guess that’s what amazed me the most. Maybe it was because I watched it in a village where most people know everyone, but the honesty and the memory were unbelievable. I mean, who remembers who owes what? I couldn’t even tell who was making bets to whom. Does eye-contact hold up in court?

Both times, I ended up drinking after the matches. Whoever won the most from the cock fights ended up paying for most if not all of the food and drinks. It’s generous but it makes me wonder. Do people really make money out of these cock fights, or do they end up blowing it all on celebrating?

Oh well, that’s me talking about cocks.

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