Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Estoy Borracho

OK. I am drunk. I will freely admit to being quite intoxicated at the moment. BUT, that does mean that what I am about to write has no merit, and that you can just ignore my ranting and raving. Pay attention God dammit! Some of this is important.

Before we get to the important stuff let me just address a couple of other issues. First, yes I am hammered. This is the first time that I can remember where I have sat alone drinking on this entire trip. And second (this is to you mom and dad), before you go worrying about August's drinking, this is the first time that I can remember having more than three beers in one night in at least two months (I am currently working on number four, and just might add a fifth one into the mix later on.). To address why I am drinking alone I guess I should explain the last couple of days. I decided that the relative comfort of Cebu (and the incredible generousity of JB and his family) was actually not what I wanted at the moment. Perhaps I have been on the road for too long, but I really wanted to be traveling again. So I decided to pack a bag and head for the south of the island. I arrived in Moalboal yesterday only to discover that, while there are an infinite number of dive shops, the place is a shithole, and there are more old fat Europeans and young Filipino prostitutes than I could ever have imagined. Basically, the place sucks. I was in a pretty foul mood last night, but, as I had signed up to do a few dives today, I tried to hold my head high and just ride it out. Unfortunately, I could not go anywhere last night without being a.) The youngest westerner in the the place by at least ten years, and b.) the only person not trying to sleep with a teenage Filipino. This resulted in me spending the entire night in my room reading Barack Obama's book The Audacity of Hope. More on this in a minute.

Today I went diving for the first time in a couple of months. Unlike previous diving experiences this one proved quite different. It turns out that all these old nasty whities who are sleeping with young Filipino girls at night are also all very experienced divers. As a result of this there was not any real leadership on the dives. All these guys just hopped off the boat at the dive spot and did there own thing, surfacing at the end point on their own time. As I was the only person without a dive master's certification a dive master from the shop accompanied me on my dives. However, I must say that he was one hell of a terrible dive master. He never checked my gear, and once we were in the water he rarely checked to see how I was doing. He just sort of did his own thing forcing me to follow him. This meant that I had to dive to a depth of 25 meters on my first dive, and while this was fun I am only certified to dive to 18 meters. He was fully aware of this. Despite the fact that I was a bit worried about my safety, and the lack of protocols that were followed (For example, when I ran out of air on the first dive my dive master did not surface with me, leaving me to swim to the boat on my own while he continued his dive.) I enjoyed the dives quite a bit. At least as much as someone who only enjoys diving occasionally (Most divers I meet tend to be quite obsessed with the sport.) could enjoy the dives. I was fortunate enough to have two incredible experiences with sea turtles during the dives.I saw one on each dive, and swam with each of them for a couple of minutes. The turtles were beautiful, and I was overwhelmed with joy each time I gently place my hand on their shell, or casually kicked behind them for 50 meters. It is funny how three or four minutes of your day can translate into an experience that you will never forget no matter how long you live. Absolutely FANTASTIC!!

The dives over, I was back in the shithole of Moalboal. But this time I was prepared. I was going to drink. Quick pause in the story. Beer number four is...finished. OK, so like I said, I was going to drink. It just so happened that there was a beautiful sunset, so I sat on a dock with a couple of cold San Miguels next to me and read a bit more of Barack Obama's book. After a while I put the book down and put my iPod on. Listening to Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here while enjoying the splendid reds, oranges, yellows, and purples of the setting sun is an experience that I will not soon forget.

Now for some serious stuff. Four and a half months ago I sat in Nicaragua telling a friend (Who I still owe a massive debt to for helping me out of one hell of a tight spot. Thanks a ton Lyle. You are one hell of a good friend.) that I supported Hillary Clinton because I just didn't think that Barack Obama had what it took to be president. He asked me if I had ever read The Audacity of Hope, and whether I knew much about Barack's positions on various issues. Sheepishly, I had to admit that, no I did not know a whole hell of a lot about Barack Obama. Over the past few months I have tried to learn more about Barack as well as the other candidates involved in the race. As recently as a month ago I can remember telling some Norwegian friends, anxious to here my views on the upcoming election, that I was pretty unimpressed with any of the candidates, and that the only person I thought could help our country out of the complete fuckhole that George Bush has dug for us was Al Gore. While I still belief that Al Gore would be one hell of a good president I have started to realize what a great man Barack Obama is.

About a month ago a close friend of mine forwarded an email to me about Barack Obama. I was very shocked when I received it. The email stated that Barack Obama was a radical Muslim (he is a Christian) who was trying to destroy America from the inside out. Utterly shocked that anyone could belief this I replied to my friend that I was shocked that he could possibly begin to believe such utter garbage. This was at a time when I still did not know a whole hell of a lot about Barack Obama. Nonetheless, I knew that what was being said was garbage, complete slander bordering on racism. This was one of the catalysts that led me to start learning more about Barack Obama. I occasionally would watch clips of debates online and read interviews with him, increasingly becoming more and more fascinated with this man. When I arrived in the Philippines there was a copy of The Audacity of Hope (courtesy of JB) and a copy of Notes From My Father (courtesy of Natalie) waiting for me. I immediately started reading The Audacity of Hope, and while I have not yet finished the book, here is what I think of Barack Obama thus far. If there was ever a chance to right the wrongs of the last seven years; to change the direction of a country that is faltering not only abroad, but also at home; to provide our children with a chance for a better future; to improve a flawed healthcare system; to improve an educational sytem, that despite its name, is leaving millions of children behind; to keep us from losing our footing as the worlds only superpower; and to keep us safe, then it is Barack Obama. I am thousands of miles away from home, and unfortunately, due to poor planning on my part, I will admit to not voting absentee in my state's primary. However, I will use my only form of public communication, this blog, to implore you all to examine the beliefs on Barack Obama. As far as I can tell there are only two possibilities. Barack Obama is either the worlds greatest liar and does not actually give two shits about our country and will say anything to get elected. OR, he is a great man. A man who has dedicated his life to public service. A man who has sacrificed much in order to improve the lives of countless Americans. A man we can trust. A man that all of us, both Republican and Democrat alike, can find reasons to believe in. A man who can lead us. A man who can help us. A man who is willing to sacrifice everything in order to better a country he believes in. It was not so long ago that men like Barack Obama gathered in Philadelphia and collectively changed the world forever. Their names were Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, and Madison. We owe it to Barack Obama, to our children, and to ourselves, to examine his political beliefs. So, in parting, I beg you all to spend some time learning about this man, and if you find the same thing that I find, then PLEASE do whatever you can to help his campaign. We need this man. The fate of our country might very well depend on whether or not he is elected.

1 comment:

wanderingpugilist said...

Very impressive writing for being "borracho". I honestly don't know much about Obama but your drunken blogging has convinced me take a closer look.