Here Thar Be Monsters!

From the other side of the argument to the other side of the planet, read in over 149 countries and 17 languages. We bring you news and opinion with an IndoTex® flavor. Be sure to check out Radio Far Side. Send thoughts and comments to luap.jkt at gmail, and tell all your friends. Sampai jumpa, y'all.



One of the best trilogies (in 5 parts) of all time is 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.' Of course, that's my opinion, but since it's my blog, that's all that matters. In the opening pages, Douglas Adams notes that the farther away from home a man gets, the stranger the look in his eye, and when Arthur looked into Ford's eyes, it nearly made him insane.

There is truth in that observation. You see it when you live overseas in the eyes of fellow adventurers. It is most extreme here on The Far Side. Part of it is due to the longing one feels for those comfort things that define 'home.' No matter how much one likes one's new home, or how comfortable one feels, or even how similar the new digs are to the old, there are still things missing that, when one closes one's eyes, one pictures in one's mind and calls them 'home.' Doesn't one?

I thought I would compile a short list of the things I miss about Texas. Texas is a great place, don't get me wrong, but it's been taken over by yankee carpetbaggers and Americans, so just as well I'm not there. Still, in my heart there are things that I miss and wish I could have here. So here goes. Feel free to play at home and see how your notes compare.

1. My daughter: 'Nuff said.
2. Blue Northers: the deathly calm before the storm, the Wall o' Weather headin' atcha, the wild wind and lightning, the sudden change from hot and muggy to cool and fresh. Nothing in the world like that.
3. Fat Texas Burritos: a massive tortilla, slathered with refried beans, taco meat, sour cream, tomatoes and lettuce, and piled with cheese. Pardon me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard.
4. Pork Loin: Mom's loin roast with garlic, rosemary and black pepper, crisp on the outside and tender inside, with a little brown gravy and new potatoes on the side.
5. West Texas: The Great Emptiness...driving down hiway 235 with a hundred miles of nothing on the longest, straightest road I've ever seen, doing 120 mph with the top down. And don't forget the endless horizon...
6. Fresh Mowed Lawn: lying on the grass, listening to the cicadas, the sprinkler chick-chick-chicking, a cold beer or seven in the cooler next to the hammock.
7. Elbow Room: ah, the feeling of being able to stretch out and knowing no one but the federal government is watching you. Nothing like a little privacy and 10 minutes' worth of solitude.
8. The Shooting Range: going down to the range on Saturday afternoon to pop off a few founds. Hell just having a gun in the house would be nice.
9. Quiet: Islam is the noisiest religion ever invented. I'd love to wake up with an alarm clock one day and not all the hollering at 4am.
10. Leg Room: I'd love to get in a car, on a bus or walk down the street and know that everything was laid out for someone 6'-2" tall.

Don't get me wrong, I love living on The Far Side. This is my new home and I am very happy here, but if I could just bring a few extra things, it would be perfect. Texas is pretty close to Heaven, but it's been infested with 'Merikans who think they have some claim to bung up the place.

I don't think anyone ever truly acclimates to a place that isn't home. The things that brought you comfort and joy as a kid stick in your subconscious and act like a homing beacon. There's a lot of things that override that impulse, but it is there, none-the-less, whispering in the background, tempting you with the sights, smells and sounds of home.

They say you can never go home. It is an imaginary place that no longer exists, if it ever did. To a certain extent, that's true. Home is what we call the memories that we cherish and the ideals we hold. Home is what we call the expected, even though the unexpected finds us anywhere. Perhaps there is some magic ratio of expected to unexpected that reaches a threshold called 'home.'

In any case, the farther one gets from home, as Douglas noted, the stranger the look in a man's eyes. Perhaps that is what we call the eyes of age, because even time takes us far from home, though the body stays planted in one spot. In that respect, home is truly where the heart is.

Kinda like don't always make it home again, and even if you do, you always come from the opposite direction.

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