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Happy purim, St.Patrick's, Holi...
Is it a mere coincidence that three holidays that support drinking to the point of oblivion are taking place as news reports force us into jaw-clenching sobriety?
I, for one, would love to plunge head-first into a pint (but alas my stomach has joined my toe in support of the war protest).

We had to cancel the trip to Pai. It took all day and 1500 bhat of phone cards to work out plane reservations. Thai travel agents are the least helpful sources of misinformation. they won't even call your airline if it is long distance. Everything went wrong yesterday. I finally get on the phone with Air India and they can't hear me from the payphone. So I hobble to another payphone in 30+ heat with a broken toe and their computers have just gone down, could I please call back?

Meanwhile, Chris could not get in touch with Air Canada in Thailand because everyone, including the web site, has the WRONG NUMBER. We will be emailing AC with the correction soon, but thai travellers take note.

Finally it was 3:30, we still have not got a single ticket sorted out, and the idea of motorcycling in unfamiliar countryside as it gets dark was not very appealing. Sometimes you have to swallow the disappointment, and think that maybe there is a reason why so many obstacles were thrown into your path. Does that sort of fatalism sound ridiculously self-centred? Like the fates would care more about me than the Iraqis and the Western soldiers about to engage in a meaningless excercise of death?


We checked into a nice-ish ($16can/night) hotel with AC, ordered bland food to our room, and watched BBCWorld all night, bot obsessed with the war (between channel flipping with absurdly fitting Osmosis Joe).

Ugh, my stomach. I am oficially sick of thai cuisine. The smell is making me want to vomit. I am a bit sick, but it is NOT the Asian Pneumonia scare. OK?

Just in case you don't have any family in Iraq or in the US, British, Aussie, or Spanish services, and are looking for a way to feel a little more sensitized by the war, here is an excerpt from your favorite pony sister living in Tel Aviv. I didn't ask if I could post this, so Lisa, I hope that you don't mind if I paste in part of your email today.

So hey, the war's supposed to start tomorrow. Yipee. I received a
dire-sounding "get out now or we can't be responsible for your safety" letter from the Canadian ambassador, and there was a civil safety pamphlet stuck in my Friday newspaper. The cover shows a young nuclear family, with a J.Crew-style Mom and Dad holding their smiling kids. Inside are all sorts of tips for putting on your gas mask, making a sealed room, what to do in case of various scenarios...etc. The religious community was in a tizzy about the fact that this government-sponsored publication shows secular parents *touching each other*...

Meanwhile, there was a hysterical satire on Beep, Israel's comedy TV channel (cable). An interviewer (comedian posing as a journalist) stops people on the street and in shopping malls, and asks them if they think incest is okay if families have been stuck for a long time in their sealed rooms during a chemical attack. It's obvious that nobody knows what "incest" (gilui arayot) means, but they won't admit it, so they say things like, "Well, between parents it's not okay, but between parents and children I can understand

Actually, I'm totally sick of this war talk. I was cooking dinner a few nights ago (stir-fried broccoli with tofu in oyster sauce) when Alon (one of my flatmates) poked his head into the kitchen and said, "My mother just called and she wants to know what we're going to do about making a sealed room."

Okay, I was in a pissy mood. So without looking up, I stirred my broccoli angrily and said, "I am not planning to make a sealed room. If the air raid sirens go off I'll just head for the bomb shelter at the end of the block.

Anyways, it's impossible in this apartment with all the windows." Alon wagged his finger mockingly and said, "Uh-uh-uh, my mom's gonna call you!"

Fine! I snapped, with a total lack of humour, Tell her to call me on my mobile! I can't wait!

Alon retreated, and hasn't raised the issue since...

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