Sunday, 30 May 2010

Dining with the Devil.

So it's been a little wile since I tasted this particular poison.

As I was in an actual city over the weekend I thought I might as well push the boat out and shave a few years of my life.

Back on the Crackky-D's. After 6 months of being clean.

To be honest my taste-buds weren't really that into it.

My digestive system was even less impressed.

in and out of KL.

Now last summer over the course of the festival season I was pretty busy.
What this meant was that quite often I'd arrive at the place I was performing litterally moments before I was due to step out on stage.
I wasn't the only one.

I know Kate Tempest, Ross Sutherland, Inua Ellems, Jamie Woon and Joshua Idehen (to name but a few) were all in the same boat.

Well if you are still in England then you must have realised, Summer is back, and this time it's personal.

The reason I know this because one of my sisters sent me an email telling me how it was so hot she couldn't even go outside.
Apparently it was like 25 degrees C in Leicester.
Seeing as how I set my air-con at around 20 I wasn't really that impressed but it's all relitive eh.

Anyway what with the arrival of summer and with poetry being the new rock-n-roll an all,
I figured I'd do a gig.
not just a gig; but a far away gig.
One where I'd inevitably be cutting it close.

So here it is, performing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Flying out from Phnom Penh 4.45 saturday
coming home 2.55 Sunday Malaysian time, (1 hour in front).
21 hours total.

Having lived in Cambodia for the last 6 months KL felt like I'd arrived in the future.
All be it a strangely malign future who's chief arcatect was a 16 year old Gun-Dam robot enthusiast with an obsesive desire to create a searies of Urbainian-style satalite cities scattered across an intensly confusing network of vast, sprawling, seemingly endless super high-ways.

The gig was the first monthly slam at Map. Anyone living in or going to KL would do well to check it out.
Elaine Foster runs it and it's a very possitive night in an amazing space.

After the gig I went out for a drink with some of those in attendance. We went to a place called Boathouse that felt like it was in Bristol but looked exactly like the room in Warrior King where they eat the endangered animals.
I kept expecting Tony Jar to kick some one through the wall screaming, "Where are my elephants?"
unfortunatly that didn't happen.

pretty pricey an all.
In fact if you're sick of having all that money in your pocket then I recomend going out for a drink in KL.
I think it worked out about 18 Ringit per beer.
If US$1= about 3.23RM you can do the maths eh.

Here's a little video I made so you can see what I did.
Mostley just motorbikes, taxis and airoplanes, oh and one poem.

I'm back in Phnom Penh now that due to it's geography is physically 1 hour behind KL
and due to it's history is Artistically 20 years behind the rest of the world.

Time to get cracking on that renaissance.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Motorbike Tours (001)

So When you are driving around Phnom Penh you need to know the rules of the road.

Out here there's no insurance.
The rule of thumb is if you crash into someone else then you have to pay.
it means that every body looks out for what's in front of them and we al get on ok.
Same as walking though a large crowd of people.
It just flows.
Here's an example.
This is my drive home from work last wednesday afternoon.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

More broken transport

Cost me $7.
Broke after 10 days.

Fixed again for one Dollaar.

Akun Bong.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Return of the Mo-cap

I found this on you-tube.
That's me.

This is what it came from.
MO-Cap Mo-Fo

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Broken Transport

Fork-tailed Ghecko

Asian gig number Moi.

So I final decided to break my vowel of silence and once again this weekend I managed to fulfill my obligated time on stage.

That's right every body had to shut up and listen to me Talking.

I was part of an event that saw the opening of Java Arts brand new exhibition space "J GALLERY."

Also on the bill were,

Sound Artist and Musician
David Gunn


Contemporary Cambodian Performance Artist.

The whole thing was organised by a lovely woman called Dana. She started the Gallery several years ago and has worked hard to try and bring contemporary Art to Phnom Penh.
And so begins my part in the Renaissance.

Slight stumbling block for me manifested itself in the form of a group of 4 or 5 kids who's combined age barley scratched the 40's.
Once again I was the man responsible for teaching kids "exciting new words."
Although to be fair I did warn the parents and suggested they cover their ears.

I also realised that a lot of the English speaking crowd were in fact Australian/American so a lot of my regional references were lost in translation.

1 page from a screenplay I might write.

Happy Dan

Now the thing with all psycotropic drugs is that it can be very much
like standing in a hole. If you look up then you get the opportunity
to see the whole world from a different perception. You can look at
the world from a different/distorted perspective.
But if you look down, into the hole. Then you'll realise you're in a

See 4 hours ago I'd arrived home. At the time my friend Dan who'd been
staying with us for the last week or so as part of his whistle-stop
tour of S.E.Asia was also starting to feel a little bit hungry.

"I'm gunna go out use the Internet and grab some food to bring back
here. D'yu want anything specific?"
Dan's voice.

I'm like all about eating the sale kind of food I eat back home and I
explain this to Dan.

"so like pizzas, burgers, fish and chips etc?"
And off he went.
Into the wild.
Looking for sustanance, food for our hungry bodies and Internet for
his distracted mind.

I stayed at home to try and devote some time to my underapriciated

It must have been over 2 and a half hours later that Dan returned. He
seemed like he'd really enjoyed his adventure.
"I love how everybody's so friendly. So much better than Thailand.
It's like they're all laughing and asking if I'm ok and what my name
is. I love it."

As I swallowed my 3rd slice of pizza I felt the aching hunger I'd been
suffering all day start to release it's grip on my stomach.
Dan also had not eaten all day and as we raced our way clockwise
through the pizza we were pretty much neck and neck.

As only 2 slices remained we reached a standstill. That much pizza in
such a short space of time can really put you on your ass. Especially
when you haven't eaten cheese in weeks.

It was at this point that my girlfriend became involved. And as she
took her first bite of our leftovers she realised this pizza had weed
on it. Dan didn't believe it but I knew it to be true.

"why would they just put weed on it without asking you? What if you
didn't want it? It doesn't make sense."

See what Dan hadn't realised was that when he'd ordered his pizza and
the guy in the shop had asked him the question "happy?" he hadn't
actually been asking about Dan's temperment.
Now it's too late.

And as Dan stares into his hole no ammount of me telling him to look
back up at the world is gunna help him.

Sent from my iPod

Thursday, 6 May 2010

motorbike maintenance

Now before I moved to Cambodia I'd never actually ridden a motorbike.
Infact the only time I can remember being on the back of a motorbike is when I got a lift down London Road on the back of my friend Shailesh's 250. Scared the shit out of me to be fair.

Now since getting here that's all changed. In the last few months I'm generally on the back of at least 7 motorbikes every 24 hours.

Well anyway I went and got myself a motorbike.
Honda Chaly CF70.
Looks like this.

That's not actually my one I've lost the lead that connects camera to computer. So my photo's are pretty much trapped for now.

Well anyway I paid Booun Roy Dollaar, ($400) for the Bike,
but since then in the last 2 weeks I'va also paid:
$25 on a new back tire and inner-tube.
$14 on an oil change
$2 on a basket
and $20 for a part that nobody I've shown it to could identify.
see the $20 part came at a time of real desperation.

It must have been half 9 on a Sunday night. My phone was at home charging and I only had $21 to last me till I next got paid again later in the week.
As I'm pulling out on to Monivong (one of the main roads that crosses the city from East to West) my bike lost all power.

Literally just died in the road.

It seamed no amount of aggressive kick-starting was going to bring it back to life so I pulled up along side the men who live on the street corner and fix bikes for a living.
Now one of these guys spent about 45 minutes taking my bike to pieces and reassembling it in various ways. None of witch lead to its resurrection.
After an amount of time on of the older guys walked over and pointed into the heart of the machine.
The other guy nodded and beckoned me to come closer.
"m,Umm Paye Dollaar"
He said pointing at the bikes engine.
Over the next 5 minutes we communicated though excited mime as he explained that I'd have to give him the money so as he could go get the new part.
Reluctantly I agreed and handed over what was essentially all my money.
The mime continued.
Now I've played my fair share of charades in my time and understood straight away what he wanted.
But I played dumb for a few moments just to acknowledge the reality of what I was about to do in my own mind.
See he needed to take the bike away and bring it back fixed.
So that's what happened.
I think it must have been only about a minute after he'd pulled off that I started to feel uneasy about giving all my money, my motorbike and also my house keys to a stranger who could not understand me any better than I understood him.
I mean isn't that how westerners end up married to villagers?
and how did I know that this guy even worked/lived on this corner.

Thankfully the older guy who'd diagnosed my bike invited me to sit with him, gesturing up the road and saying the Cambodian word I recognise as meaning Baby.

After 44 minutes I was pacing with worry.
After 45 minutes the man returned. Bike fixed.
I was relieved and told myself that I should try and trust people more.

Bike's been cool since.

Lark a Like

Dear Sir,
Here's one Larkin and Cameron.
Yours sincerely Luke (age 14) East-Anglia

If you want to vote for/support Steve Larkin in his bid to become a professor of Poetry at Oxford University. Click here

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