Verlene asked me to forward this...she is stuck in India...and In dia is not pleased. July 5, 1999 (and more)

If you tell someone: May the force be with you

And they respond with a:.... and also with you, let us lift up our ...

Oh my, then they are a fellow recovering Catholic.

My dear friends and cyber-neighbors, it has been quite some time since I have written. I cannot begin to tell you how guilty I feel (see above point re: Catholicism) but I have been so terribly busy. I was corresponding from Seoul (yes, currently at war!) and this week I head off to India (Ditto: at war). I guess that I am our very own Trailer Park "Christianne Amanapour" covering the war-torn regions of the world from the back of my trailer (except, I have matching luggage, and I doubt that Christianne bothers to carry much more than a bottle of PERT, a compact head toothbrush and a black chedor.)

Well, lets start with my dear brother's wedding.

You know I can dread these things but I will admit that I knew this was going to be an amazing event. We were (again) in riot torn Jakarta but luckily my new sister-in-law's family has something to do with the Indonesian military so we were escorted around the city in heavily armed cars and were constantly surrounded by short, but very fierce looking security.

Yours Verly, also got to attend my first family event in a full skirt, matching hat and patent leather pumps. OK, well it was a brocade sarong and traditional Javanese dress. But, I will admit that while I was growing up, teaching my father to walk properly in a skirt is NOT one of the things that entered my mind!

I did note that I was not given a sword to carry, but after my many reported incidents of anger and vicious outbursts, I think that my family was wary of giving me anything with a sharp edge.

The wedding concluded in a spectacular show of dancers, a stage draped in Jasmine flowers and exotic music. This setting would have sent any of you circuit queens into full sensory overload. Oh, and a buffet that rivaled any that I have seen at the K&W Cafeteria!

The army quickly whisked us out to the Jakarta Airport (the "spontaneous" riots were scheduled to start later that morning) and we took off (all 18 of us) to relax in Bali. Bali, Island of the Gods and the God!-Leave-me-alones. It was tremendous fun introducing my family to the fine art of bargaining.

"Are you Mad? That finely crafted and beautifully carved fan is only 80 cents in my country!"

or

"Madam, would you mind moving your emaciated and carefully dirtied child out of my way so that I could see that lovely looking airbrushed beach scene painted on rice paper?"

After Bali it was a whirlwind tour of London, (Pookie 'n Pal are now the proud owners of a little place somewhere with a port and sailors!), and a week in Manila, and Bangkok. Let me just say that when you go to see a movie in Manila and they warn you that "The A/C is broken", that you should turn around and head back the comfort of your junior suite. It was interesting to see a movie in what basically amounted to a sauna! Bangkok was, well, Bangkok. And lucky me, my flight back home happened to stop in the city and so I may just had to extend the evening in my favorite city. You know that you may have been going to a place for too long when you are actually giving the taxi driver directions and instructions (yes, in Thai) on how to get to your favorite little places.

Speaking of languages, I realized the other day that I had gotten up to travel from Bangkok to Seoul with a stop in Taipei. From the time I left the hotel (at 4:30! Funny, in my youth, that used to be my arrival time) to the time that I arrived in Seoul, I had spent the day only speaking Thai, Mandarin, Korean and French (this little cutie needed some assistance with the ATM)...not a word of English for the entire day!

Well that pretty much catches you up on my goings on. I did have some minor surgery, but I was promised that the scars will not be visible and I can assure you that the next time you see me that you may be surprised!

(The Japanese tourist sitting next to me is sitting here and video-taping the TV, playing a video tape of CNN...is that not absurd?)

Well what is going on in your worlds? I really count on you people to fill me in on the events of the world. NOONE wrote me and told me about Dana Plato! You know I am going to return to the US (if allowed by Immigration) and all of these important events will have happened without my knowing!

(Great, now he is taping me, typing this...I am trying to imagine what commentary he will voice over when he gets home to explain this to his family, and yes, its a real Prada bag!)

While here, I thought I would fill you in on some of the things I have learnt over the past 2 (can you believe it) years!

Well folks, that's all for now, I hope you all are doing well!

Verbose Verlene