His four brothers are wishing number five Andrew Olson great success in today’s procedure. Thumbs-up Ace.
Aug. 16, 1970, 4:49AM
7lbs 9-1/2 oz (approx 3.44 kg)
20-1/2 inches (52.07cm)
Wasn’t allowed into the birthing clinic appointment today due to the fcking “situation* so sat outside and scribbled a few postcards (yes of course i had my kit with me) #postaltherapy
Note: packages cannot be sent to/received from overseas – and, as i understand, cards and letters are all going by sea due to lack of commercial flights which contract to transport mail. Ugh. Continue reading Diary: Hospital Blues/ Postal Therapy
When i visit Thailand, i fly into Chiang Mai – a bustling olden city in the north area, rather than Bangkok which is just too much city for countryboy me. Then i head for the city of Phitsanulok, (Pits-NOH-loh) in central Thailand which is a workaday, very “normal” city for medical treatment (Phitsanulok life is detailed elsewhere in a similar fashion.
I travel by train – either a 1960s era Japanese model or a new Chinese-built machine with folding beds for the nighttime journey. Along the way, i write poetry and gaze out the window (poetry series Towns and Trains is – or might be – elsewhere in this archive).
What follows are snaps taken by a Lomo La Sardina (sardine can) camera loaded with expired film snapped from a moving train for no particular reason aside to see what happens and capture the washes of colour fleeting by as i roll, as well as a few folks i encountered along the way and a few places i slept or soaked.
In hospital with sedated Grandpa, Dave reads complete “Letters from Russia” epistolary literature project with frequent interruptions from visitors, nurses and medical apparatus. The letters address issues of class, revolutions, monarchy, war, trade, and love in the context of Napoleon’s foray into Russia in 1812 through letters from a cobbler to his fiancé in Paris. Then finishes with Walt Whitman heading on the open road (which ole Gramps was so fond of doing himself).
Featured music: Mark Olson (music, guitar, vocals) and Dave Olson (lyrics, drums) “Little Flame” – recorded to 4 track cassette, circa 1996.
Breathe easy for: Hospital Letters and Flames – Postcard #76
(82MB, 1:00:05, 192k .mp3, stereo)
Amidst a thunderstorm at 4AM on a balcony in Chiang Mai, Dave discusses – with excessive frankness and emotion – various medical conundrums (Fibromyalgia and CFS-ME) and details the physical feelings of “crash mode” as well as the mental strain in dealing with self de-identification and inter-personal relationships, confusion in seeking help, and various alternative treatments.
No sympathy or advice requested.
Always be kind for: Thunder in the Crash Years – Postcard #75 (75MB, 37:09, mp3, stereo)
Today: 13 blood tests 2 immunization boosters 3 dental fillings 3 prescriptions 2 molded ear plugs 1 red curry 2 Thai tea 1 cappuccino 2 cigarillos
This often includes my favourite thing to do when wandering at home or abroad — find a quiet well lit café, choose the “mafia table” meaning the back corner with my back to the wall, and fill up the table with stationary, pens, scrapbooks, and dig into some arts and crafts and letter writing. In this case, specifically letters to the hospital in Thailand which was so wonderfully kind to me…. Which is what started this missive in the first place as I’ve now shared with you the results of all my tests I did including 20 some odd blood tests (virus, inflammation, methylation), EEG, MRI on my arthritic hips and antibody before immunizations required (or suggested anyway) before travelling to this land.
I pay my rupees, call a taxi, stop at the post office… I’m mildly obsessed with post offices and visit them in every country along with riding trains/ferries/buses when possible… and shutting down a bar. I haven’t been drinking at all in India aside from one obligatory Kingfisher, and even in my secret hideaway in Thailand, I only went to the delicious craft beer bar once despite it being run by adorable ladies who I could spend all night watching. Such a good boy I am!
The post office in this case was a sweaty small room with various ladies sitting at jumbled desks and when I asked for stamps to send three letters to Thailand, it was as though the first time this had been requested. The stamps it seems would come in denominations other than five rupee but evidently not.
The number of stamps covered up a good third of the envelope by the time i was done (photo in process) and I was hesitant to lick them after seeing the hands that it handed them to me. No disrespect to them but until I understand by gut biology better, I’m avoiding unnecessary risk.
On a battered wooden bench there was a pot of paste like from a school for bad children circa 1972, the brush was broken and the glue stains but I slathered it on and handed these letters over. My delivery success rate on the missives I send seems to hit about 40% so I’ve taken the habit of photographing the letters and the envelopes before sending them.
Of course, I send various treatises electronically as well and while I know they been delivered, the usual responses in the form of a thumbs up or happy face or :-( emoji. This makes me #Unsatisfied.
Remember the part of me being born in the wrong decade? This is a prime example.