Monday, May 24, 2010

Paradise City

One of the biggest thrills in my otherwise mundane life is the short walk from my car to my apartment building. I often get home late, so that adds to the excitement of being offered crack by a dealer who could probably get away with robbing me if he really wanted to. Obviously, this is an unsafe risk, but it's risks that makes my heart pound and my fists clench.

Everything else in my life – aside from that short walk – is safe, comfortable and familiar. Those feelings aren’t something I particularly enjoy. I want things to be unexpected, occasionally outside of my comfort zone, with just a hint of actual danger. I’m too young to be getting soft and travel might help me fight this feeling. There are so many places in the world I absolutely have to see, and not going to these countries is unfathomable. The only thing holding me back is time and money. Fortunately, I’m fairly clever. I can make it happen. Maybe. 
Bagan, Myanmaar: Two mind-boggling numbers stand out for this archeological park: 26 square miles and 2,200 temples and pagodas. Nestled within this historic place are massive temples, which are fine to me, but it’s the thousands of obscure ones that appeal to me. Renting a bike or a motorcycle and doing some Tomb Raider-like exploration would be a dream. Maybe seeing all the temples will jog my memory with what I learned from taking a course in Southeast Asian arts.

New Zealand: Almost everything I know about New Zealand comes from Flight of the Conchords and Peter Jackson’s earlier films, so I can’t really name any particular locations or attractions that appeal to me. In the case of New Zealand, I think it’s just the total package. Unspoiled wilderness in the middle of nowhere, friendly people that speak English and the fairly affordable living expenses all sweeten the deal.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Last Temptation of Doctor Who

He's like fire and ice and rage. He's like the night, and the storm in the heart of the sun. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the center of time and he can see the turn of the universe and... he's wonderful.

Doctor Who is an unflappable optimist who often becomes giddy when he encounters new alien technology, an undiscovered species or a genuinely dangerous situation. He always has a clever quip or two when trying to save the world, his companions, random strangers or himself. At times, he bounces around almost like a caffeinated cartoon. All of this helps keep the demons away.

He’s a lonely man, and why shouldn’t he be? As the sole survivor of his home planet and the last of the Time Lords, he’s been haunted by loss and the fact that the pain will never go away due to his immortality. He regularly seeks out companions to travel through space and time on his ship, knowing full well that he will outlive them. He has fun, saves the day, but in the end, he’s all alone. All those comical adventures and entertaining partners are just a Band-Aid to his deep emotional wounds, and the more he travels, the more death he sees. Still, he keeps on moving forward despite the suffering. Somebody has to right all the wrongs throughout time, and it’s the Doctor that carries that burden.