Still under the weather  2 March 2019  Ubud 

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas, I'll never know. Groucho Marx

We are still under the weather so another day spent around the house, save for a pizza run, a first for this trip. I think this has been the longest time we've been pizza-free, pizza being the universal travel food. Exhibit A is the photo below, taken at the entrance to Aguas Calientas when I walked down from Machu Picchu.

The food on this trip, especially the food in Thailand, has been too delicious to get bored with, whereas in, say, Greece, to take the other extreme, we were only too ready to take a pizza break, Greek cuisine being a bit, umm, repetitive.

So, a day spent relaxing and reading. So what am I reading? Well, I primarily read fiction but there are two genres of non fiction that I like, books about travel and books about writing. In another life I might have been a travel writer.

To prep for this trip I read two books, Travelers' Tales Thailand, one of a wonderful series of books full of true stories by good writers, and Ward's What the Buddha Never Taught.

Ward's book, which I've quoted a bit in previous posts, follows the experience of a Canadian who became a Thai monk. Well, he did not become a full monk, he only went part way up the path to monkdom. His story is an interesting complement to visiting a temple and observing the monks and non-monks. My take home, and it's just mine, take it or dismiss as you wish: it's theater. The monks are playing a role, identified by their robes, and the non-monks are also playing a role, worshipping the Buddha statues and showing deference to the robes worn by the monks. And I am the audience. So it's theater to me, which is fine for a bit, but then my revulsion for things religious kicks in and I'm done, ready for something else. The problem with Thailand, at least in my ridiculously-limited exposure to the place, and I do realize I am coming across as making generalizations, the problem is Thailand is all about the food and the temples and you can only spend so much time eating though the Thais do make food available pretty much everywhere.

A third travel book I would have read for this trip if I'd not read it previously is also by a Canadian, McPhee's A House in Bali. If you've read my 2017 Bali posts (and if not, start here) you'll have encountered many, many quotes from this book. It explains what you see in Bali, though it is a purer, tourist-free Bali.

I also like reading books about writing, think Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Garfield's Just My Type, which isn't really about writing, it's about fonts, but close enough.

My current book is Dreyer's English, a funny and opinionated book about the nuts and bolts of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. There, I used a series comma when I needn't per Dreyer's recommendation. He says "only godless savages eschew the series comma" though now that I think of it I better fit those who don't.

Pizza, pizza, pizza: sign in Aguas Calientas, Peru.      
Pizza, pizza, pizza: sign in Aguas Calientas, Peru.      
Pizza, pizza, pizza: sign in Aguas Calientas, Peru.