Back in Bangkok

I have been told by different people all over the world that I guess in 7 years all cells change in your body and at the same time some have told me that your body has marked in it our life. 

I think of both of them as I open my eyes and look to the sky in Thailand. The sun is appearing. I can’t remember anything. As I land I know the airport so well.
By the time I am in a little semi bus to Bangkok I look outside and I do not remember the city. The traffic. By the time I am the city I do.

And then I go to the lovely hostel and since I cannot have a room because it is too early I call André and Dra. EUthymia. I eat and I decide to do a Thai Massage.

There I am certain my body has registered so much. She touches me up and down. She stretches me like no one can do but in Thailand. She presses and makes my life bloat of even more gratitude.
I have to tell her I am so thankful. She is absolutely good. I had been in hospital. It is the talk of two strangers who can’t barely speak.
I am reminded of my time here as a volunteer when I developed our languages of profound conversation with little words.

I keep thinking that so few westerners can deal with a real Thai massage. It touches the pain you never remember. It makes energy float. I tell her.

“Good pain. Good. Bad pain is no good. No pain massage no good.”

I know so profoundly this is true. As the Japanese taxi driver told me in Brazil ” here people just want to prevent death and pain. I am not afraid to die I am afraid to be stuck, to give burden to others.” I had written a little about him in my Brazilian blog. And he understood me fighting to live and not surviving.

I am even invited to meet the ladies of the saloon at night to talk more since I did not take oil massage, I did the Thai and we spoke. I sat there and we talked

Yes, that is what I have done hours after the massage. I avoided the talks in the cafes surrounding us. Foreigners were talking about what to consume in short time. They were tourists talking about every continent they had spent little time in months rushing. Since my body remembered the tourists I did not engage in these talks.

I came to my new hostel. I played with a little Thai child. I talked to the Thai. I go to my room and thought it was time to sleep. I had to wake up late to see my news Thai friends at night. 

I posted a picture online on Facebook and Michal sent me a message. We talk. We remembered how we usually ran away from tourists and spent blissful time eating what the local did, allowing every Indian to take a picture with us and talking to them.

My body remembers Michal had crossed Asia to help me when I broke my foot in front of the Mekong. She tells me about Burma to where she could go while I could not. She tells me she misses Asia. 

I tell her Andre and I moved to Peru since we do not support the government in Brasil. She also does not like Bibi and wished she could go away from Israel. We laugh. What is it with our selective group? We feel from nowhere really and we love Asia.


I am in Thailand and my body has no doubts about how much I love this place. I feel almost embarrassed by the amount of joy. Can you imagine me embarrassed? This is how much joy I feel. 

I walk and looked at things and keep thinking I wish André was here. I keep looking, and I know that I barely really see and I am certain he would know even what is behind. As the masseur turns me up and down I think thinking Andre would be amazed by that. He would understand the value of it. I so wanted him to receive a real good Thai massage.

I sleep thinking that after Peru he comes this way. Life is too short and not predictable for people simply to work and not go back to the corners of their bodies that they did not even know before it existed.

I am back home. The day was hot. Now there is wind. My body remembers this too. There will be a wonderful storm. And one day, very soon, in the end of Andre’s contract I will insist he comes and enjoy life. Come and meet Asia. Not the Chinese employer but the land that is proud for never have being colonised. 

I Want to Live.


I am not sure how to start this post. I have been telling loads of what has been happening in my Brazilian Blog. I should start by saying that I have just received this photo from Nabil who was, and probably still is the love , the companion of Leila Alaoui. You can see in the picture a child that is looking at Leila’s photo. My eyes filled with tears. I felt so grateful to be someone tagged in it. And I decided it was time to write in English.

I was once again in hospital two weeks ago. My MRI had shown I had another inflammation in my brain. I was told to go back to Hospital and I did. 
There I met Fatima the only person who never complained. The only one who had a serious problem that had led her to be paralytical, back walking, paralytical, and back to walk.  And only her and I saw pain as a positive thing. It meant that the part in her body was alive again. We became friends.

So, I obviously was visited by  an enormous time to think. And to think about Leila and Dr Getulio. 
What did they have in common? Why did they have my deep love and respect?  They had enormous courage. Strong thoughts. Extreme concern about the other. They helped as they could those in their path. A brilliant neurologist, and a brilliant photographer. They also had in common a death that surprised us all, it came out of nowhere.
 

Leila was shot in Burkina Faso and died in Hospital, Getulio finished a semi marathon in great time, took  a picture of himself and head a heart attack. Both of them went to hospital and had a visit  of health and enormous improvement.  And the following day they died.

 
The lights that I saw, and the pain in my head came in these two circumstances.  This year. January, and February the day they died. To both of them I knew  before I was told about it. I felt it.

 

I told Fellipe before he told me, Janete when she told me he was in a coma.  I walked to the hospital alone one hour after he had died. I just felt, and wished I was wrong. Technically, I am not even religious. I just knew it.
And then my world collapsed. Till I had a stroke. So mild. I felt ok. And then I though there is life after departure. In after a month I had to go to hospital again. As I  said I had a new inflammation. 

As I was this time in hospital I bought a ticket to go to Burma. I told the doctor I would go. If my life was to be over, it had to be there. It does not mean I do not want to return. It means that I want to live. I do not want to survive. I took 3 days of cortisone in my vain and it was fine. I was happy. I was joyful. And then I agreed to try an immune supressor. I thought it was fine.

I came home. I vomited from 7 till 3 am non stop. I had diarea. I had so much pain and kept thinking. “Good. Pain is good. Vomiting means this is a poison. I was so fine before entering the hospital. I will never take this medicine again. I will accept my body as it is.”. 
Dra. Karen told me to go back, because I would loose too much water and be dehydrated. I did not. I vomited and drank water with salt and sugar  that André made for me and it stopped.I drank coke. I barely ate for two days.

Then even my mother realised there was no argument, so she told me to eat so that I would be strong. I ate several days meet.
Andre  was hired to go to Peru. We accepted it. He went on Saturday and I will go there in July. Yes, that is it. I am going first to  ( Insh’allah) to Thailand these sunday 29. The first of June Insh’allah I will fly to Yangon.
Passports, hotels, visas, letter from the doctor, the bag it is everything ready.

I have now attended weelky the commision of peace and justice. And saying goodbye to them was hard. Brazil is under a coup but I do not see reason to stay here or to fight. So we decided to leave. And the people who told me they will miss the most are Dona Maria and Seu Francisco. They live in the street. I told them and they said they would not miss me because I brought food. They would miss me because I talked to them. It moved me. Seu Francisco asked me about Andre. Dona Maria asked about my grandmother. Seu Francisco saw Andre once. Dona Maria never saw my grandmother. It made me cry.

So, yes I get a picture from Nabil. And I see Leila is here. Getulio is here in all that they have touched. I will be here in the little that I have done. Simple words that you never realise means the world to the other. Like the words of some mean the world to you.

I hope my next message will be from Abu Dhabi. It is where I change flights. If not, from Thailand and then from Burma:)
I feel more alive than ever. I feel that after 2013 life was given back to me. And though I have suffered I now understand more profoundly Alyosha in Karamazov saying you must feel pain, anger, rage to be further in the path of development. Compassion becomes a real feeling and not an idea. You must loose to give value to what you have.

From my total atheism, I go back to the path, to TAO filled of faith in human beings, in Allah, God,  all of them, spirits, indigenous, Karmapa. 

In fact, I have faith in the path. I do not believe life has more value by the years you have lived. It has value by your actions, your courage, you compassion. 
I know it might shock some, but I must say, if my journey finishes in Asia I accept that. It does not mean I don’t want to return, or live. It means that not going means fighting to survive by not living, by not doing what I give value to. I want to live. For as long as I can. I want to live.

With all my love,

Jules

Ps: I received this from Nabil. I would like to share that too.

Dear Julieta De Toledo Piza Falavina, I am very touched by your words. I know from Leila that you had health concerns, and I read you to discover that some of the conditions persist. Your courage and serenity will help you face this situation. Your strong convictions and causes will give you drive and energy. Your Will is Strong. The Will to Live, the Will to Love, the Will to Be and Do Good. You are right not to be fatalist. It doesn’t help. Be careful and don’t push yourself too much. Doctors will advise you well, and friends will surround you. cried last night as I looked at this photo, and I thought of you and how much Leila loves you, and how she spent hours with you on the phone, eager to stay in touch and be at your side during the tough times you were going through. Leila is still next to you, dear Julieta.