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Miss Best's Blog

About Miss Best's Blog

Journaling my thoughts and experiences in this life journey that I am taking with consideration to the environment, animals, fellow humans and myself.

Along this path I am excited by vegan food, raw vegan food, personal development and good health and by being an alternative and passionate entrepreneur, idler and thinker.

A note about ‘Life of Pi’

Books Posted on Sun, April 19, 2009 20:06:49

This is another entry from 2007 during my time in Costa Rica.

For the second time in my life, I am reading Yann Martell’s novel Life of Pi. It’s
a fantastic story of a 16 year old Indian boy who finds himself the sole human
survivor of a sunken ship and alone on a life boat for 7 months. Well,
alone except for a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a Bengal
tiger. Now this is no fairy tale where they all get on splendidly
singing sea shanties to keep up morale and taking shifts watching for
land. Not to spoil the story for you, after a few days the remaining
castaways are the tiger and the boy, Pi.

have to say that reading about the boy’s choice between staying on
board with the tiger, or throwing himself to the sharks, doesn’t take
me to the blissful haven of distraction that I usually seek in a book.
Now a book about eating one’s way around Italy, or restoring a house in
Italy, or growing olives in Italy (notice a recurring theme here?),
that’s a nice place to take my head. Instead, this book instilled a
definite sense of anguish within my poor soul, which is already in a
period of limbo between two chapters in my life. But do I put the book
down? No, of course not.

Since I am a tiny bit of a control freak, I
think I felt that if I didn’t hurry and finish the book, the wretched
situation would continue to plague Pi and the tiger called Richard
Parker, which in turn would torment my little heart. But then I was
always the softie, compassionate one. When I was a kid my sister would
trot a toy horse over the edge of a table and I would go to great
lengths to ensure the safety of this poor plastic toy. Still,
compassion isn’t a bad thing now is it? It’s compassion that led me to
become a vegan, which has in turn opened my consciousness. And if being
compassionate means that at my ripe old age of 30 I am still concerned
about the well being of my companion creature, which happens to be a
soft purple heffalump called Lumpy, as well as other living beings, then so
be it.

the description of Pi’s gratitude of finding supplies aboard the
lifeboat (it took him 3 days before getting to a state that if he
didn’t brave the tiger to look for supplies then he would die anyway)
really made me think about life and how fragile it is. The whole
capitalist system got a bashing that evening. In my head that is. And
if reading about being lost at sea for 7 months, alone save the company
of a tiger, doesn’t make one think about our own personal and spiritual
sense of isolation and the fears we must conquer then I guess one must
read something that spells it out more clearly!

A town caught with it’s pants down

Travel Posted on Sun, April 19, 2009 20:01:51

When I spent 3 1/2 months in Costa Rica in 2007, I wrote some journal entries. Here is a snippet from one of them:

Tuesday 9th October, 2007

This morning we went for
a walk before breakfast. Our morning constitutional obviously caught
the usually pretty town by surprise. She had not had time to apply the
lip gloss, worn daily for the benefit of the tourists. Nor had she yet
donned her shiny crown, instead we caught her in a mauve flannel
dressing gown, leopard skin mules with a fag nestling in the corner of
her mouth.

It seems that at 7am,
Puerto Viejo is at a junction. Coming are the hard workers off to their
jobs. School children bustle into the school yard, and a single fruit
stall is setting up for the day. Heading off in the other direction are
the nocturnal beasties. But at 7 am
there are a few stragglers. An American Crackhead sits outside a
restaurant, an orange scarf tied around is ankle, covering presumably a
wound, rather than a reminder of some spiritual exercise. He asks us if
we are looking for a good time as we walk past. We buy some fruit for
breakfast, then have to walk past him again. He is obviously too fucked
to remember that we have just walked past, but somewhere in his head,
the part that has not yet been completed extinguished by his self
loathing habit, recognizes us from somewhere. ‘Are you
the guys from last night?’, he slurs, showing off a far from beautiful
set of teeth, with what appears to be paper stuck to one of them.
‘Yeah, you are!’ he shouts after us. We deny the charges. ‘Yeah, you
are. C’mon I’m not stupid!’

group of stragglers also includes a flock of black vultures, who
usually circle over head during the day, powerfully, and with status.
They are breakfasting in a ditch of stagnant black water. As black as
the birds themselves. The whole scene looking like something from an
animated film, portraying the most evil of evil places. I half expect
one of those scary horses from Lord of the Rings to thunder past.

town has also not yet hidden away her pack of stray dogs. She usually
keeps one or two of the finer looking ones to mooch around the beach. A
beautiful white spaniel cross with brown patches and an elegant fluffy
tail trots about town. We have seen before that she is a patient dog,
allowing another tiny dog (belonging to one of the stall holders) to
play relentlessly with her tail and pretty ears. We can see that one of
the other dogs is half blind. It’s heartbreaking. The pretty one
follows us for a bit, and I am concerned for its safety when trucks
tear past us, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are driving
through a village.

Transparency – My Story. Your Story.

Life Posted on Sun, April 19, 2009 19:48:43

I plan to write a blog post someday
soon that tells my story. My life isn’t any more noteworthy than any
one else’s – I haven’t been kidnapped by pirates, or walked across
continents – but I do have a story that routes where I am today.

haven’t always been transparent about my life. Not that I have lied
about anything, but I haven’t really been very open or public when
times have been dark. I just didn’t think that it was worth
mentioning at the time. Everyone has their own issues.

But over the years I have come to the
conclusion that we do need to tell our story, and be transparent
about our lives.

One reason is so people can get a real
perspective of who you are, what you are experiencing and how your
life is. I have had a few people say to me over the years “Oh, you
are so lucky”. And yes, I am blessed – we all are in some ways.
But what they are envying by saying ‘you are so lucky’ wasn’t
something that was handed to me on a plate, and not chewed without
choking or burning myself.

I remember one time a friend had said
something along the lines of ‘you are so lucky, I can’t imagine you
having any problems’. She was at the time lacking self confidence
about her physical appearance and perhaps wasn’t in the best place in
her life for that moment. I had met her in a coffee shop and I was
looking unusually sharp and well dressed. I was on my way after our
meet-up to sign over the house I had bought the previous year. It had
been a tough few months: I was living in a town I didn’t fit in, my
dear sister (also my best friend) had recently moved back to the UK,
leaving me almost alone in that foreign town, my darling cat had
unexpectedly died, my house had been broken into twice, and I was
going through a major shift in my life that left me feeling very
alone and misunderstood. That day I had decided to pick myself up,
put on a suit and start a new chapter. But she didn’t know that!

By being transparent (and by that I
mean open, and not boring people to death with constant moaning
without action to remedy your problems) not only can people learn
from our experiences, but it also helps them feel less alone. They
are not the only ones suffering, or finding life a challenge. And if
they admire your life, they may feel inspired to see that you have
actually had to work to get where you are at. Not just ‘born lucky”.
Which means that they too have potential for great things.

A great example of this was when I read
the blog of Selma Melngailis, co-author of Raw Food Real World, and
owner of Pure food and Wine restaurant in NYC. Looking at the book,
one can be led to believe that gorgeous Selma has a good life, with
her equally gorgeous boyfriend/business partner, working with things
she loves, surrounded by healthy raw food (and therefore has no
problems with sticking to a healthy diet). But Selma’s blog revealed
that her life was not quite like that. And indeed people had said to
her ‘you have the perfect life’, not knowing of the issues she faced
and the challenges she needed to overcome.

I certainly do not rejoice in other
people’s suffering (far from it) but it is encouraging to know that
we all have challenges to overcome, and that people we perceive as
highly successful are still human. They do still have issues to deal
with, and despite their success they can still be unsure of
themselves and do appreciate to hear positive feedback on the work
that they do.