Another day

sayarsan's picture

I have been immersed in an obsessive/compulsive state focussed around a book about World War 1. Sleeping a few hours per day without any benzos and barely any cannabis which is good for my health provided I eat sufficiently and excercise routinely. If I am doing little more than lying in bed reading incessantly it doesn't feel like it's good for my health. It's not without reason however; a library loan I have to return the book in a month so I can't put it down for long for fear that I will not get the full dose of mindboggling accounts of the depths of human misery in all its forms. There is something therapeutic to it I think but I have other things I need to do.

 

I finally made it to the library computer to make some colour copies of the Pics Shane sent me and now I can move onto the next phase of my project. I am thinking that I could take a few of the pics and write captions for them to fill out the essay I have allready written the draft for. 

 

I go to the doc tomorrow and will get something to track; diazepam 5mg x 50 as well as next month's Biodone script. The mandolin is waiting for me to re-string it after I had the frets dressed and a new bridge fitted. That will do me good, I am hoping it might help me to avoid sleeping too much and using up all the benzos in a week.

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felix's picture

I got my first benzo script in three months last week.  Just the usual 2mg diazepam. But after a few months, two of those gave me a strong hangover the next day - grogginess i mean.

Anyway, the interesting news came whilst I was obtaining my monthly Biodone and this side order - my methadone doctor advised me that several Iranian men have come to her in recent weeks as a result of experiencing problems with opium. Wanting to go on the prgram  for financial reasons.  

I scoffed when she said opium - "I bet they're just calling heroin opium because they don't have a word for it' I said with all my cultural wisdom.  But I do remember in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, having no luck with the word 'heroin' (or maybe my pronucniation of it?) and having to use a combination of the word 'opium' and tapping the crook of my arm and miming injecting. They invariably came back with the right stuff when I did all that.

Anyway, my doc rang me the next day, saying she'd had anotehr Iranian man - she asked him the what the opium looked like :

'A black, chewing-gum like substance' she was told.

So I am impressed. Someone has gone to the bother of importing a quantity of opium - the same volume of heroin smuggled in surely would have netted thousands of times the income.  Tradition perhaps? Someone acting not from the profit motive but from a desire to continue a cultural act?

I would love to hear more if anyone knows anything on this topic?

felix

sayarsan's picture

Iran,formerly known as Persia, has had a long history of opium use. The Western World's 'Golden Crescent' which includes Persia is commonly considered the area where humans first began cultivating and using the stuff. I can't speak from experience since I am only familiar with the opium from the Eastern World's primary producer, the 'Golden Triangle'. I have read an account from people who did have experience of both in 'The Land of Jade' by Bert Lintner.

 

In this fascinating book Lintner had the opportunity to talk with veterans of the campaign to build the Ledo Road during WW2. These particular veterans were Kachin men who provided intelligence, guides and behind the lines tactical support to facillitate the project. They were commonly paid in opium which was the most widely accepted form of currency in the region, however the Allies were supplying them with Persian Opium which was the major supplier of opium to the Western Drug Companies and more accessible than that being grown in the remote ranges of the eastern extremes of the Himalayas. Those interviewed were impressed with the quality of the Persian opium claiming it was so hard their knives couldn't cut it. This probably refers to a product which had been refined, unlike the local variety which is simply the collected sap which is wrapped in banana leaf and soon goes very dark brown while the refined product is commonly a light brown purified sap which has been compressed and packaged to extend its shelf-life.

 

It seems that in Iran, as in the Golden Triangle opium is still commonly used by the local population; often in preference to heroin. From my experience I can verify that culturally, even legally, opium is tolerated while heroin is proscribed in this region.

 

I suspect there are Iranians living in Australia who, like their counterparts in the Golden Triangle, have grown up with opium as part of their daily life. I sympathise with the problem they face when arriving in Australia where they are confronted with the illegality of opium. The nearest source of opium would be Myanmar, perhaps Pakistan, but as pointed out in the blog by Felix it is unlikely there is a reliable and affordable quantity being imported into Australia. Mostly law abiding folk, they probably dislike the prospect of becoming heroin addicts which leaves them two alternatives; Methadone and Biodone both available only under medical supervision.

 

Yet another reason for them to consider the West as an intolerant and punitive environment. This becomes even more acute when they are abused and assaulted by Australians drunk on alcohol.

 

In the Far East which is nearest to Australia and certainly in Laos or Thailand "pong kao", literally "white powder" or "pin", literally "opium", should break the ice.

sayarsan's picture

I had been running my PC, an Optiplex 755 using Windows Vista for several years now; in fact it is where I got my bulk of experience of computers and the internet. It was pretty clogged up with those useless programs that seem to accumulate when an inexperienced user is installing new programs, particularly free-ware and packages.

 

Eventually I came unstuck when running without a firewall or anti-virus after a devious virus went for AVG and prevented me from opening it, downloading or installing it. Before long My browsers were all inactive and the prospect of doing a System Restore was thwarted by an inability to establish a Restore Point. I had noticed a problem when Revo Uninstaller was unable to establish a point on the last few removals I did so........????

 

I mentioned in passing to a couple of my neighbours who told me there was an outlet for pre-used govt and commercial stock a short walk away around the corner. I made a visit and found I could replace my sick pc with a 'clean' one that is running Windows 7 which cost me $250, down from $299. I plugged in the peripherals from my existing pc and powered it up preparing for a range of tedious jobs and was relieved when it booted up without incident and connected to the internet when prompted. My first act was to load AVG which I have a key for and at present am downloading a pile of Windows Updates. Probably not such a great bargain but I can update to Windows 10 for free over the next 12 months if I feel so inclined and so far it has been a refreshing experience instead of a monument of problems. Time to restart to install some downloads.

 

The acid test comes tomorrow when I add another 2 cards of RAM and a 2Tb HD which plugs into the mother board. This evening I will settle for watching some iView and SBS On Demand which will necessitate adding some Adobe and Flash Player programs if I remember correctly. After the Windows Updates are complete I will install Spybot and Revo before adding the RAM and the 2Tb HD.

randomness