You're so vain, You probably think this blog is about You

Lets talk about a 21st century epidemic goin' on these days. 

I like to call it the  "List"

The list is something created by the "over 25'ers" of the world, because anyone under 25 is still hopeful and happy and positive. I don't know who told people that 25 is a such a horrible taboo, but for some reason we all start panicking about life once we hit it. 

Once we hit this age, something weird happens. All of our positivity goes out the window. All of our open mindedness. and we start doing this weird thing to ourselves that is basically self sabotage if you really think about it. We make a list. 

The older we get, the more jaded we become when it comes to dating and relationships. And so we start saying that were not going to settle. which is good. I mean, I agree. We shouldn't settle. But we start getting kinda crazy over it. Setting unrealistic standards for the next person were going to be with, but standards that half the time we can't even meet ourselves. 

Its a way to weed out the losers and protect ourselves. I get it. I do it all the time. But it's not realistic and it's not helpful. Every year we get older, the list gets longer, too. The list goes from:

Nice

Easy going

Funny

Driven

To:

Mature but not boring

Driven but still fun

Funny but the right kind of funny 

Extremely attractive but not full of themselves 

Intelligent but not nerdy 

Skinny but not too skinny

Fit but not obsessed with working out

Likes to travel but also not irresponsible

Divorced? No way

Never had a girlfriend? not touching it

Why is she still single? she must be crazy

Yeah she's cool but her nose is weird

I hate his friends

I want a woman who is independent - oh but i also need her to let me be the lead at all times

I want someone easy going and low maintenance. Gross she never takes care of herself 

I want a girl that takes care of herself- ugh she wears way too much makeup 

He goes out too much 

I want someone who is driven and responsible- he's so boring and serious

we're not really on the same level of attractiveness

Too old 

Too Young

and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and and on.........................................................

But here's my question ( and this goes for myself, as well)

WHO THE HECK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

Like who are WE to have all these specific pre-requisites that any potential "suitor" MUST have? We're freakin losers. "Skinny but not too skinny"... have you looked at YOURSELF in the mirror? "She's not married yet so she must be crazy" YOU'RE NOT MARRIED! Are you crazy?? "He goes out too much" Dude.. you MET this guy at a bar... 

But the problem is that we are jut getting so VAIN with these lists. The more we work on them and add to them and the higher we raise the stakes.. the more it messes with our minds and makes us think that we are this massive prize to be won... when in fact, we are not. It makes us think that if we have all these high standards for the next person we date, that the only reason we're not dating or don't have anyone interested in us is because THEY are not meeting OUR requirements. But the reality is... there's just no interest. It hurts feelings for no reasons and we continue on this impossible search that we think we've got under control. 

But, we don't.

Ive been on both sides of this list. The receiving end does not feel good. It hurts because I spend a lot of time on a daily basis trying to make myself the best person I can be. So I can only imagine that is  how so many other people feel. And yet we turn around and do the same thing to someone else. We have got to stop this, you guys. 

So lets just all calm the heck down and keep an open mind and shrink that list. Shrink it and give yourself five things. Five things that you are allowed to require. And then take a look in the mirror and remember what you actually look like. Remind yourself of how ACTUALLY crazy YOU are. Think back to the last time you where lazy and moody and unmotivated ( real talk- that was yesterday). And don't you dare try to pretend like you don't have 30 embarrassing quirks that you try to hide on the daily.  Remember the core of who you are - the person you where when you where.... under 25. Because apparently thats so much more youthful than where we are now (I'm rolling my eyes at this stupid idea) Be that person- open minded and enthusiastic and just excited to meet new people in general. Take that all into consideration when you make your new short list and lets move onward and upward to bigger and better things.... like dates and stuff! ( Ya Feel?)

Just remember- you're not that cool. You're not above this post- you need to hear it just as much as the rest of us do. And, actually.. this Blog probably is about you.

East Village, Manhattan  Photo By: Linday Betty Manysha 

East Village, Manhattan

Photo By: Linday Betty Manysha 

My Heart Hurts so Good

You know what i think? I think love is the worst thing that could happen to a person. I think it confuses us and frustrates us and makes us act crazy. And the worst part is once we've experienced it one time, we feel like we can't breath without it. We spend our life searching for it.  Don't lie to yourself. Don't tell me that you don't spend a solid 45% of your time thinking about, or hoping for, or wondering "what if" when it comes to love. Because in one way or another... 

you do. 

You know what else i think? I think we all react to wanting this feeling in horribly different ways. Some people act overly emotional. Some people act out of desperation. Some people close themsleves off. Some people are just downright mean to people that don't deserve it because they are protecting themsleves. I've been treated so so so so well by people that loved me and people that I've loved. I've been treated so so so horribly by people that loved me and people that I loved. I've been an absolute monster to someone I was in love with and i've desperately done everything in my power to earn the love of someone I didn't even care about that much. Once you've felt the raw emotions that come with love and even worse, the raw emotions that come with any form of heartbreak, you'll do anything you have to, to protect yourself from being hurt. You'll also do anything you have to do to  fill your heart up again. And rightfully so.  Because its the worst thing that could happen to a person. But its also the best thing that could happen to any single human being. 

I don't have any specific motive behind this blog like my last one. Im not trying to encourage anyone to do anything.  Rather, i'm just sitting her preparing to write my blog about my Australia trip and my cross country road trip, ( which feels quite daunting)  and thinking about all the adventures i've had this past year. Im thinking about all the people I've met and  the emotional rollercoaster my heart has gone on in just 365 days.  And its reminding me that love is still the best and worst part of every story. Running ..even flying away from love, searching for love, hoping for love, wishing for love, waiting for love, running away from it as fast as i could, putting it in a little box in the back of my closet and telling it i'll re-visit it later.

All the people i've met this last year all have one thing in common. Everyone wants this horribly torturous feeling just as much as the next person.

Some of us are trying to figure out how to feel it for the first time, some are too hurt to even  think about it, some of us legitimately don't know how to get started again, some of us are searching for it desperately. But the funny thing is all of us say the same thing. "I mean, if it happens it happens but i'm not really looking" The #1 quote of any single millenial. Be seriously, shut up. Because we, in fact, ARE looking.  In one way or another.  Its all we really want. Its the stuff of life. And thats ok. At the risk of sounding cliche...Let's just remember that this is how we feel so that we can give love a chance. Give it several chances. We're all in the same boat. Lets keep an open mind and an open heart. Take some chances. Stop acting like you're 15 and worried about awkwardness, or rejection or what your friends will think. 

Ok do this, but also do this within reason. Don't go crazy, jeeze.

 This is actually more of a dear diary for myself, I guess. A reminder that its ok to feel all these feels because everyone else is too, even if no one wants to admit it. And not just girls. Not just dramatic girls over a bottle of wine. Full grown men. The guys that act the toughest. The friend that acts the busiest. The brother that is constantly traveling. The biggest flirt you know. And the friend who says they hate going out and just want to watch Netflix. We all want it and were all afraid of it.   

Because its the worst thing that could happen to a person.

And its also the best thing that could ever happen to any single human being. 

 

Photo: Linda Betty Manysha, Brooklyn NY 

Photo: Linda Betty Manysha, Brooklyn NY 

Get over yourself.

I like a lot of things about myself. I come off pretty confident to say the least. Im not actually as confident as I may seem, but i come off pretty confident. Cocky, even.. at times. But the thing I like about myself the most is that i don't take myself too seriously. I learned this from my dad. In my opinion my dad is the funniest, coolest, most reliable and fiercely loyal person I've ever known. but its not just me that thinks this. I can honestly say that I have never met a single person in the world  that doesn't like my dad. He is a likable Guy. He makes people feel comfortable, always. No matter the situation, or how much of an a$$ hole the person may be. And its because he doesn't take himself too seriously. He just doesn't see the point. So people like him. But does this keep people from disrespecting him? No. And it makes me more angry than most things in this life. Because he is the least deserving person of what can be down right malicious disrespect. And yet, he honestly doesn't care. Because he doesn't take himself too seriously. He knows he has me and my mom who have his back and that's all he needs. He constantly will just laugh when he hears something ridiculous and hurtful someone says about him and just say " I don't care. it's obviously not my problem. Their opinion means nothing to me" And he honestly doesn't care. He continues to show so much love and respect to those same people day after day. No matter how little they deserve it.

 

I'm still trying to do what dad does.

 

Because unfortunately I do care. Because most people DO take themselves too seriously. I've been made fun of for my enthusiasm and energy since I was a kid. I've honestly never been worried about doing what's cool- even when I was like, 9. We had a state report and an animal report and all the kids chose dolphins and lions and Alaska and New York and they had all these cool  fancy projects and reports... that their parents 100% did by the way. And you know what I did? I chose a squirrel and the state of New Jersey. And I decided to make a feature film produced 100% by NOT my parents. And it was so crappy and messy and basically.. something a 9 year old would do. And I was like... so proud. I loved those reports and I thought it was hilarious.. and when my snotty classmates where like " It looks messy" and "Why did you do it that way" I was like,  "uhhhh cause I'm 9 and this is 4th grade and it was fun and I think squirrels where a hilarious choice?" I just kinda like and do weird, funny, awkward stuff sometimes and I've always been so confident in my silly ways, determined  that people would see my positive motives and good heart.

But ya'll need to get over yourself.

What I've done to myself by being like this is made myself an easy target.  I've always believed that as long as I tried my very hardest to be an honest kind person, that people would respect me. But apparently being a good person isn't enough to gain respect sometimes. Because people take themselves too seriously and in turn expect the same from others. People take themselves too seriously because they're insecure. And it makes me feel bad for them. Because I've been skipping and jumping around for 28 years, confident and happy, and being silly, and forgetting dumb things, and driving up in a messy car with loud music, and trusting people with my embarrassing secrets and situations just so I can make them laugh, and just cause i trust that they'll have my back cause.. why not?.... I get sad for people that are unable to live life like that. I've been purposely going through these same 28 years trying my very hardest ( and sometimes it does not succeed ) to just ignore and not believe that grown adults can still be bullies. That people who claim to be your friends are not always loyal. Because those are the things that, if we think about it for too long, will make us insecure. And thats how you create a person that says horrible things about someone else for literally no other reason than to make themselves feel better, valid, important.. who knows, honestly. Maybe just to have some juicy gossip and sound interesting?

But sometimes its too hard to ignore. And i find that the longer I've kept myself in the dark, the more my heart breaks when I learn the truth. And its making me insecure. And I hate it. I hate myself this way. Because I'm a good person. And I'm fun and I like to dance all the way to the front door and talk too loud while accidentally spilling coffee all over my shirt. Just like dad. So instead of letting it make me sad like it has been lately, and crying like I can only imagine so many others who have been bullied before have cried, I'm just gonna say this:

To the people that say those mean things about anyone that genuinely trusts you. To the people that need a common denominator to talk about because they don't have enough of their own conversation. To the people that are so worried about what everyone thinks of them that they cant IMAGINE anyone living life  any other way. To The people that are willing to throw someone.. anyone... under the bus for a good story. Even to the people that will read this and roll their eyes and make fun of how dramatic it sounds, and how dramatic I am, and how I misspelled five words. Stop talking. Be nice to people. Pretend it was you. Have some honest to God natural affection. 

 

Get over yourself.

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Basic in Bangkok

Vaccinations. The life blood of any basic American, and my comfort zone. My best friend and I got into an argument/passive agressive conversation about this before the trip. She doesn't believe in them, and I believe in ALL of them. It doesn't really matter what you believe when it comes to vaccinations - the point I'm trying to make is: I'm Basic. I got ALL DEM SHOTS. It may have taken me driving through the parking lot four times, on four separate days before actually walking in to get them... but I got em ALL. I was fully prepared by any basic American girls' standard with my bug spray and my TUMS (ALWAYS bring that by the way). The thing of it is, there was no amount of western medicine in this world that was going to prepare me for Thailand because that's just it - Thailand is nothing like home. You know how when you travel you can usually pick out something that will remind you of home and it can become a kind of comfort whenever you're home-sick? Well there's nothing like that in Thailand. Which is exactly why it ended up being my favorite place in the world. 

Nakhon Si Thammarat 

After flying 30+ hours with Air China (Don't EVER order anything with the word "seafood" in the title while  on a plane) and crying on my neighbors shoulder from watching "Still Alice" I made it to beautiful Thailand - A place full of the cutest happiest people you'll ever meet. The thing I loved the very most about this Thailand trip is that I didn't get off the plane and jump on a boat and go straight to an island, or head into Bangkok to see a bunch of temples, or order A Bucket of Booze and start partying up a storm. Instead, we jumped on a hopper flight taking us south of Bangkok to a city called Nakhon Si Thammarat - a place I still think about every day. Nothing about Nakhon is touristy. This is a real city where real Thai people live and work and play - streets bustling with scooters full of entire families - a mom, dad, and two kids in their arms. The smells.... I mean I wouldn't say are the best thing ever... but it becomes part of life after you're there a while, and you eventually can recognize the road side Goi Diow being made, or the smells of fresh curry coming from the back of the restaurants. My favorite sound in the world became the beeping of all the scooters and cars; it's because the beeping wasn't the annoying honking we hear here at home. Road rage is not a thing that exists in Nakhon. Everyone is just trying to get somewhere and they're all working together to get around each other - so the beeping became more of  a friendly "excuse me while I cut you off, but we're cool" noise. 

We were there in January which is rainy season which also apparantly means flood season.  It wasnt too bad when I got there butI was told by my friends  few days before that I may not even be able to fly in because the airport was flooded. Part of Nakhon was build on a marsh land so you can imagine what Torrential rain will do to an area like that.  A week before i got there, my friends' first floors of their houses were flooded and the water was as high as my chest. You'll laugh when I tell you one of the main things i miss from Nakhon is having to hike-up my skirt and take off my shoes for when we drove through the town on our scooter because some parts of the streets where completely flooded. There were days where it would literally not stop raining for an entire day. and I'm not talking about the baby rain storms we see in California. Imagine you're riding your bike and some obnoxious frat guy stands over you and pours an entire home depot bucket of water on top of your head. Thats honestly what the rain feels like in Thailand. And let me tell you riding on the back of a scooter in traffic while in this frat boy rain is real stressful because you literally cannot see at times. But Again- the thing i miss the most.

We spent two weeks in this cute little city volunteering during the day,  and spending all of our break time in search of the best iced coffee. Because yes, something amazing happend, and this basic chick did not have to go without her iced coffee. For some reason, someone somewhere in Thailand must have gone to Europe or Australia and came back and created the best Euro style coffee shops i've ever seen- and I want to meet them and hug them hard. Honestly- there are some coffee shops in Nakhon that I still like more than any cafe i've been to anywhere else.

The rest of the time in Nakhon was spent playing soccer at the local high school, riding barefoot on our scooters down the street for boba and a $6 Thai massage, and sitting in restaurants with groups of 10+ people of all ages drinking  2$ chang and eating the best Pnag Curry i've ever had. In other words we just lived life. We just did normal things with the locals. Grocery shopping at the ( terrifyingly Thai ) local market, and riding way out into the flooded  countryside on our scooters just to help our neighbors in need. Life there is simple and happy and easy. There was never a worry or a conversation about money. You just live.  You just help people the best way you can and take it day by day. It truly feels like the happiest life to live. You don't even realize how stressed  stressed or unhappy you really may be  until you've had a taste of a truly simple life, and i feel bad for anyone that doesn't believe me.

Ko Lipe 

Hey guys did you know that when something is called a bus sometimes it is in fact NOT a bus? 6 am came much too early after our fun little Thai party we had had the night before with our boxed wine and our 5 American songs that we had downloaded on my iphone. We all packed one backpack, because thats literally all we could fit on our scooters with us, rode through the painful rain and got to the bus stop in Nakhon. I will from here on out call it a mini-van stop because that my friends is what it was we got into. 

A million years later we made it to Trang, a Southern Thai City off of the Andaman coast. Then it was time for the worst ferry ride of life, starting with us almost missing it and running for our lives. Followed closely by sea sickness and being stuck in a  terrifying storm, But ending with a very  handsome Argentinian boy sitting next to me, whom i then of course.. proceeded to fall in love with. The language barrier was probably for the best. Ko Lipe was one of the most beautiful things i've ever seen, lined with bungalows right on the beach broken up by the most intricate and unique little reggae bars with swing sets as bar stools and Pillows lining the sand with candles surrounding them.  The  entire beach was lined with Long Tail Boats and happy toothless drivers waiting to rip you off.  A surprisingly comforting sight to see after realizing you just almost died off the coast of Malaysia in a capsized boat where the bathroom is a hole in the floor. The first night was full of adventure as we met 150 Swedish people under the age of 25 and taught them way too many American bar games that would destroy their dignity and innocence forever. 

Hey so also... Did you guys know that dengue fever does NOT have a vaccination? Well it doesn't. Imagine the look of horror on my face when i heard this news after waking up the next morning to 189 mosquito bites on my legs. How do I know there were 189 bites? Because of the sleepless nights I spent for the next two nights counting them over and over. The next day was spent at the most beautiful beach in the word with no one around except the local beach dogs playing with each other in the water.  Usually stray dogs would make me actually want to move to Thailand and save them all but these dogs are surprisingly well taken care of  by the locals. The island is pretty tiny so you can probably get around the whole thing within a few days. we walked at least a quarter of it along the water, and finally came up to a beach side restaurant. A word of advice: If no one is eating at a restaurant on a small Thai Island ... its probably not the best idea to eat there. Another word of advice.. if there are Thai men doing construction in their bare feet  while you eat... this restaurant is probably not for you. Alas, we ate there anyway. Before i finish the bad part of the story... i Will say that one of the best moments of the entire trip happened after lunch where we got beach side massages under a bungalow while it was raining. Seriously.... SO relaxing.  i Recommend it to anyone-  and this is coming from a girl that doesn't even really like to relax. Like honestly- my idea of fun is running myself into the ground until i actually fall over dead and you don't see me for three days in a row because I'm lying the darkness of my room with Gossip Girl placing in the background.

The coolest part about the island rain is that you could walk around in nothing but bathing suits and walk all the way home in the pouring rain- and it felt fantastic. The night would have ended amazing with a good ol' meet up with our Swedish friends, followed by some beach swinging at our favorite reggae bar. Instead the scary restaurant crept up on me and I spent the rest of the night in the bungalow alone with my thoughts and my mosquito bites. However I did hear amazing stories about the last night including everything from meeting backpackers who literally just decided not to leave the island for over a month to eating the best roadside pad Thai with their feet in the sand. This Island is like a movie- people  come and they never leave, and I can see all the reasons why.

The last day was honestly perfect. It started with the best Acai Bowl of my life, followed by shopping down all the little walking streets for trinkets and clothes ( Just FYI- every Island WILL rip you off and your money is better spent in Bangkok where you can find the same thing ten times cheaper)  and snorkeling. Finally ending with a long tail boat ride around the Island. Our boat driver drove us to the other side of the island where we saw pretty much the most picturesque beach i've ever seen, tucked way back into the island with a tiki bar in the tree's, serving mojitos,  with tree swings hanging up above. We stopped there for lunch and mojitos and chatted with people that had been staying there for three weeks or more just to relax. It honestly felt like something out of Swiss family Robinson.... if Swiss family Robinson had a bar. We made it back just in time to jump on some pillows with a mojito in hand and watch the sun set.. which is weird cause you cant really see the sun necessarily.. but the colors were beautiful. 

Let me just say - thank the lord for two things: Bali Belly Medicane and Thai Pharmacies- you can literally get Tranquilizers from these places. i went in and stocked up on a years worth of different medicines to take care of the bites because literally i was turning into an actual crazy person. So just remember- if you need anything when you're in Thailand- sick or injured, you can walk into any pharmacy and get what you need. Just try to maybe go with someone who speaks Thai so you don't make a horrible mistake. After one more brekkie at our favorite cafe and one million and a half hours of travel, we were back to our home in Nakhon and sadly ready to head to Bangkok. 

One Night In Bangkok

Bangkok is crazy man. A busy, crazy, loud, and slightly dirty city where the beeping of the scooters is definitely not as comforting as the beeps in Nakhon.  If i could give you any piece of advice for Bangkok i would say definitely really really know where you're going before you get in a cab or even head out of your hotel. Almost every cab driver we had did not know where anything was, and could not read a map. Despite adding at least an hour to every drive we took around the city because of this, we jam packed our 48 hours in this big bangin' city of Bankok the best we could. And where better to start that off than Khao San Road?

Ok so khao san road is like Cancun on Steroids. which is A- cool and B-terrifying. You HAVE to be careful because there aren't any rules and it could be very easy to get caught in a crowd and before you now it... you've lost your group. But if you make sure to stick together through the loud music and bars and crowds in the road, it can be a real good time. It actually ended up being one of my favorite nights between dance parties  in the middle of the street and finding an American cover band in an up stairs bar. And of course you know you've had quite a basic blast when you end up leaving with the whole group getting "wolf pack" bracelets.. cause you know.. thats practical and super cool and not embarrassing at all.

I strongly believe that if you're traveling through somewhere with a limited time frame, its completely worth the money to get some kind of a private tour. I found a private tour through the concierge at my hotel.  All I had to do was tell my tour guide everything we wanted to do including where and when we wanted to eat and he took care of the rest. There is no way we would have been able to squeeze everything we did into our last day. But with the private tour we were able to visit two temples, get a long tail tour on the river, and make our way to the BEST markets I've ever been to in my life. Everyone has to go to at least one market in Thailand. We originally wanted to make our way to a floating market which i would still suggest because i mean... its a floating market... in Thailand. its kind of a must-do. But thanks to a little place called Khao San Road.. we  may have slept in just a tiny bit, and floating markets are kind of an all day event.  This is not to take away from the amazingness of the land market we went to because it was amazing.

Walking through  this market felt like a black hole. We walked in at 4 pm and the next thing i knew it was 11pm  and I was walking out with shirts and shoes and dresses and jewelry and fried bananas and stamped leather and we had even had time for pizza and beer. Yes- pizza and beer- this basic girl was real happy.  We got to experience one more 2 hour drive home with a taxi driver who literally had no  idea where he was and then ended up back at the hotel only to realize that this chick definitely forgot to book another night. In most people's worlds this would be a horrible thing but good ol' Jos did  what she always does and went from not having a room to eating room service in our corner suite. Kind of the best way to end Thailand... with American food.

The next morning we woke up and wanted nothing more than to get to the airport. Don't get me wrong- we loved Thailand but we were kind of hating on Bangkok and we missed Nakhon. So we decided to get to the airport early. We got into the terminal 4 hours early which we Immediatley regretted. But we eventually found a cafe and before we knew it we were drinking coffee, and laughing and looking at pictures for hours.... for too many hours..... 

The next thing we knew our names where being called over the loudspeaker  with 5 minutes until take off and we were 10 gates away. I literally have never run that fast in my life. But alas, we made it onto a plane full of angry foreigners. And off to Australia we went..

Till Next time 20 somethings.. 

Ko Lipe 

Ko Lipe 

Long tail driver & Toothless friend for life 

Long tail driver & Toothless friend for life 

Ko Lipe 

Ko Lipe 

Beginning at the end

 

Ok so I'm going to Begin at the end. Because After I ended then thats when I technically began. 

Kapish?

Let's Begin.

Love is pretty much my favorite thing in the entire world. I literally fall in love with at least every other Waiter/Bar Tender/Cute Guy in line that I come across in life.. Ok don't freak out I don't ever do anything about it. But in other words, I have a horribly ginormous heart. But through all this I have had one great love.  The kind of love that starts when you're too young to have found it and ends too late, leaving you with the kind of heart break that will follow you around for what feels like forever. The kind of heart break that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy- the disabling kind of love. I'm going to spare you all the drama and stop there. But That kind of gives you an idea of why there is an end for me to even begin from.

So as to not put a damper on things in my first post, I will just say that Love is what brought me to the end which lead to the beginning of this Blog.

I had it, it was big and deep and wonderful and horrible and then it was gone. And it was the weirdest feeling- something I've never had before- I literally didn't know what i was going to do next. I had an entire life set up for myself and my biggest decision set for the next 6 months was what kind of dog we should get. But Alas, I have no dog. And honestly looking back now, THANK GOD FOR NO DOG.  After the initial feeling of thinking I was actually going to DIE, I was able to take a breather, count my blessings and realize I was in a very exciting and unique position: I could do WHATEVER I wanted to do. I had NO plans. and I LOVED IT. 

So Heres what I did:

I Went to the Gym

I Cleaned out my car

I had a good cry

I Quit My job

I Put my stuff into storage

I Moved into a 80x80 shed owned by a leasing company called Mom&Dad, Inc.

I Bought a Ticket to Thailand

And The Blog Begins..

  

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