I just moved back here to California from the Philippines but I was born and raised here. My dad would work here in the States for a few of months and come back to the Philippines for a while and he'd bring stuff you can't really find over there. Books and CDs and things like that (of course, they've got books and CDs, but the Philippines is almost a third world country and they haven't got a lot of stuff from other countries especially when you're looking for something a little less mainstream). Once he came back with Collected Stories of William Faulkner, Septuagenarian Stew by Charles Bukowski and a collection of Clash CDs. It was great. I'd heard of Bukowski and at first I was just feeling his writing out but started reading and I read the whole thing through the next schoolday and part of the morning after that. My parents were making me go to this private school in this place that used to be a US military base. I hated the place. All clean and full of rich kids in a poor country. Once you go through the fence you see the all the trash and the shitty rusted houses that were more like shacks made of sheet metal built on top of more shitty rusted houses. The streets full of starving people and the little kids that would look in from outside the fence of your house asking for mangoes from the tree. It made you ashamed to come out of your big clean house with a yard and a car and money for the things you need. I hated that place full of people pretending that the fantasy didn't stop when you left the fence. I hated being a rich kid. I didn't grow up rich, it's just that a little money here can go a while over there. I felt trapped in this fence and this school uniform and I read a lot of books and they sort of made it so I could be someplace else. And Bukowski was amazing.