Monday, November 8, 2010
Love-Love & More Love
There was a swarm of flying beetles so thick in the air I swallowed three in the course of charging the net. It was glorious nonetheless. I managed to get my serves in and I returned serve of a local teenager who is probably a 4.0. I ate the seeds of a lotus flower (awesome!) and was given plenty to drink and invited back, not to mention being invited to dinner and to stay whenever I come to town. That is probably the best thing about being in Thailand- the reservoir of generosity and friendliness. I am so used to apologizing for the ignorance and arrogance of Americans and explaining that there are many good individuals there, but here I do not have to do that at all. In no way are they star struck when I say I am from the USA, but neither is there the shaking of the head I experienced in France and Germany and Spain in 1982 (Reagan was president) or in Ireland or in Australia years later (Bush one and Bush two). It is more that the USA is just one of many places not Thailand. And they are quite proud of Thailand and they love their king and their culture and food just fine thank you very much.
People are incredibly quick to take care of my needs- and in such a simple and unadulterated manner. Saturday evening I was ferried all the way across town on the back of a young woman's moped simply because I was walking. They are not networking, or after anything in return. When someone like a Paaw Aw offers to pay for lunch or anything else, it is actually offensive for one to refuse or to even pull out a wallet as a gesture. It is one of the few times Jes was very emphatic with me when I tried to pay for myself at a lunch.
I would miss the seven napkin burgers at the General Store, but truly, with the food here I have no time to miss any American food. Here was my lunch today. Those are kind of a sweet potato they eat as a desert with the purple skin. I thought I would be sick of rice, but I find now that nothing is better than rice and stir fry and boatloads of hot peppers for breakfast, courtesy of Boom ( I asked her to be my little sister today after tasting her som tam which caused her a real belly laugh)
I don't miss sit down toilets, in fact they feel strange when I do use the occasional one, but I do miss tp. I don't miss washing machines, even though they are darn good in the USA. I know because I just bought one before I left and it was a miracle of engineering. And I say that after spending my Sunday morning washing twelve pairs of underwear in this bucket and sink: