This is the handsome couple surrounded by all, minus one, of the teachers at Thai Samakee. Our director Leudee is standing to my right. The elderly lady on the far right is my immediate neighbor, the fire lover.
After the ceremony, and some eating of course, it turns out we were going into NKP, but for the celebration dinner. We ended up back at a very nice restaurant on a fish pond I ate at once before. I sat next to Robert and we chatted and ate a scrumptious multi-part meal. When I told Robert that I had no idea I would be eating such a great dinner and enjoying myself so much until that very afternoon, he explained that at noon his understanding was dinner would be around 10 people. We looked down the table at the 40 or so guests gaily bantering. Mai Pen Rai! we both chimed.
A real treat and a good new friend. The fact is I now know quite a few white westerners married to local Thai women and all strike me as dignified, authentic, and loving relationships. My advice? Turn off that TV, throw away that newspaper, and as the buddha says - know for yourselves.
So I raise my glass to love in all its terror and splendor, and to Robert and Chotiros on this Valentine's day 2011 and every day together going forward.
May fortune smile on you and your families!
Here is my favorite love poem, translated by Ezra Pound in 1915, written in 8th Century China , and highly appropriate since Robert departs tomorrow for 5 months working in Shanghai.
|The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter|
|translated by Ezra Pound|
While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead I played about the front gate, pulling flowers. You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse, You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums. And we went on living in the village of Chokan: Two small people, without dislike or suspicion. At fourteen I married My Lord you. I never laughed, being bashful. Lowering my head, I looked at the wall. Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back. At fifteen I stopped scowling, I desired my dust to be mingled with yours Forever and forever and forever. Why should I climb the look out? At sixteen you departed, You went into far Ku-to-yen, by the river of swirling eddies, And you have been gone five months. The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead. You dragged your feet when you went out. By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses, Too deep to clear them away! The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind. The paired butterflies are already yellow with August Over the grass in the West garden; They hurt me. I grow older. If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang, Please let me know beforehand, And I will come out to meet you As far as Cho-fu-Sa. By Rihaku