With your help, I’ve now passed 1,000 views on my blog! That’s a lot, considering I had doubts that anyone would ever read this thing. I really appreciate you giving your time to check in on my life. It’s great to know people back home are interested in what’s going on here.
The past two weeks, I have had Monday off. Last weekend was the king’s birthday, and I took that time to visit some friends in Bangkok. Fortunately, in meeting so many people, I’ve lucked out in not having to pay for accommodations. My friends Jordan, Matt, Colin and I spent a couple evenings with their Thai neighbors. It’s quite interesting since they don’t speak English and we don’t speak Thai. Much of the time is spent making gestures and flipping through a n0t-so-easy-to-navigate English to Thai dictionary to try to resemble some sort of casual conversation. The rest of the time is spent doing voice-overs and making them say ridiculous things. It’s very entertaining.
Other than hanging out with the Thai neighbors, I was able to meet some really cool, new people. My friend Tricia was only in town forone evening, but she brought her friend Jae, a fellow teacher from her school. I also met Jessie, a friend of Matt and Jordan’s, her friend Anne from France, and a Couch Surfer named Christe from California. I have to say, my favorite place in Matt and Jordan’s massive apartment is their porch. It’s so fun just to prop your feet, hang out and chat with really cool people.
My English friends Liv, Rachael and Ali were passing through Bangkok on their way back to England. I wasn’t able to visit with them for very long, but I did get to see them for a few hours on Monday. We met up on Khao San Road and strolled around looking at clothes and eating street food. I got some glorious Aladdin-style pants, and I’m tempted to get more on my next trip there. They’re probably the most comfortable thing I own, and it’s very obvious as I put them on everyday when I get home from work. It was so lovely to be able to see the girls again. I hope they’ll be able to make it out to Southeast Asia for another go, and one day to visit them in England.
This past weekend was long as well, though not as long. I had to work Saturday, which was quite a bummer, but I did take a class outside and we sat beneath the gazebo singing The Beatles. Probably the most fun class I’ve had thus far, and I’m going to do my best to make this a regular thing.
So since I had to work on Saturday, I ended up having a two-day-weekend with today being Constitution Day. To be honest, up until about 4:30 this afternoon, I had no idea why it was that I had today off. Had I not glanced at the 2012 (or 2555 here in Thailand) calendar while at Tesco, I still would have no idea. I might should probably learn a bit more about my days off, since they are obviously important enough to cancel school. Oh, well…. next time.
Today, Devon and I were toured about our city by four 15 and 16 year old girls: Jin, In, Pang and Gaew. We met them this morning at 9 and headed to Wat Nang Sao along the Tha Chin River. After a 15 or so minute trip in a Song Tao (a double benched truck) we were walked through a bit of water to the temple. Like most Buddhist temples, the wat is very flashy and beautiful. The girls helped walk us through the Buddhist ritual of lighting incense, lighting a candle, presenting flowers, placing two gold leafs on the sitting Buddha and then the wai (bowing in respect). After this, we walked around the temple ringing bells for good luck. I’m not sure if we were actually supposed to ring every bell or if the girls were getting a kick out of the falang practicing this “good luck” ritual, but honestly… if it’s for good luck, wai not?? Haha. Get it? Nah….
After visiting the Wat Nang Sao, we went across the street to another room with more Buddha statues inside. Again, we did the wai, but this time afterwards, we shook these cups with sticks inside until only one stick fell out. The girls were very good at this, it seemed I was rattling that cup for nearly three times as long. Finally, though, one stick fell out with the number 19 on it. I then had to get a piece of paper from a cubbie marked “19” that had a bunch of Thai written on it. Apparently, the different papers will tell you whether you have good luck or bad luck. Devon and I were fortunate enough to have good luck, but I can’t say the same for one of the girls… Since my paper told me I have good luck, I was able to keep it, so I’ll take it to school this week and have someone translate it for me.
Also across from the wat was the Tha Chin River. They’ve blocked off a part of it where loads of catfish are swimming. You can toss in bread for them to eat and they will literally come in swarms. It would be a rigged system, but no doubts you could catch your dinner there in less than five minutes, bait time included. The girls told us, however, that the fish were not kept there to be eaten, but for good luck. Clearly there is a lot of “luck” in Buddhism. Noting the river was quite high, we asked if the fish went into the street when it floods. They said the sandbags keep them in the general area….
That’s all for now! Sorry it’s been two weeks since my last post. Time is flying. I’ll try to make it a regular Sunday evening thing that I put something new on my blog. Can’t make any promises, but I’ll try!
Thanks again for helping me pass 1,000 views! You’re great.
And here’s a couple pictures for you: