Wednesday, March 21, 2012
All good things come to an end
I don't think three weeks could have gone so quickly and been more fun.
The car arrives to take me to Bangkok at 6:30 PM tonight. My flight leaves at 11:55 PM. I am assured of better Wifi connection at the airport than I've had at my condo, which has been iffy at best. The only place I can really blog without total frustration is at the pool but there's lots of activity and even more distractions when the Internet doesn't have moments when it simply drops for no obvious reason.
I won't be missing the WiFi here.
I'm going to miss "The Boyz of Suni Plaza, Soi VC 7". They have been very dear and gracious and generous to me. Treated me like a proper lady, they did. Well, except for the language, which, from time to time, turned the air blue. No matter where you are in the world, boyz will be boyz - especially when they get together and forget there's a proper lady present.
I will also miss my brothers, the monks at the Wat, who have been my prayer companions on this journey. You may not have known it, but while you were praying for me, we were praying for all of you. I've learned some wonderful chants which I'll be taking with me and incorporated into my daily meditation and prayer life.
It's a bit different from saying the rosary, but not by much, really. Except, it's all chanted. Not anything like Anglican chant, but more like Taize chant, which I've always loved.
I went to morning prayer for the last time this morning. As I bid them all farewell, one of the monks said, "Ah, now craving you, sister Elizabeth. You crave me, too?"
Oh, yes, dear brothers. I craving you already. It's not something I intend to work to rid myself of, either. Buddha will forgive me. So will Jesus, I'm sure.
I'm missing Rob already, who is the reason I came here in the first place. As my Portuguese grandmother would say, I already have 'suadade'. He's been most generous and uncommonly gracious. He's my brother, sure and true.
We're talking about his coming to the States this July / August. Next year, I hope to return to Thailand, stay a few days, and then Rob and I will hop a plane to Nepal and visit Katmandu for five or seven days. I'll return to Thailand with him, stay another five to seven days and then head home.
I'm already excited.
Rob was out at rehearsals, so I walked to my favorite little 'hole in the wall' place - The Or-Ah-Harn Thai Restaurant - which just got a new sign out front.
Oh, there was much rejoicing and celebrating over that. The cook had promised me my last wonderful dinner of Mussaman Chicken which was absolutely superb.
After dinner, as I was taking a leisurely stroll home, just as I got near the Wat, I was greeted by a most pleasant Thai man, standing up near the wall.
"Sawadee, Madam" he said, smiling broadly. (Sawadee means 'Good day' or 'Good evening'.)
"Sawadee," I said.
"Ah, farang lady want manshaft? 300 bahat. We go to your place? Manshaft and massage? 500 baht."
It took me a few moments to register what he was saying. I thought, 'Manshaft'? What is he saying? And then, I 'heard' it and what he was "offering" me.
It took me a few more moments to try and figure out an appropriate response, which I thought was fairly measured, given my sense of outrage.
I told him what he could do with his "manshaft". Well, that's essentially what I said, expletives deleted. Manshaft? Are you kidding me? Where did he ever learn that? Rob says he's been reading straight porn. Or, some other European farang taught it to him.
He also told me I was offered a really good price for Pattaya. A massage alone would cost 300 baht. I guess something got lost in the cultural translation.
I did have a few moments as I was walking back to my room, when I thought, perhaps, I should have made a different response - like, maybe, not using the expletives, but Rob also said that my response was exactly right. Had I been "nice," he would have taken it as an invitation to press on.
Well, I guess I'll have that story to tell my grandchildren in my dotage. Or, maybe not.
Of course, I will be happy to be home - after 23 hours in the air and after I recover from the jet lag (which I'm seriously dreading) - but I shall miss everyone I've come to know and become so fond of here in Thailand.
I won't be missing the heat and humidity, though. Gawd, its beastly. No joke. I won't be complaining about the summer heat and humidity in Delaware, that's for sure. Well, not this summer, anyway. I'm sure by the time next summer rolls around, my memory will have faded just a tad.
I might have a reflection or two about my experience in Thailand left in me, which will pop out after I get home, but I think you may have had enough of this.
Thank you for all your kind comments - especially those of you who left them here and suffered through the word verification process in order to do it.
All too soon, it will be "wheels up" and I'll be flying back home to see my loved ones. So, you'll excuse me while I savor these last few moments in The Land of Smiles.
I'm so blessed to have had this experience. Thanks for sharing it with me.