Some people like lists. I hear they work well for those who become friends with them. I’ve tried such a relationship on many occasions. I either break the tip off my pencil or spill coffee on my note pad. I have accepted my handicap and have adapted a loosely bound tapestry of ideas woven from threads of core intentions. I believe that has helped release the anal retentive prioritizing of my more dominant analytical nature.
Today I had one thing I wanted to do. I still hope to get it done. I want to add a few pieces of voice-over to yesterday’s video. To call it “yesterday’s” is a form of denial, but anyway … I need a quiet space for that project and it is rarely quiet here. Actually, while I was putting clips together “yesterday” I noticed that there are always birds chirping and randomly, but regularly, roosters crowing. That’s ok. I just don’t want the sound of bamboo chopping; nor the choppy mishmash that would be created by doing snippets with Ponra’s music filling the background.
Speaking of bamboo … what I hadn’t even considered doing today was riding my bike to town. That is, however, what I did soon after we finished our morning apple and tea.
And lucky for me!
As I turned out of our yard, I was delightfully surprised to see a short orange parade. Rounding the right turn at the end of our dirt road, I paralleled the procession and peddled slowly along beside the village youths. I mean no disrespect … I call them monklettes – all boys, perhaps between seven and fourteen; all in traditional monastery garb; all with shaven heads and all carrying a bowl for rice. One by one they were passing by the little store and receiving Tahm-boon – an antithetical Thai version of a toll booth. In this case a revolving toll booth.
It was a very long line. Donations were bestowed by villagers; then the bowls were emptied into buckets and the buckets brought back to the donation station. I perceived the exercise as: being available to receive an offering; blessing the giver (The offering blesses the receiver); detaching from the gift with the understanding that everyone is part of the same circle/village/life.
Our resident Abbot and several senior monks were among the monklettes. One of the full sized monks was shooting video. hahahaha! I rode right through his shot, flashed a huge smile, which I framed with the classic peace sign salute. Then I jump off my bike, flopped it aside, whipped my camera out and shot along. See! > > >
Yes; I went down the road and shot more, which I put first. Editorial license!
I didn’t look around too much while on the busy road, although I did encounter the beaming face of my brother-in-law. The sun wasn’t strong. The ambiance was photogenically medium-ish; the light was fuzzy. I almost stopped at a small pond filled with blossoming white lotus. Maybe next time.
And … again I went to the nearby Wat after dropping off the bamboo.
The same guy I had chatted with last time was just arriving. We chatted ee-krahn.
I have been exploring the mystery of “stitching” images. (Check out D. I. for BIG ones!) The proximity of that particular Wat makes it well suited for field trips. The fuzzy light was softer/better. My intent was to apply some corrective theories to previous attempts. If they aren’t successful, I’m sure more bamboo will fill my back-pack and I will bicycle to town again.
I did have the thought of starting a “via Bicycle Board” on Pinterest; and I really should start a flowers or flora board, too. Pinterest, by the way, is way wayyyyyy cool and I am very veryyyyyy challenged NOT to get swept away with the obsessive editing of images. As you can see, I’m writing this as a diversion. However, there is some image editing ahead.
In the spirit of full disclosure … all the stitching has been prompted by Pinterest. The format favors thin vertical shots. (I made one the other day that was about 2000 x 6000 pixels, if that means anything to you. I was impressed! I had to shrink it to post it! It’s in D. I. – ya can’t miss it!)
So … then what happened?
Oh yeah! I was exiting the Wat. To do so I had to pass through an archway wrapped in scaffolding and go under a couple of guys doing cement work. Quick Thai lesson: tohk is fall and poon is cement; and mai pen rai is no big deal, don’t worry about it. Easier to brush off than pigeon blessings.
That experience did prompt me to pay more attention to traffic.
I was almost out of town when I noticed three shinny new Tuk-tuks. As my glance tracked across them, my eyes ran smack into a smiley happy couple eating breakfast. Coincidentally, the woman and I had pleasantly acknowledged each other earlier when I was on my way in and she was on her way back from the market.
Oooops! Forgot to mention that I saw another friend from the village just after poon tohk. This is an old shot of him, but I like it very much and am getting more and more and more and more compulsive about sharing.
Yah well …. I saw the Tuk-tuks, poot hello to the couple; who I sort of knew because a long time ago our motocye had been serviced at their shop.
I was haled to join them at the table.
I should have taken a picture of the table – the patriarch’s morning feast. There were fried chicken wings; an interesting round conglomeration of well done eggs; two small bowls of dipping condiments (Pet mahk mahk!!!); cow jah – Jasmine rice and cow knee-ow – sticky rice; as well as a wonderful basil laden ground pork dish, which Ponra had just served three nights ago.
I REALLY wanted to dive right in. I tried not to appear too eager, but did say, Uhhmmm hom dee mahk mung dee mahk mahk – smells and looks very good. I decided to shoot the Tuk-tuks first. Second, I found out that they were for sale via brochures and a sales pitch. They are an expansion of the family’s income producing base.
I was very surprised how (relatively) in expensive they were. Unfortunately, I had to explain that I can’t work here, do to visa restrictions. The momentary downward dip in mood was quickly re-elevated by introducing the idea that maybe I would buy one for my wife and she could take a break from chopping bamboo.
I did my best to explain my past stint as a limo driver. Loht young see sipt meet – 10 meter (40 foot) car – sip hohk bookon – sixteen people – sahm lahn suhr may – 3 million baht to buy new!
The food was wonderful. I was hungry! It was very very enjoyable to converse, doo-ay. I understand almost nothing of what people say and they are extremely challenged to decipher my Thai. Actually, I mostly don’t speak Thai, but I have learned to say: First – I no speak Thai speak Lao; Second – I have accent; Tee Sahm – past when speak English (with gestures) sound flat line Thai (with gestures) like roller coaster. Thai has no punctuation. It seems intonation is the substitute.
Actually, …… never mind, maybe next time!
[I knew a wise man, once upon a time, who would often draw attention to NOW with the phrase, “Rare opportunity!” Rare was most certainly meant to accent the preciousness and high value of those special moments!]
I usually take the dirt side road back to the village. There were two shots I wanted to redo. I had messed up the settings during the last attempt.
When I got home I shared a little of all this with Ponra. She didn’t seem too interested. Perhaps you can empathize? If you do, be sure not to leave a comment.
As I was detaching from my encumbering accoutrements, I noticed Ming Ming over there absorbed in solitary play with a bunch of grass. So I shot her.
Well, that’s the close, but I think I will need a longer paragraph here so that there will be an aesthetic balance between Ming Ming and this text. That might be enough. If not I can shrink the image. Keep in mind they are often bigger than they look and will jump to full size if they are clicked on.
I would very much appreciate hearing from you. I highly value your input/feedback.
Please use the Comment Box below, this private address >>> firstname.lastname@example.org
OR choose one of these other very public options to share more broadly.