The day didn’t start the same way many had. It could be a new template. If it is, hopefully it will only be temporary and transitional. My wife is patient, but she is not infinitely patient. I have, as of yet, been unable to translate effectively and convey, the invaluable adage, “Infinite patients brings immediate results!”
March forth was my sixty-second birthday; the completion of my sixty-second encircling of our sun. The day I became eligible for Social Security. Ponra expected the first check to be on the table when we awoke.
When we awoke, it was still dark and so was her mood! I had a bright idea. I flipped the light switch and explained that SS would not start as quickly as the overhead bulb. Then I plugged in our tea pot and used the plug to illustrate the application process. The water will get hot, I said, but it takes a little time.
I have been in hot water ever since.
Ponra went downstairs and chopped ten bundles of bamboo, said she was too key-key-et (Lazy.) to take it to town and assigned me the chore. I was feeling lazy, too, so when I got home I plugged in my headphones and drifted away.
Before I reached home, I had slid into the Wat for a little private time with a few peaceful statues, a candle and three sticks of incense.
There were big plans for the evening. I had only a few cryptic clues about what they were.
The event had nothing to do with my birthday, per say. We were volunteered to be in some kind of pageant; although details were absent. I was told we would head for the beauty parlor around three, get done what they do, then scooter over to the hospital, park and walk to a stage. It all had something to do with Thai women of Kalasin who had Farang husbands.
I figured – a stage; my birthday; how bad could it be?
When we arrived at the shop there was a woman being attended. I went back up to that quite room inside my head, searched out residuals from previous drifting and added more reserves. I peeked occasionally. It was quite a process.
I want this guy as my mortician; he could make me look thirty again, for sure.
Finally, it was Ponra’s turn. An hour or so later, I was pleased to discover that there had been some bonding with the first client. Her husband is a Swede. They conveniently lived a comfortable stroll away and had a nice new smelling comfortable car. We became companions for the evening.
I feel a little badly that I can’t remember the guy’s name. I tried to repeat it in my head. If I could have pronounced it, I may have been able to remember it. I never did hear his wife’s name.
We headed out. I quickly noticed we were NOT going towards the festivities.
There was a pre-event party somewhere on the outskirts of town. There was a cute juxtaposition of stereotypical roles as the man driver kept suggesting we stop to ask for directions and his wife insistently maintained that they were not needed. We eventually found the spot; only one U turn. The resort was well tucked away. It struck me as a great place for powerful rich men to get together and conspire.
There was quite a crowd: many quiet white men mumbling about how hot it was and bouncing bevies of lilting Thai beauties huddling for cameras.
There was an entry point designated by a buffet table and a phalanx of photographers. In spite of flash, flash, flash … I noticed a pile of spring rolls. I like those; crunchy and yummy. I particularly like the sweet spicy peanut sauce. However, I was considering not eating. Then I heard a word that struck a cord deep in my psyche – “wasabi.” My eyes were drawn to several decorative bowls of the green paste and as my glazed gaze traveled over them saliva began to flow in anticipation of the salmon and tuna sashimi.
Oh! I neglected to mention that a jammin’ Stevie Ray Vaughn tune was blaring from a huge bank of speakers as we walked from the parking lot.
It really was a nice local. The early evening light was fading fast. I wanted to get a few shots, uh!, pictures; although I could have had a few shots. When offered the wine, I replied: Ahn-tah-lie lah-vahn – DANGER CAUTION!!
As I munched, I was tuned into another aspect of the gathering. We were all there to practice stage walking. That exercise didn’t seem to materialize or was so brief I missed it. Anyhow, it was a nice party – a very rare opportunity to speak English; and even more rare chance to eat sashimi.
To cap off the event, the American Country Western song “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’” accompanied us back to the car. Much to the embarrassment of my wife, I felt compelled to sing along.
Our driver repeatedly expressed his concern about being able to find a parking spot back in town.
Now, I don’t know how pervasive this policy is, but I get the impression Farang husbands, if they are lucky, are slowly fed information on a need to know basis. Although, I’m pretty sure what is to happen next is usually a case of “coy mung – wait see”. Just before we hit town, and just as my new friend was about to pop a gasket, was just the right time to let it be known that a special area had been reserved for all the Farang vehicles. I decided to segue behind that dialogue in hopes of softening the escalating tone. I wanted to compare a few more of my observations to those of my Swedish host. We had more bonding agreement, which was bathed in empathy. He had also experienced that wealthy and/or politically successful Thai like having Farang around. It’s like we are rock stars or some variation of celebrity. It’s some weird form of favoritism or an antithesis to discrimination.
Basically, that evening, we were a large collection of white men bedecked in Thai attire who got paraded around for the betterment of a few business men and Kalasin’s top politicians.
I don’t experience the process as ….. INTERMISSION ……..
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.