Friday, May 16, 2003
First Impressions, two weeks into it....
Living in Thailand's remote northeast (Isaan) is . . .
...like camping (cold showers, squatting over a hole, lizards on the wall, cooking on a Coleman-type gas stove, dodging very large bats at night out in the school parking lot, etc.)
...remembering what it's like to drink pop from a bottle.
...having a non-electric haircut: Scissors-only with a straight-razor trim at the hairline. Shoulder massage and hot facial towel included. Cost: $1 Best-looking haircut I've had in decades.
...desperately needing paper clips, but the word isn't in either of my two dictionaries.
...signing 50 autographs a day for giddy college co-eds who have no idea how tough my English tests are going to be. Someday my autograph will be framed on their wall next to portraits of Ivan the Terrible, or Ghengis Khan.
...seeing a broom cart vendor pulling his little cart down the road with a style of broom which must go back several hundred years. Reflectors on the back of his cart? A couple dangling CD's.
...watching farmers plow their fields behind water buffaloes, cell phone up against their ear (farmer's ear, that is).
...trying to describe a "dish drying rack" to the shop keeper at the local outdoor market. I think I've scored a point. He returns from the back of the shop with an iron.
...reminding friends back home that "Taiwan" is out in the ocean somewhere. "Thailand" is the location of that famous Rogers and Hammerstein musical that portrayed a Siamese monarch and English tutor, but may not be named here, because the movie is banned.
...being far away in miles from friends and family, but still close to their hearts.