The first day I was at the Wat, on a walk, I saw this woman squeezing sugar cane using a machine that would result in a juice product. She would then put the juice into a plastic bag or in a cup with ice and sell it that way.
I took a photo of her and will try to post it, if not, it will get posted sometime for sure. I’m taking advantage of every moment the wifi is working.
On that same corner, I have stopped on occasion when someone has invited me to sit with them. This happened when tuk tuk driver, with a loud voice, stopped for a break and invited me for a glass of coffee. He had brown eyes that didn’t seem to blink when he looked at me. It was more of a ‘study’ of me, I felt. He was intrigued about a woman like me roaming the world alone. Well, on this eventful trip to Asia, I wasn’t just roaming, it is with purpose. I told him about the program, Buddhism Immersion, and teaching English, and he had better understanding. Then the juice lady told him I was teaching her son. “He’s very tall.” The man interpreted for her. Because of that, my coffee was free.
She also told him how old I am. He saw that my ankles seemed a bit swollen and gave me some advice to exercise more. That was a little bit too much of a ‘study’, but I think he was sincerely concerned. He also asked me to write the days of the week down to help him with his customers.
“I work by the river and sleep in the tuk tuk,” he said. He looked pretty cleaned-up to me so I’m not clear how he manages that.
Yesteday, I sat with two bankers; one was the boss and the other man worked for him. They seemed happy to practice their English with me.
On the way back to my room, a Nun met me and told me to follow her and motioned about something to eat. I was stuffed and couldn’t eat another bite, but I thought it too impolite not to abide by her thoughtfulness. She stopped at a traveling booth where rice and other ingredients were put together and sold. She purchased one box for me and oner for herself. She handed it to me, with pride. I accepted and went to me room, carrying the gift.
On another day, this same Nun saw me sitting at the lunch table where my meals are served and from across the way, I heard her say, “Oh”, and with concern on her face and worry in her eyes, she quickly came over to me, put her hands together and bowed. Then she kneeled down by my feet and began feeling my arms, my face and my feet. I know she said I was warm. You are right there, lady. I’m in the tropics, of course I’m warm. But, then she had me feel her arms and they were not cold, but not hot.
I’m not sure if she’s a fortune teller or what, but that night I felt that I did have a fever, and then sitting on the bus all day, didn’t help. That’s when I got the antibiotics and now I’m feeling fine.
Another Nun, who speaks a bit of English, after I asked, spoke to the Monk to see if someone could help me with the wifi modem. She came and got me later that day and took me to the young geniuses who work for the radio station. They helped me get going again.
When I wanted to say something to them, I would write it in English and then have it translated on the internet. That worked pretty well.