Thursday, September 28, 2006

Interesting and Funny Are Often the Same...

We (Shanti and I) just got back from our store run. I was out of a few things that are essential to life here. Fish sauce, eggs... Diet Coke. The store owners know me well enough now that they don't even complain about the dog. I'm very fortunate.

Anyway, I hurriedly got dressed, put on some flip flops and took off. It is a three-mile walk to the store and three miles back. It's a bit warm today so I didn't even bother to make an effort to look good. Bleh. Some days are like that. I didn't want to have to carry Shanti too far in the heat and she can't walk the mileage I do. She's just a little critter so I usually have to carry her 60% of the time. It was a race against the afternoon sun.

It was more crowded than usual at the store and it seemed people were coming and going in every direction. Immediately, I felt completely overwhelmed. My house is a very peaceful, quiet place. Additionally, I am blind in one eye which makes my range of vision fairly limited. Not complaining. It could be much, much worse since I would have no vision if it hadn't been for surgery a few years ago. Still, it makes my external environment trying at times, especially if there is a lot of activity. By the grace of Something Above, I managed to navigate the store, finding everything I need. Fish sauce, curry paste, brown rice, eggs and, yes, gawdblessit, Diet Coke!

I went up to the check out area and waited mindlessly. There were perhaps two others ahead of me. Of course this little store and the owners are known so everyone has to chat for a minute or two. It's accepted. We don't hurry each other. The owners of the store are an older woman and her son. Occasionally, I see his wife there but not very often. He is probably my age or a bit younger and his mother is likely mid-70s somewhere. She is my elder and I always respect her as such by greeting her in the traditional way. ("Sawadee kaa, Kuhn Suchin" with a little wai. She smiles in response.)

I felt some sort of human energy to the left side of me but didn't pay any attention. The people ahead of me were done and I dumped my stuff on the counter, greeted Kuhn Suchin and found my money buried in with the four tons of junk I carry around. Suddenly, I felt someone on my blind side put an arm around my waist. She said, "Oh, you are just darling!" Mind you, I have never seen this woman in all my life ~ not in the store, not on the street, not on the Most Wanted List for the local police. Seriously. I don't know who in the world she might be! She could be one of the Manson girls for all I know.

My instinctive reaction was to become irritated with someone for startling me like that, for touching me without permission (which is something I truly don't like) and for making me sound like a little Barbie doll. Darling? No. I am not "darling". I felt a momentary flash of anger.

I thought back to what I'd written this morning about kreng jai, keeping ego in perspective and realizing the world isn't all about me. It was a good opportunity to put some of that in practice. Despite the fact that she irritated me with her words, took liberties I did not give her and scared the cr*p out of me, I chose to look at her intentions. She meant to be kind in her own way. She meant to compliment me.

"Thank you,", I said to her, "It's kind of you to say that." I gathered up my stuff, picked up the dog and left.

We are all learning all the time. It's good to have a challenge occasionally to "practice as we preach". I stand corrected.

I hope all have a wonderful, sunshine-filled afternoon ~

Thailand Gal


CJ said...

Cute, Thai! I always knew you had a temper. You can't fool me! I know you too well. HAHAHAHA

Thailand Gal said...

(*&^!!! *%$@(*^$(#

Who? Me?