Teerak, My Mother Is Sick And I Want Cash (4)

Supply by pick-up truck: July 4
7.30am and I’m ready outdoors my constructing with my automotive and driver. No Neung and no Khun Ying, her sister. Oh properly, it is Thailand so I assume I simply have to attend. I get an sms and it appears the taxi they known as couldn’t discover their place so they’ll be very late. Mai pen rai.

8.15am Neung and Ying arrive carrying 6 giant luggage of cat meals. Hmmm, that is trying fascinating. Not fairly certain how this one will get defined. We set out for Rangsit. Neung explains concerning the cat meals. Her mom had 4 cats. The neighbor has been feeding them however ran out of meals 4 days in the past, so the cats haven’t eaten. Okay, that explains the cat meals properly sufficient!

9.15am we arrive on the home in Rangsit and go see the neighbors. Cats arrive, quick! We give them some meals after which they’re joined by the neighbor’s canine, who appears to eat cat meals as willingly as she eats pet food. Effectively, it is Thailand!

We’re going to do tambuun on the home. Neung explains that typically folks do it on the temple however it’s thought of “luckier” to do it on the individual’s home. One thing to do with releasing the spirit. I do not faux to know however no drawback. I ask when the monks will arrive. Round 11am I’m informed which, clearly, means 11.30am. everyone seems to be all the time late right here. All of the monk’s items have been ready. Cash in envelopes, flowers and the standard bucket of goodies – washing powder, toothpaste and so forth.

10.30am and the monks arrive. What is going on on right here? Nobody in Thailand is ever early. We’ll get again to this shortly, nevertheless it seems to be about meals. The monks arrived, all 9 of them, at the back of a pickup truck. Dressed of their orange robes it’s a considerably surreal scene. The strangest pickup supply I’ve ever seen! We now have 9 monks seated on the ground of the home, with about 25 friends seated everywhere. The rituals start with an providing of water to the monks. The candles are lit, the string is unwound, all of us calm down and the chanting begins.

I am unable to make sure nevertheless it appeared to me that the chanting was a lot the identical as on the funeral ceremonies. It is fairly fascinating to look at and pay attention. It’s melodic with out being musical and mildly hypnotic. Hypnosis would have been helpful as a result of I used to be in agony from sitting with crossed legs. My knees are shot from an excessive amount of operating on the health club and I discover these very fundamental sitting postures nearly unimaginable to handle. So, for me, the chanting is an train in ache and the fixed thought operating by my thoughts of “how for much longer”?

A few canines wander out and in as we sit and a little bit 2 yr outdated ladies comes to affix us, holding her fingers up within the praying place. It is a very cute scene. She will get bored shortly, as 2 yr olds do, and decides to look at and take aside the padlock to the backyard gate. Then she decides to strive everybody else’s footwear, flip flops, excessive heels, they’re all of equal curiosity. I discover my eyes wandering rather more to her than the enterprise at hand.

The chanting ceases and now I be taught why the monks arrived early. We’re their lunch. I’m informed that the monks eat twice a day, breakfast and lunch and that they might not eat after noon. They turned up early to make sure that they may get lunch. Effectively that makes good sense to me. In spite of everything, this nation greater than most, marches on its abdomen. Lunch is a feast. A mass of various meals. They eat, we wait. Everybody appears blissful and there’s a lot of laughing from everybody.

I’m, in fact, the one farang and the item of some consideration. Many are asking Neung if I’m her boyfriend. She says no, only a buddy and that I’m homosexual. Hmmm, okay. Now the place did that come from? Neung explains. If I say u are my buddy (puan) they are going to surprise why u are right here so I known as u my homosexual buddy. Hmm, okay. Why not say I’m ur ex boyfriend. No means she says. If I say that I lose face. So the value of not shedding face is that I’m now homosexual. Life might be worse!

Chanting resumes however this time it is vitally temporary, not more than 5 minutes. The monks accumulate their goodies, climb into the pickup truck and off they go. Formalities are over with. Neung’s mom is now at peace.

Lunch begins for all of the friends. We break up into two teams. I sit with Neung, Khun Ying and 7 different girls. Most are of their 50s and 60s and I’m an object of fascination. They see me combating the sitting postures and so, to loads of laughing, a stool seems and I’m informed to take a seat. My cheeks are crimson however the ache is gone so it is a good tradeoff. Then the actual problem begins. Am I going to eat the meals? Fortunately I like Thai meals not less than as a lot as kon Thai so the meals is not any drawback for me. They even start to understand that I converse fairly respectable Thai.

Every thing goes properly till we come to the durian combined with sticky rice and coconut milk. Durian is definitely OK to eat however this one will not be ripe sufficient. Sticky rice will not be one thing I get pleasure from. The combination all collectively? Effectively I handle to not throw up however solely simply and, in fact, the entire group finds this very entertaining, myself nearly included. These are all good folks. They’re having enjoyable. They’re being very welcoming to me. It has been a superb day to this point.

The meals is cleared away and all of us begin to clear up. Neung pays for the meals which implies, essentially that I pay for the meals. There’s loads of celebrating and 5 minutes later what looks as if one million bottles of beer arrive. Appears I gave a superb tip too! So now everybody actually loves us.

It is time to go, time to carry out many wais, to say goodbye and to drive dwelling. Neung is leaving for Amsterdam tonight to spend 10 days together with her homosexual Thai buddy and his Dutch boyfriend. She tries to insist that she will not be spending your entire 10 days discovering a brand new boyfriend however does not sound too credible. Mai pen rai, this isn’t my drawback anymore. If she is blissful then I’m blissful too. She could also be my ex however she remains to be my buddy and he or she has had a troublesome few months.

The primary Thai funeral I attended was for Neung’s mom and it’s for her additionally that I’ve made my first tambuun. It has been one other fascinating expertise. The Thai folks handle loss of life with loads of grace, humor, tact and respect. That is an odd mixture of phrases maybe nevertheless it’s an acceptable combine. I like the best way they do that and I wish to assume that Neung’s mom would have been happy with what she noticed right now. I do not faux to know Buddhism or Thai tradition, however what I do see I like very a lot.

As for Neung it has been a tough time. Her mom was her solely household. Her father didn’t flip up right now and has apparently been asking her for cash. Her stepfather, aged 75, has been making an attempt to switch his affections for her mom to Neung herself.

She has been sad and he or she has cried alone loads. I’ve not been in a position to spend a lot time together with her. As we speak she appears happier than I’ve seen her in a very long time. Partially it is as a result of she goes to Amsterdam however I believe it’s greater than that. She has lastly realized to say goodbye to her mom.

Thailand is usually really a loopy place. Loopy however great and so very a lot alive, even in loss of life. I’m privileged to be right here.

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