Well, the taxi ride to see some of the tourist sights yesterday was cancelled due to technical difficulties. Chief among them is that I am an idiot. Or technologically challenged. Or both. The battery on the cell phone P & S have loaned me to use while I am here had died and after I charged it I couldn't get the darn thing to turn on. I kept pressing the green phone button, then the red phone button (just in case), the volume control on the side, the large button in the middle, the all the numbers trying to find the magic sequence. Nothing. I tried plugging it into the charger and pushing all the buttons again. I even prayed! Still, it mocked me with its silent uncoperativeness.
Finally I gave up and answered some e-mails then sat down to read a very interesting book titled, "Velvet Elvis." Sam was talking about it on the drive back to Bangkok Sunday and Pat found it in their crowded bookshelf (my favorite kind) and handed it to me. Somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my brain, where no human being is allowed to go, it seems I heard this book is fairly controversial, though I haven't a clue why. Or else I just haven't gotten to the "controversial" parts yet. Or I am wrong about that too, which is always a glaring possibility. Anyway, it is a wonderful book, written in a conversational manner and full of fresh insights into this person called God and this journey called Christianity. I highly recommend it. And if you get to the controversial parts before I do, read them anyway and ask the God of all wisdom and truth to help you break out of concrete thinking and attempt to consider things you might not have considered before. Sometimes I think we Christians get "stuck" in our thinking and our theology and our traditions and doctrine. Sometimes it's good to be blasted out of our comfort zones and realize that God is endless and we will never uncover all the facets of His marvelous character and incomprehensible being. And that not everything we hold so tightly to be true might be. There are other pespectives worth considering.
All that insight was making me hungry so I walked up to the end of the block and bought two of the most tender and delicious pieces of chicken from a street vendor I have ever eaten. Actually, I bought one and was eating it on the way back to the house. It was SO good I turned around and bought another one! They were just 25 baht (baat) apiece, or about seventy-five cents, since there are roughly 33 bahts to a dollar.
My brain still operates in dollars so my first impulse when something is rung up on the cash register and it reads 275 is to panic! My heart starts fluttering and my palms get sweaty until I slowly calculate it in my decidedly unmathmatical brain and realize whatever I am buying is only slightly more than eight dollars. Still, it happens every time!
I picked up the paper when I got back to the house and read about a "long-tailed boat" and realized that what I had spent a paragraph describing in my last blog entry could have been summed up in three words. Ah, well. I will assume my detailed description was helpful and if I ever have occasion to write about "long-tailed boats" again you will know exactly what I am talking about! They also have the "Dear Abby" column which struck me as a bit of a giggle. I'm not quite sure why. They have Starbucks and McDonald's; KFC and the Michelin Man; signs in English and a million other American imports, but for some reason I wasn't expecting to find "Dear Abby." I guess everyone needs advice.
When P & S got home he wondered why I hadn't called him to tell him to send the taxi and I told them my tale of woe concerning the phone. Then, just like I knew would happen, Pat showed me the tiny, microscopic button no human eye could see on the top of the phone, slid it less than a millimeter and voila, phone service was mine. Geeze.
So today, phone in hand, I'm off to explore. Always with a fresh supply of toilet paper stuffed into my fanny pack. For some reason that has proven to be a nonessential item in the public restrooms which are interesting in and of themselves. Some places have signs that boast a "Western toilet" (who knew such a distinction was necessary?) the rest have a squatty-potty. Without going into great detail, suffice it to say the description pretty much says it all. But you have to remember these people are raised sitting on their haunches so it's probably not quite the adventure for them that it is for me....
Later today I am going to go to the base. Sam said there is some work I can do there which is a huge relief to me. When I am not teaching I feel rather self-indulgent and worthless so it will be good to feel like I am being helpful.
I teach tomorrow and Thursday and Jay arrives about 9:00 pm Thursday evening. I will try to write again later today if possible, or will be back at my post tomorrow morning!
As always, I thank you for your prayers and interest. And I leave you with a final thought to meditate on and drive you deeper in your life of dependence on Christ our Savior: "Three times in the Word of God we find a divine prescription for true prosperity. Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3; James 1:25. The three-fold witness to the secret of true prosperity and unmingled blessing is devout meditation and reflection on the Scriptures, which are at once a book of law, a river of life and a mirror of self---filled to convey the will of God, the life of God and the transforming power of God. That believer makes a fatal mistake who, for any cause, neglects the prayerful study of the Word of God. To read God's holy book, by it search one's self, and to turn it into prayer and so into holy living, is one of the great secrets of growth in grace and godliness."