This is our chariot. When I first started driving it, I was struck by how much we looked like real charioteers in the Roman era. And then I googled chariots and I realized the depths of my own delusion.
Actually, we look nothing like that! But we feel like we're in a chariot, and it's the inside that counts, or so I've been told. I can go places with all of my kids without needing my Superstar Husband and a second scooter, and what's more, it's so easy to talk when we're in the chariot. You can't talk to someone behind you on a scooter very easily.
What else has been going on? My Superstar Husband has been playing music at open mics around town. I'm never there, being comatose by 10:00 every night. And not only me, all the little people are also sleeping, so there's that.
But there's music for everyone! Music lessons, for one thing.
It brings great warmth to my soul to come out of my studio in the morning because I hear guitars being practised.
This kid is one of the most gorgeous things in my life. It's fun to have a son whose love language seems to be random facts and trivia that he pulls out of the pockets of his soul frequently. I may be in the kitchen, making a cup of tea or some pudding and he will say, "The thing about Darth Vader is that he would never be able to sneak up on anyone," like a stand up comedian, except he's totally earnest. And I never make pudding. Unless you're talking about pudding in the English sense and, no, I still never make it. Unless it's birthday cake.
Wait, I have a story about this boy.
He's a sleepwalker. He's been a sleepwalker forever, and there have been some weird pee moments, (One morning I woke up to find the trash can in the bathroom filled with pee) and a lot of wild eyed strange conversations where we can't get him to go back to bed because he's neither awake nor asleep.
But the other night I stayed up too late reading, and good thing I did, because Kid A left the house. I heard some stomping around and then the door opened, and I called, "Chinua?" There was no answer. Thud thud thud down the stairs, and I heard someone scrabbling around at the door downstairs, which I'd locked with the padlock. (There is no indoor connection between the floors of our house.)
I called, "Kid A! Kid A!" but he didn't answer, though I could tell it was him, by then. And since I had gone to bed in my underwear, I was trying to hide on the porch, calling down below, but he just kept trying to get in the locked door. I ran inside to get a pair of pants, and by the time I went to the stairs, he was already climbing them, looking at me like he had no idea who I was. I locked the door behind him and ushered him to bed.
(I have never been able to sleep naked, always worried about some middle of the night catastrophe, and don't you know it, on the night I can't find loose enough pants to wear to sleep in comfort, and decide, what the heck--I'm sleeping in my skivvies, my son sleepwalks himself right down to the street.)
Here's a second blurry gratuitous shot of the sleepwalking guitar maestro.
What else? I'm sewing, when I get the chance. "They do insist on being fed," I tell people I know here, about my kids. I just can't be as obsessive compulsive about anything as I would like to be, considering the nutritional needs of my family. Perhaps this is for the best.
I made one large cushion cover for one of the mattresses in what will be our cozy floor seating area. One day. I'm surprised by how much I love sewing. But here's a truth about sewing. You have to learn to enjoy the measuring and cutting, too, because it takes up most of the time. It's like cutting vegetables, which every cook needs to learn to love, unless they have a prep cook. The magical part, putting it all together, often goes far too quickly.
Sometimes Superman and I go to the noodle soup place, where we get noodle soup for the whole family for about 3 dollars and 15 cents. Total.
Superman likes to chew ice, something no one else in the family can even tolerate the idea of. We're sensitive toothies around here. We suck on ice cream gingerly. But not Superman!
The other day, when I was walking down the street with Superman, an older lady walked past us and said, kindly and distinctly, "Batman!" Thankfully Leafy wasn't with us, or he would probably have corrected her, out of sheer compulsion, elder or no.
This is the noodle soup place. I love them because they put parsnips in the broth. And, something I've never come across before, they put cucumbers in the broth. Cucumbers melt in your mouth when cooked. I never knew that. I never would have thought to cook one.
Let's see, what else? It's rice planting time, which means lovely reflective pools of water with green stems poking out of them.
Here is the most intoxicating rose I have ever smelled.
I saw the rose on a little trip I took today, which has a bit of a back story. I have arthritis in my neck. What the osteopath who looked at me a year or so ago actually said was, "I've never seen someone who has so much arthritis all through their neck still have full range of motion." (Did that sentence make sense? No? Well, I'm not the one who said it, sorry.)
It comes from my old injury, the cervical sprain and vertebrae fracture that happened in the car accident I was in when Kid A was three months old. Just a stupid thing, being rear ended, just a silly thing on a rainy day in San Francisco. But with long reaching effects.
It's usually okay, but it flares up from time to time, and lately it's been acting up somethin' fierce. Somethin' fierce, like when a tornada's comin'.
(Sorry, I slipped into character there.)
I can't tell you the number of times I've wished for a bath tub or a hot tub over these years in Asia. But now we are here in Pai, and though a bath tub is just as distant as ever, we have the Hotspring Resort, a little ways out of town, where we can swim and use the pools that they pipe hotspring water into. Today was a writing day, but it was also a really bad neck day, so I got on the scooter and went out there.
The drive is beautiful.
And the pools are beautiful. Here's the tiniest one. I went there after I realized the big hotspring pool was too hot for me.
I slipped on those tiles, which were furry with algae, but thankfully caught myself on that bar/railing. Slowly there, Rae. Slowly.
And if there's anything more blissful than showering outdoors under a Banyan tree, it's either too private to talk about on this blog, or I don't know what it is.
My neck still feels rather like I'm a giraffe who's been on a few too many roller coasters, but the water did feel nice on it. There were a lot of mosquitoes, but I was okay as long as I was in the water up to my chin and then waving my hands around in front of me.
We've been taking Thai classes regularly. I'll have to save my progress on this particular language for another post, except to say what the what? Do you know what a classifier is? We don't have so many in English- other than units of measurement. We do say "pieces of paper"- pieces being the classifier. Or "pair of pants,"-- you got it, pair being the classifier.
But Thai has a different classifier for everything. Every. thing. One day I'll get it. For now, at least I know the alphabet. It feels like having a neurosis, knowing the alphabet. I have to sound out every word I see, even though I don't know what the words mean. It's like seeing people with old flaking sunburns and feeling that familiar urge to peel their skin off. Whether or not you know them. Have you ever stood behind someone in line somewhere and needed to hold your hands tightly to your sides, so you won't peel the skin off their shoulders? No? Only me? Huh.
But yes, that's what it's like, knowing a new, strange script and trying to puzzle it out on every sign, every building. I stay far away from newspaper shops, where I might get lost forever.
And that's been my wandering, catch up post. If you're still with us, congratulations! You made it through the madness, all the way to the end.