Monday, February 26, 2007

Day 4: 26 February

(My Sense of…Taste in Thailand)

I’ve just come out of the biggest food coma of my life. I finally had proper Thai food tonight and it was wicked tasty…and wicked spicy. I do believe that the spiciest Thai food (which apparently I haven’t tried yet, and don’t know if I will be trying as I feel pretty content with the level of spiciness that I’ve consumed thus far) may outspice the spiciest Korean food, which I realize is a rather hefty statement. We had pork satay (yes, this yogi eats meat, if you didn’t catch onto that from my hot dog statement earlier), pad thai (which I guess isn’t called simply “pad” in Thailand) with prawns, stir fried morning glory (which, my Budokon family, is not like morning meat), and basil prawns (which was way less basil and way more the-spiciest-concoction-of-peppers-&-sauces-ever). I was sweating not just from the tropical heat but from the tropical spice, wiping my face in vain with the toilet-paper-square-sized pieces of tissue they call napkins here (I guess cuz Thai peeps are so little!) (I feel rather tall here, which is kind of nice.). The restaurant itself was super cute…a delicious garden atmosphere complete with decks for flooring, an open-air roof (so…no roof, really), a river-like bed of water, mist, trees, and oh, of course- mosquitoes.

(My Sense of…Touch in Thailand)

They’re wicked, these Thai skeeters…they bite where it’s hard to scratch, like the fingers, the tops of the feet, the ankle bones, and the knees. Evil little suckers. Although, to be fair, I guess they’re just doing their thing in the world like the rest of us, hm?

So we came home after dinner, and the aircon had been off all day so it was steamy inside. My eyelids felt heavy, my belly was happily stuffed, and I needed to lie on it (which I realize isn’t a proper aid to the digestion process, but it comforts me). So I lied down and drifted into an indulgent food coma which lasted 3 hours!

Now that’s the sign of a good meal, yeah?

(My Sense of…Sight in Thailand)

I car-watched today, sitting in one of the nicest, biggest Starbucks ever. Yeah- I’m in Thailand and I’m spending time at Starbucks, but this Starbucks has a huge outdoor area surrounded by lush green, open to the blue sky, equipped with giant fans and cushy seating areas. It’s more like the W or the Standard- a heavenly coffee oasis (yes, this yogi drinks coffee). I’m reading Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki (which I highly recommend). It’s simple yet heavy reading, so every now and then, I pause from the reading to let my intellectual mind catch up to it. I find its truth in the leaves of the trees, in the tropical heat, even in the pesty mosquitoes.

Amidst my car-watching, I felt called to seek a red car. Watching, watching, watching…no red car. And then: pink car, orange car, a quarter-red bus, a half-red taxi, a red motorcycle. Close, but no red car. I shrugged and went back to my reading. A few minutes later, I looked up and saw three red cars: one parked on each side of the street and another one passing by in the same moment.

(My Sense of…Intuition in Thailand)

To me, this simple, if silly, red car exercise means that in life, you should know your intention, what you want to manifest in your life. Your intention must be pure, true to your spirit. Be aware of what you want and be brave enough to ask for it. Then you must watch and wait; you must relinquish control and not look so hard to find it. Let it go. When you are truly detached from it is when you will be prepared to receive it. When you are prepared to receive it is when it will come. I have no doubt that the universe works in this way. Try it out with something little. See what manifests.

(My Sense of…Smell in Thailand)

One of the loveliest experiences I’m having here is suddenly-appearing, magical smells. The other day, I was sitting on our patio when seemingly out of nowhere came the smell of fresh lychee. I can only assume that someone was happily cracking open this tropical fruit and the smell of its juicy, fruity goodness was generously, if teasingly, wafting in my direction. Then today, sitting in my coffee oasis, the smell of island flowers (though no, Thailand is not an island) was floating in and out around me. I couldn’t detect where it was coming from, but it was soothing, nourishing, and lovely.

(My Sense of…Hearing in Thailand)

Less soothing, nourishing, and lovely is my uninvited alarm clock every morning – the melodically luring sounds of none other than – construction. Unfortunately, these sounds are not any nicer in a tropical place, not any more tolerable to this supposedly calm and centered yogi, not any gentler being made by the gentle people of Thailand. No, these sounds are still biting and offensive (a literal rude awakening) (but an awakening nevertheless), nothing like the inspiring, beautiful sound of Yo-Yo Ma, to whom I’ve recently taken quite a liking. But construction means growth and vitality – growth on the streets of Bangkok and vitality of the culture and economy of Thailand – which contribute to the growth and vitality of human kind, the world, the universe, and all of existence.


Sounds like Jay just smashed a mosquito outside on the patio.

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