"Be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land."
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The other day I went to the safehouse to keep 2 year old Baby company
Isn't he cute? We found ourselves in the backyard. He toddled over to a pile of coconuts which had fallen from the tree. "Ao kap" he said, handing me the small fruit. "okay." I replied, not knowing what I was getting into. Have you ever opened a coconut fallen fresh from the tree? I haven't.
I got a big knife, borderline machete, from the kitchen. I sat on the ground and proceeded to whack at the solid outer shell. Thirty minutes later I began to peel away the 2 inches of white husk that surrounds the coconut. Twenty minutes later, I arrived at the cement like brown shell. It was hard as rock. I feebly knocked the machete/knife on it.
"Ao Maaa!!! (I want it!)" Baby exclaimed.
"Mai gaing (it's not good!)" I replied, shaking the coconut next to my ear.
"Gaing Gaing! (it's good! it's good!)" He was 100% ready to eat this fruit. He was even armed with a handful of spoons.
"Jing lao? (really?)" Was I seriously taking the opinion and expertise regarding the ripeness of fruit from a two year old? I whacked halfheartedly again. Nothing.But then, I remembered sitting with my dad as he cut open coconuts for us as kids. "See this?" He would say, "This is the eye of the coconut. you have to cut it like this..." his voice echoed in my head as I found the eye of the coconut and stuck the tip of the knife in. With a mighty whack, I cracked the coconut. Baby cheered.
We sat on the cement eating the sweet coconut meat (by the way this type of coconut has no juice). I felt like I had really accomplished something. It had taken an hour and a half, I was drenched in sweat, and my hands were itching like crazy, but I had done it. Not bad for my first time... not bad for a white girl.
The riots in Bangkok have been getting worse, and unfortunately, they have begun to travel upwards to Chiang Mai. I had been reading news articles and watching videos about the situation, which probably made me paranoid, especially with what happened later that night. I got onto my motorbike at 6:50 to go to a friend's house. We were going to meet at 7:00 to study Burmese. I thought it was odd that there were so many police men out directing traffic. Besides that, there were Thai flags galore. As i turned onto a road that would lead to the highway, I slowed down. There were about 50 motorbikes stopped, engines off. I stopped too and the police man guarding the highway entrance signaled for me to turn my engine off as well. Not gonna lie, I was scared. I had no idea what was going on and I couldn't understand or ask anyone what was happening. We say for about 15 minutes, the number of stopped bikes increasing. Across the highway I would see people waiting as well. A police car sped past. I had a clear view of the road and there was no one on it. I texted my friend to let her know I'd be late. She texted back saying "relax, the Princess is in town."
Ahhh.... I remembered seeing a huge picture of a woman sitting in front of the police station. I settled down, ready to wait, and it was then that I had this conversation with the woman on the motorbike next to me.
Woman (in Thai): I have ice on my bike! I have to go!
Me (in Burmese, I'm still working on what language comes out of my mouth when) Oh yes... that's right.
Woman (in Thai) The ice is melting!
Me (in Thai.) I'm sorry. Would you like some gum?
Woman (in Thai) What is it?
Me (in English) Gum.
Woman (In Thai) yes... okay. Thank you.
Me (in Thai) no problem.
After a grand total of 30 minutes, 2 police cars a BMW another police car, a Mercedes bens, yet another police car, a van, a toyota, a song tao full of armed soldiers, another van, and two more police cars sped past. All us common folk started our engines and continued on our way.
The Princess of Thailand is staying at the hotel down the street from my house. As I drove home, I saw a plethora of police men patrolling the high way and area in front of the hotel. I don't know, if I were here I would pull the princess and the pauper thing.