Friday Adventures at the Grocery Story
Another lovely day in Thailand. Would you like to follow us through our day Friday? We awoke early — about 4 a.m. That isn’t early, here, though. The children have their devotions with Bro. Anond at 5 a.m. He said they get up even earlier when the weather is hot so they can do their chores while they could still be comfortable.
It is cool and the birds are singing. One bird repeatedly sings out a kind of whistling two-note call, and another answers him in a slightly different tone. Paul spends all the early morning hours preparing for the day. I have plenty of time for my devotions and to prepare for my next responsibility — the ladies’ Bible study. Then I decided to clean my house. I totally deep-cleaned and scrubbed and rearranged my whole house — and was finished by 6 a.m. Aren’t I blessed? Here is a picture of our bed made into a couch for the day.
I put out fresh cinnamon to deter the ants and mopped the floor with vinegar water. The bathroom still has hard water stains on the floor from leaks, but I am gradually vanquishing them with a pumice stone. I have to do just a little at a time, though. Too hard on the fingers.
Then I did laundry. I surely have the most beautiful laundry room in the world! It’s still early, but time to fix breakfast for Paul. I have learned how to cook eggs in the little green Otto electric skillet. The trick is to have everything ready and to work fast, because it really gets too hot for this job. The toast is soon ready, too, and we sit outside on the bench tBy the time I wash dishes on the bench outside and dump my dishwater on the porch floor and sweep it clean, it is time for school. My laundry room/breakfast nook/dishwashing station now becomes a schoolroom.
Ja Hay and Isa com and struggle through English. I am happy to say that they are making progress. I can hear Paul’s class doing very well indeed. He is a great teacher and the students lose no opportunity to try to converse. We are so excited that they are actually communicating. They laugh and joke. I Sa (not the one in my class) pulls out a plastic toy gun Arlong left outside. “I – am – a – policeman,” he says with a laugh, brandishing the gun. I’m glad he wasn’t a robber!
After English, Bro. Camp teaches for the rest of the morning. He has had an excellent series on “How Can I Know I Am Saved?” He has dealt with salvation from many different angles, which is so crucial for pastor’s to know. On Friday, though, I decided to go to the store after my class. So Pic dropped me off at Makro and I started my weekly struggle to figure out the groceries.
I have to say, it is amusing. Most of the labels are in Thai, so I have to deduce from the pictures and their location in the store (baking aisle, cleaning aisle, etc.) what they are. Some are in English, and these are the most amusing. They are always just a little bit wrong. Fang coffee, for instance. Must be the kind Paul likes, with a bite! Then there are Happy Pants diapers. Hmmm. Maybe, but I doubt the pants are that happy. And why Hygiene fabric softener? I’m glad it’s hygienic, but it’s purpose isn’t to clean….
Among the exotic items I find Smuckers jelly for Paul and I buy a horribly expensive block of cheese for him. I pick up eggs in an open flat container from the large stack near, but not in, the refrigerator section. I could have duck eggs, or pink eggs, or century eggs (don’t know what they are, but not buying them!). I bypass all these delicacies on go on to the meat section. Bleauh. Here is what I find.
I am totally grossed out and pick up a single package of breast fillet strips that I know will work on my grill. I peruse the frozen section, hoping to find hamburger. Here is what I find…..
I buy some fresh fruits and vegetables which are cheap and good. Today I pick up some wonderful black grapes and some dragonfruit as well as celery and huge carrots. I also picked up some of my new favorite juice. Here it is….
Notice the small print. It’s 100% purple carrot — with other vegetables and fruits. Hmmm.
Back home just at Bible school break time, so everyone comes and unloads my groceries and carries them in for me. Very nice! I am disappointed to find that Paul didn’t save any lunch for me, because by now I am starved. However, when he explains that I have missed the one and only dreadful meal we have been served, I am reconciled and snack on the exorbitant cheese that I had planned to save for him. Evidently lunch was a slimy dish of chicken and green stuff with an unknown and unappreciated herb for seasoning. Usually we have wonderful meals at lunch. Brother Anond is a master and he teaches Di Se, the cook, to make delicacies for us, like cashew chicken and fried bananas in pastry (my favorite) and various other goodies.
As I put away the groceries, I hear Paul teaching on church discipline. I also hear many La Hu voices. They had questions and really got into a discussion today!
After school, Paul and I go for a walk. I love walking here! The road is bordered by orchards, banana plantations, and swaths of jungle. Flowers grow everywhere. It’s hot by now, but we get a good workout walking up and down the steep hills. The mission is in a mountain valley and we climb up into the foothills of the mountains on our walk. The mountains are all around us. They are amazing! The trees are beginning to turn brown and the leaves are already falling from the teak trees. It is the dry season and will continue without rain until April or so. Then it rains all the time. At our place it is still lush, though, because A Ti, one of the students, is always watering.
We pass several new, expensive-looking houses going up. After about a mile or so we come to a little village. They have a convenience store there where we buy ice creams. We take a risk because we don’t know what the wrapper says they are, but they turned out to be pretty good, although we never did decide what flavor they were.
We walk home and have a light supper. Paul likes soup for supper, which is easy. We take it outside and eat on the porch in the cool dusk. Usually I teach the children at six, but today is Friday and they are going to a special service Anond is preaching at a camp. He preached six times this weekend at the camp, and the children participated in some of the special activities there. Anond is in demand as a speaker at other churches, as well as the group he oversees. This was a Chinese church from Chiang Mai that had a camp at the property next to the mission.
By now we are tired — and ready to go to bed at 8 o’clock. And thus ends my Friday in Thailand! I hope your day was interesting and productive, too!
Blessings from Thailand,