More Shopping Adventures
Success! I not only got off in the right area this time, I got off on the exact street. That’s a big improvement from getting off three miles away! But, that’s the end of the story.
Monday was a quiet, restful day. For us, that is. Poor Brother Anond was off somewhere early until 11 or so. The meeting about the Bible conference was supposed to start at 9 o’clock, and by ten everyone was here. It didn’t appear to be a problem for anyone. They sat around in groups and talked. Some squatted under a tree with their Bibles open, obviously debating points of Scripture.
As soon as he arrived, the meeting started. It continued after lunch and ran pretty late. Because of the meetings, I didn’t have my Bible study with the ladies this week. My only job was teaching the children, which was fun, as usual.
While I taught, Paul went off with Bro. Anond to get his truck — and they actually came back with it! The shop had told him it would be ready the first Saturday we were here, but every promised date came and went. We are so happy that he has it back! The rental car is not powerful enough to make it up the steep, rough mountain roads — and not big enough for all us. One or two of my limbs were always paralyzed from being cramped by the time we got where we were going.
Today I decided to venture out to the market in Mae Rim, which Bro. Anond assured me had lots of shops, although it isn’t nearly as large as the Kad Luang market in Chiang Mai. Getting there involved walking a mile down the road to the highway and flagging down a white taxi. (Not a yellow, Anond warned me, because they won’t stop until they get to Chiang Mai.) Then I just had to ring the bell when I saw the market. I didn’t know what the market looked like, but I remembered the walkway over the road and knew it was near the post office, so off I went.
It turned out to be easy. I didn’t see anything that looked like a big market until I was out of the taxi (just 10 baht, or about 30 cents for the fare). Once I was on the sidewalk, I could see the rows of shops stretching back past the shopfronts. I walked in and found everything I could possibly need, and some that I couldn’t imagine anyone using!
There was plasticware galore. (I bought a basket for our shower supplies and a holder for silverware.) There were hair ornaments. (I bought a really neat hair comb to hold up my up-do.) And there were chickens, plucked but with feet attached and bald heads tucked neatly under their wings. (Passed on those.)
Little electric fly brushes swung ineffectually over the raw meat sitting out on counters. I passed by those tables, too — quickly. I did buy some fresh green beans, and little sweet oranges, and sticky rice cooked in bamboo. A little further down the road past the big market, I found a store with yarn, among other things. I did an elaborate pantomime about threading a sewing machine to see if they had sewing thread. The man looked blank and called his wife over. I re-enacted the scene, and she got it — almost. She took me to a cabinet where they kept sewing needles — and there was the thread. Eureka!
By then I was loaded with parcels, so I climbed the steps to the walkway that stretched above the busy highway. From the other side it was just a few steps to the post office. Then to get a taxi back home. Eventually a white taxi stopped — but it was too full. I could have ridden on the bumper with a couple of guys, but elected to pass it up. However, the driver’s wife motioned me to come sit in front with them, so I again had a choice seat for finding my stop.
And this time I did find it. I had so zealously memorized the landmarks that I was able to get off on the street leading to the mission. I paid my 12 baht (don’t know why the return trip cost more) and headed up the steep hill. I even scored a ride on the trip back. A young man on a motorcycle offered me a ride. I was somewhat hesitant, but amid the flood of Thai he spoke, I heard the word “Anond.” I handed him my bags and climbed on behind him. He delivered me effortlessly to the gate, smiled, and continued up the hill.
The Bible school was just ending when I got home. Paul left with the others to pay the condo bill and to try to get them to return our deposit. Arlong was waiting for me, though, and has kept me company while I am here alone waiting for Paul to return. I bought him a little pair of scissors at the market and he has been zealously cutting up a magazine for the last hour or so. I just noticed that he has abandoned that project and is experimenting with my iPad. Guess I’d better go put an end to that fun!
Blessings from Thailand,