Showing posts from April, 2014

The Blessing of Water

After rainy season comes dry season. Gradually the rain peters out, and suddenly you realize that it's been a few weeks since it has rained at all, and then a few months. It may rain once or twice during this season, what we call winter, because it's cool, but not very much. Then comes hot season. No rain, no cool, just long, hot days, and everything turning brown. Trees shed their leaves and close up shop for a while to survive the heat. At least, trees that aren't indigenous do. The reservoir at the end of hot season, close to empty. Into the middle of this long, hot, dry spell comes the New Year Festival called Songkran. It anticipates the coming rains, the shift in the weather, the relief from the heat, with the gift of water. To an outsider it just looks like a nationwide week long water fight. Everyone gets wet. Many expats party and get drunk and enjoy the epic water fights. That's fine. It is super fun. It's such a relief, in the middle of the hea

An Embarrassment of Riches

She carefully hands me the coins she has swept up from the corners of my bedroom, this change I didn't even notice was missing. The way she holds them and places them in my hands tells me that she would notice. Her life is so hardscrabble and close to the edge compared to mine that these few coins would make a difference for her. I make the girls fold and put away their own clothes, sort out all the tangle that they just stuff onto their shelves repeatedly. There are dirty clothes mixed with clean ones, there are so. many. dresses. Two little girls accumulate. She walks by the door, looks in on them as they sort it out, laughing a little at the thought of two farang girls sorting their own clothes. I wonder how many clothes are at her house, this tiny little mother who looks no older than a teenager and already has a 2 year old daughter. I've seen her house: bamboo walls, a single room, maybe a partition, thatched roofs. No electricity. No running water. I'm emb


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