Currently approaching week 6 of no running water. I bet my karma points are just oozing; I can't wait to see what the universe has in store for me. However, this period of brushing my teeth out of a water bottle may end as soon as this weekend. I am really, really happy at the prospect of water flowing out of my sink tap, but I'm slightly mourning the loss of my bragging points. But, what can you do? Swallow pride and accept life's gifts? check.
In other news, we recently got some tile flooring installed! Apparently, an organization, TLCB, the Thai Lao Cambodian Brotherhood, felt pity for the paupers me and my roommate, and approved a request (not by us) to have some tiles installed. It feels nice on my feet, for sure, and I suppose this eradicates the perpetually dirty and rugged aesthetic of our cement flooring. I tell you, my neurosis really comes out when I'm cleaning. I feel like that robot from Wall-E, the one that is programmed to clear contamination. But there's a calming effect found in sweeping to be sure. This won't be the case with our pink (I believe this is the national color) marbled looking floor. Again, I feel slightly guilty because for this luxury I feel like I'm living in the Taj Mahal as a volunteer.
Aside from these digressions, what I really wanted to write about was this moment when my roommate and I were in Pattaya. I will be honest: I hated the city. It was the sinful underbelly of thailand, where Eastern Europeans galore exploit the city and enjoy the "company" of thai women escorts. nevermind the fact that they are bald, pale/ burnt, with burgeoning bellies threatening to rip their teeny speedos apart. the impotent exploiting white male--nonetheless my favorite source of metaphor. To escape Thai's sin city, my roommate and I decided to spend some time in Koh Larn, an island just off of the mainland. We did not escape tourism, sadly, though we encountered some turquoise water and white sand. However, we did encounter the divine-- no kidding. We hiked up a small steep mountain to explore a pagoda that you can see from the shore. A little more exploring, and we met a taciturn monk who happened to live there. He showed us a path to a set of stairs that took you to the summit of the mountain, and consequently a humbling, panoramic view of the island. The stairs were torture. Steep, craggy, and the incline was very unforgiving. A brief glimpse over your shoulder will send you reeling with fear. It felt like you could really fall. The descent was far worse. The steps were probably all you cared about. The monk sensed our primal fear (I made no subtleties about it) and even offered his hand for help (!!!). The trick to these stairs, really, is to focus on one step at a time, to deny the constant impulse of looking at the view, at least, in order to keep moving. However, the gaze to the spectacular view was necessary, only every once in a while, for inspiration.
I won't be so crude as to make this experience explicit as a metaphor for something. But it was a good exercise, after all, under the auspicious supervision of this quiet monk. It got me thinking on a lot of things.