Monday, September 19, 2011

Clearly My Priorities Are Out of Line

Today my boss approached me. Uh-oh, what’s up…
“Jenny? Why didn’t you tell me when crow attack you?”

Wait what?

“Gen told me about crow attack you.”
“Yeah it happened in the park last week.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I don’t know. One attacked me last semester right outside of school too.”
“Wha? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I don’t know. I told the other teachers. I was wearing shiny earrings that time though.”

“I will take you to temple to buy cage bird. Set it free. Make merit. Crow is bad luck you know? Very unlucky for you.”
Some things are universal.
So after lunch, my boss and I walked out to the bus stop under her sun umbrella. In classic elder/younger form she paid for my bus fare. We got off and walked to a wat that’s so near my apartment I surely should have visited it by now, but you know, priorities.

“When I hear about your mobile phone I think ok now. The bad luck ok now.” So, the bad omen of the crow was accounted for with the theft of my mobile phone. Well glad that’s cleared up.

My colleague had his motorbike stolen this weekend. What on earth was his portend?

We approached the temple and my boss purchased two strands of jasmine and marigold flowers with wrapping paper ribbon bows. I love the cat napping peacefully between the various donation boxes, you can choose whether your donation goes to the building, scholarships, the water and electricity bill, etc., though all marked in Thai, us farang just have to guess without a guide.

“Are you Christian or Buddhism?” my boss queries.
I shrug my shoulders, though I appreciate her concern.
“Ok you can.”
We each donate ten baht for the candle, joss sticks and gold leaf.

I follow her lead to light the candle, place it among the others, light the joss sticks and hold them between prayerful hands kneeling in front of the gold leafed Buddha.
My boss quickly rescues my slips of paper and gold leaf, which I’d left in between the lit joss sticks not knowing what they were. I add my gold leaf to the Buddha and toss the paper. We kneel for Buddha one more time.

We go over to a fountain area and engage in what I can only relate to as baptism, sprinkling water on our heads and over our shoulders to rid ourselves of bad luck. I’m reminded yet again of the link between Buddhism and Christianity.

We enter a quiet room and meditate for a couple of minutes.
Then we head to the main temple and pay our respects there. Mind you, we’ve had to remove and replace our shoes more times than I’ve kept count by now.

Then we revisit the donation boxes and part with a few baht.
My boss tries one last time in vain to get us a caged bird to release, but ‘mai me’ today. I assure her it’ll be ok.

We take a taxi back. I find out my boss doesn’t like green and yellow or plain yellow taxis. She believes their drivers are rude. She also mentions they support the yellow shirts. But, blue taxis ok and pink taxis are polite. I decide not to relay my experience in a pink taxi to my boss…

My boss mentions she joined the red shirt rally yesterday marking five years since the original coup overthrowing Voldemorte. I mean, Thaksin. Same difference at this point. She also brings up my colleague’s motorcycle theft, and reminds me not to ride taxis by myself after dark unless it’s a friend, like James (colleague whose bike was stolen, so I don’t know how that works).
“Like Loy Krathong last year!”
“Oh yeah, that. But it was fun!” I don’t protest any more than this and solemnly agree “ok.”
I’m totally lying, but we knew that.

So, we made merit to ward off the bad luck from the crow. I replaced my mobile phone yesterday with the next to cheapest model I could find. And I was able to get another purple ninja wrist strap, just because, gotta have some flare you know?

Here’s to warding off more crows and pick pockets. Though I suppose I still have to get back to work.

No comments:

Post a Comment