It's my last night overseas. usually i will have sent out four or five emails by now, but as you know, that hasn't happened. lotsa reasons. We had doings in bangkok - our daughters university graduation, and a bit of shopping to do. Toey's friend (boy) drove us home in his car, and we did some sight seeing around here. our computer didn't work, so we put it in the shop. got it back, and it failed again, took it back. and our internet connection via TOT (Thailand Telephone) sucked - 1.5 Mbits/sec - that's slower than a 2800 baud modem. so we went with a different company. so we got computer working, internet working. I was experiencing pain in my left forearm and wrist before i left the states. when i got here, it got worse and worse. with the angry hand, it was painful to type.
Material reasons are only part of it. usually when i come home, i'm excited to share - to tell my stories of what i've seen and done in this magical place. but this time, i feel more like i'm HERE. my presence is here, now. USA is elsewhere, in another time. i still think of my friends and loved ones in the northwest, but the urgency to report my experiences is thin and vaporous.hence, the silence on the email track. i have posted to the facebook and instagram - but those of you who don't bother with such things aren't seeing it. the social platforms are instant, take a picture, post it. done. don't have to wait until i can get to computer, compose and email, attach photos... i used to kind of narrate my experiences in my head, so that i could write them in a post later. this time, i've just been more here.
i arrived with some intense shooting pain down my left leg, originating from my lower back. i'd been to chiropractor in the states, which helped some, but didn't really fix it. we found an acupuncture shop in Bangkok. one treatment there and a specific thai massage from my wife, and i was 50% better. Tok asked around, and found an acupuncture guy up in the mountains. He knew just what to do. he poked 17 needles in my back, down my leg, and along my left arm and wrist. he hooked up wires and fired up this machine with lots of knobs and a read-out. The machine didn't go "BING", but when he turned up the juice, muscles in my leg and arm started twitching. 20 minutes for the leg/back set-up, 10 minutes for the arm/wrist. 20 baht per needle (55 cents USD). we went up there for three days in a row. within a couple of days, my wrist was 95% better, i could move my fingers and grasp things without pain. my back thing stopped being aggravating. both are still a bit sensitive- if i move extremely i can feel a little twinge, but i'm not handicapped like i was. amazing thailand.
we had some projects to do around the house, but with the back and wrist thing, we didn't get started until that settled down. G'dam pigeons were nesting in the space between the plywood ceiling and the roof tiles. right over our bed. we tried to flush them out by poking long poles in there, but they came back every night, even after we eliminated the juvenile and the eggs nest. Lousy things would be scratching, squalling and making racket all night - been driving us nuts. so i got to climb up a 15 foot bamboo ladder, and air staple plastic mesh over the openings to keep them out. tonight we sleep in quiet!
i have a rush of gratitude for being here. i feel very privileged. because i'm wedded to a thai, i get to go places and see things, meet people and experience places that most travelers would never get to. it's like having my personal guide to Disneyland. so much mystery, so much culture, so much wonder. i can't speak, i can't read, i'm very dependent on Tok for getting around, but that's okay. it works. i am a lucky man.