You know what it looks like when you tip a full pail full of water and let it pour out? Well, that’s what yesterday was like. Starting at about 10:00 am a total torrential monsoon downpour began under a solid Gray cloud like a fog bank and it never stopped or let up until evening. Water stacking up in rising puddles on the pavement, filling the swimming pool to over flowing and totally relentless. I got a lot of work done yesterday in the room. The report is for "light showers" today, but that could be a small Niagra Falls by these standards. I was thinking that when you add up the total hours we were in the air getting here from Seattle to San Francisco, then to Hong Kong and finally Phuket it totals twenty hours of flying. I could have stayed home in Gig Harbor for this weather. The hotel is not particularly full, but who can tell? Guests, yesterday, were huddled under cover from the rain looking most unhappy. But, in spite of it all, I’m glad we are here.
I’m up at 4:00 am today because of the new atomic clocks I bought for this trip. It seemed like a good idea at the time. The clocks automatically adjust by radio to the nearest time center so when you travel to different countries it sets itself to local time. The problem is that you need to adjust the clock for the time zone which I failed to do. So, at 2:00 am I thought it was 6:00 am and by the time I figured out my mistake I was awake and had trouble going back to sleep. I got up before light. This looks like it will be another productive work day for me since I have such an early start at it even though unintential.
When we travel in Catholic countries we often see shrines, especially in the rural areas, with a statue of a saint or a crucifix and with flowers. Here, when you travel you see shrines to Bhudda with flowers most everywhere. The population of Thailand is 94% Buddhists. Of the remaining 6%, 4% are Muslims with a small population of Christians. The constitution of the country requires that the King be a Buddhist. There are few families where at least one male member has not studied in a monastery. It is a custom for males over twenty one to be ordained for a period from five days to three months during their lives. Even today, the government allows civil servants to take leave on full pay to enter a monastery for up to three months. The influcence of religion is everywhere.
Last night Lita and Iate at the villa sitting around a round table at floor level with our feet hanging down into the opening below the table. The center of the table had a large metal plate that rotated. It was essentially a "lazy Susan." The dishing plates were put on this and you rotated it. If there were a group of people sitting around this table, they would rotate the device to bring the serving dish they wanted to them. The food was local fish and vegitables. It was very good and, since I don’t care for spicy food, mild. What was interesting was the young man serving. Since it is a custom to show respect by not being above the head of the guest and we were sittng at floor level, he would come in holding a large serving tray of food, but bent over as far as possible to our head level. When he got to the table he would would quickly kneel back to keep his head as low as possible. They are a very polite people who smile, dislike any show of anger and are most kind. Not a good place for an emotional Italian like me.