Mmm…This past week has been great, frankly. I was reminded why I came here yet again when we had six visiting monks from Thailand stop by Vimutti for a few hours last Thursday. I’ve a great set of stories to share regarding that day, but I left my notebook back at the Vihara and I want to make sure I get it all down, so my many, many readers will just have to wait for a few more days. But, just to hook the lot of you, I’ll share just one:
One of the monks who came to visit was a decent english speaker and about my age. We were walking up a hill to show our guests the women’s kuti in construction and since I didn’t want to go all the way back to the sala for my shoes, I took off my socks and went barefoot. The monk notices this and says:
"You walk barefoot." There may be a "?" or a "!" there, but it was hard to tell. I nodded and smiled, not really sure why it was such a big deal. I figured most of the westerners he’d have met would have shoe firmly on-foot, so perhaps it was a bit of a novelty for so obervant a fellow.
The monk then smiles, raises his arm, and begins chattering so rapidly in English I missed most of it. Except for "run," "lion," and "spear." It took me a moment, but then I turned to Paul and asked "Did…Did he just call me a Zulu warrior?!" And bust out laughing as I confirmed it in my own head.
Fantastic. And it only gets better.
Mmm…What else…I went to the hospital last Wednesday and finally got the tingliness I’ve been experiencing in my fingers the past few weeks looked at. Basically it’s sort of a hand falling asleep feeling, only without the pins and needles, just numbness that comes and goes. I was afraid it was the onset of diabetes, personally, which meant, among other things, that I would have to give up my beloved dark chocolate!! (No, seriously, I was afraid). But…Luckily (?) it turns out I’ve some slight nerve damage from all the physical work I do…I forget the exact name of it, but it’s basically damage to the nerves that run into the hand due to constant lifting and elbow curling…The doctor said I’m too young for any operator to risk surgery and that Tiger Balm, swimming, and Tai Chi will often alleviate it, if not cure it. So at least it wasn’t as serious as I had first thought.
Man, getting old sucks…
Today on the way out of Bombay, we passed a car that had, on a sunny, clear, dry day, flipped entirely over into a narrow ditch on the road. Venerable Johti Palo and I, after checking to make sure all was well, spent a moment trying to determine just HOW the fellow, who looked about 20ish, managed that feat. There was barely any traffic that early in the morning, plus the back roads of Bombay are hardly croweded anytime…Weather, as I said, was perfect…And the roads and ditches aren’t overly large; I really don’t see how he could have flipped his car even if he wanted to, unless someone placed a ramp in the road, then ran off with it…And to top it all off, he was standing entirely unharmed beside his car. Crazy…
And how are you doing, my friends?