Thoroughly American Sunday Night

I had a thoroughly American Sunday night, when fellow PiA-er Jordan hooked me up with a babysitting job for a PiA couple in town for the weekend who wanted someone to watch their kids for a few hours while they hit up a nice dinner and the local markets.

So I watched these two adorable little girls--aged 4 and 7--swim for about an hour, and then they passed out (not in the pool, thank God) at 7:15 and stayed sound, sound asleep. Parents came back at 10:30. I sat on the hotel room toilet reading a trashy novel that was lying around ("The Gargoyle," by Andrew Davidson, for interested parties). And then I got paid an absurd amount of money for my services. I won't post a dollar amount, but the Baht amount was 1700.

This will pay for a lot of sweet, sweet Rotee. (And yes, Mom, hookers, too).

The whole night was so American, or at least it reminded me of America, of high school--babysitting, asking little American children about what cartoons they liked, what their pets were named, feigning enthusiasm. But mostly the ability to talk to someone not my age (younger, even!) in a normal vocabulary at a normal speed, having them understand my every word--this was the first American part of the evening.

Second, I have a strong association with reading silently in a hotel bathroom. It was at summer camp--and, okay, the camp was for academic bowlers, shut up--and I had just returned from Cambodia/Singapore and was still jet-lagged on my first night at the camp (jet-lagged in that I was two-cups-of-coffee awake at lights out). So while my bunk mate snoozed in our shared bedroom, I tiptoed into the bathroom, turned on the light, closed the door behind me, and sat stone-still on the John reading Invisible Man until sunrise.

And maybe I was intensely aware that I was in America at that point, having been in Asia for two weeks prior--but I felt as though I was in that same Western bubble, that same American air pocket, while reading--not Invisible Man in anyone's eyes (HA!), but an awfully-written (but exciting, I'll say it) tome about some ex-pornographer's struggles to recover from a car accident with the help of a mysterious beautiful stranger--well, aposiopleaseexcuseme, but I don't know what else to say. The whole thing smacked of the States, by Jonathan.

Tomorrow promises to be needlessly frustrating, as I once again must go to the "crinic" (Thai for "clinic") to get yet another certificate of my health, and also once again to the photo shop to get some visa photos taken (these MUST be 5 by 6, and NOT 4 by 6 (even though the Thai embassy did not seem to care the last time when I was one centimeter off)). Neither of these places are going to speak any English, and I will consider the day a success if I get through without calling a Thai person a slur under my breath (of course, there are no racial slurs in English for Thai people that I know of--and while "Go fuck yourself, Yul Brynner" has a nice cadence, I don't know if it really means anything).

Man, I need to get some sleep. I have a long day of flabbergasting linguistic misunderstandings ahead of me. Good night, Moon.


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