i need a camera in my glasses. i want visible record of everything i see, from the hilarious (middle-aged man wearing a 'parental advisory explicit lyrics' t-shirt) to the dangerous (four children under the age of twelve all on one scooter) to the downright sombre (tin shacks, blind beggars, dead dogs). there are some things i seriously wouldn't have believed before i came here. i want to tell you about how funny it is that cars will park perpendicular to a row in a parking lot, but leave the car in neutral so that if someone needs to get out, the parking lot attendant will just push the car out of the way, like those puzzles where you slide around the pieces to make the picture. i want to tell you that the boys and i ate choco coco crazy puffs this morning for breakfast (bless you, california team, wherever you are). i want to tell you that i beat a 12-year-old at chess twice, and at chinese checkers four times, and didn't feel a whit bad. i want to tell you about how the boys sell popcorn at the night market, and how scholarly max looks when he tries to teach me thai, and all these pleasant things, because it's been a rough day.
i don't want to think about horrible things, about the toughest twelve-year-old i've ever met whimpering because his disease causes boils that have to be lanced and drained, about house help being roughed up by thai mafia loan sharks, about the tsunami scrapbook that i found this morning - article clippings, newspaper photos of parents and their dead children, pictures of the team of high schoolers that went down to help sort bodies - that could have been full of faces i know.
so many things are fabulous here, but so many things are hard. i just accidentally cried on the shoulder of one of my thai friends; it's tough to keep emotions in check here. thanks for everyone who's praying.