Last night, I wanted some alone time. It was just one of those days where nothing went my way, I was frustrated with myself, grumpy, and just in need of a “darn good cry.”
I’ve just come back from a trip, and typically, one of my post-trip traditions is a head, back and shoulder massage. I carry tension in my shoulders, and the idea of a lovely Thai woman pounding out my stress was heavenly.
I had a skype appointment with a friend, but I figured she probably didn’t want to talk at 6am her time – the time when I got off work.
So I decided to go to a tiny shop on my street and get a massage. I get there, and they say, sure, we can get that, no problem. They get me set up in my spot, and start talking.
Now can I say, that being able to speak Thai means that we don’t just say hi. We end up talking, and people like to talk to me in Thai, cause I know a decent bit of language – I can get myself through some more detailed conversations without drowning, and people kind of like to test how much exactly I can talk about.
Here’s a sample of the conversation:
Them: How long have you lived in Thailand?
Me: 2.5 years.
Them: You speak Thai so clearly!
Me: Thank you.
Them: What do you do?
Me: I teach English.
Them: Wow, you speak Thai so good!
I mean, let’s be honest, conversations like this, filled with words of affirmation are just great for my psyche.
Anyhow, there were two gals there. One told me that she wants to study English with me. I told her we’d talk after the massage, or else it would just be weird. Ha.
We finish my hour of wonderful pain (it was all the good kind), and I sip tea while the owner of the shop talks to me.
It’s a tiny place – one room with three mats on the floor. She told me that she doesn’t really speak English well, but that she is fluent in Japanese and Thai, but that she has no friends who speak English well. She wants to get to talk and practice her English.
“Where would we study?” she asked. I told her we could do it at her shop, which has a lovely spot in front of it. I told her my place, a coffee shop, wherever would be fine with me.
She was delighted. We exchanged numbers, and she told me about at least three messaging apps that I MUST download for my phone so we could talk all the time (for free).
Since I left her shop, she’s already texted me with one of the apps, and we’ve talked a bit. It’s been really good – I’ve been wanting to connect with some “older” people around my area – not just the village kids. I adore those kids, but man, to be able to connect with adults too…
I just fear that if I focus on just kids, I set them up for failure. I want to help train adults…
And while we’re starting with just talking in English for the time being, I’m praying that this relationship buds into so much more.
I guess alone time is overrated. I really could have feigned stupidity with my Thai. I could have said that I was not interested in teaching her. I could have totally gone to another massage shop. But God took me there – to that time; to that place.
I wanted alone time – but that is not what God wanted for me.
Your turn: anything you felt like you wanted, that wasn’t what God had for you? Share in the comments section.