Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 6: The Chicken, the Toilet, and the Spider (Thur, 7/31)

On Thursday, I spent my morning reading on the beach. Although my book was fascinating (I was still re-reading about the nurses), the gentle sound of the waves was too good of a lullaby and I would up having a very pleasant nap. At least, it was pleasant until something tickled my nose and I woke up eyeball-to-eyeball with a very impertinant chicken! It's too bad I didn't vacation in Beijing; my jump might have set a new world record for distance.

The chicken wasn't all all startled by my abrupt awakening; on the contrary, he seemed rather bored with me and decided to examine my beach bag. I grabbed my thick book and shooed him away, but it was clear that he was not at all intimidated. As soon as I sat down he was back over, stretching his neck as if to get a better look at me (although at least this time he was about two feet away, as opposed to about an inch away like he was when I woke up). He kept trying to get closer to me and I kept pretending to swat at him with the book. I've never thought of chickens as something to be scared of before, but I was nervous that he might peck. Finally, I declared him king of the beach and retired to the pool.

A second problem (aside from the money issue) was weighing heavily on my mind on Thursday: I couldn't figure out how to flush the toilet in my room. It had a flush unlike any I've seen. Out of desperation, I actually prayed that I would figure out the secret to flushing the toilet. And of all the prayers I have ever prayed, God saw fit to answer that one...immediately! Go figure!

Later I went to town and was able to track down a bank, where I cashed some traveler's checks. At last I was able to stop fretting about money and enjoy myself. I went to D'mall, an outdoor shopping center, where I had a delicious lunch and sent shopping for souvineers for some of the important people in my life. My niece and my best friend Steph are going to be very happy girls when I get back to the USA with their gifts (next year)! I searched in vain for hours for gifts for my dad and brother-in-law, but I couldn't find anything suitable. Near the end of my shopping trip, my stomach started to feel queasy. I figured it was just the heat and headed back to my room.

Figuring a cool shower would make me feel better, I hopped in. That's when trauma number three struck: as I was getting out of the shower, I grabbed a towel. A HUGE Filipino spider LEAPED out of the towel, just as I was preparing to use it. I think Fay Wray showed less distress than me when King Kong picked her up!

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"