The Strumming and the Drenching

September 19th, 2005. Categories / Chiang Mai, Thailand

Before I left for the beach and with the help of my mother and the Internet, I tuned my loaner cheap-ass Burmese guitar the right way. Prior to this, it had been tuned by ear using Nik’s Easychord Method™ by which open strumming on any fret produces a harmonious chord. Avoiding judgment, this way is neither wrong nor right, but it is certainly a different from any guitar tuned during the history of man. By following tradition, I started the process of learning real chords and how to play from online tabs. I am actually quite along with learning how to play Elliot Smith’s Needle in the Hay. And at this I am both shocked an overjoyed. The guitar was always such a mysterious device to me, but now its mysteries are unraveling. It is not as hard as I thought it would be, but I’ve only just begun. I kick myself for not having started sooner.

My fingertips are numb and bruised though. Is this normal? I am sad to see my soft princess fingers leathering up.

This evening I went to meet S. for dinner. Two problems from the onset: It was raining and I returned my scooter. The rainy season here is frequent torrential downpours, sometimes lasting hours. I should have respected this fact, but it wasn’t raining very hard so I didn’t bother to take an umbrella. I had trouble flagging down the sangtao trucks, and they tried to gouge me on the fare, but I made it to the restaurant without much bother. During our meal it started pouring. When it tapered off a little I began the reverse trip home. Walking along the main road I was ankle deep in water, the road was a river. The rain began to pick up too, but not so bad as to thoroughly soak me. But by this point there wasn’t much reason to take a cab anymore, so I decided to walk all the way home (maybe 3 miles). With each step closer, the downpour increased. About halfway home, a car drove by and sent and arcing cascade of water onto my whole right side. It was the kind of moment that anyone but the victim can see coming from a mile away. Soon, the water was roaring so thickly that the view appeared festering and grey. I was thoroughly soaked by this point and quite a spectacle to all of the Thai people who were waiting for the rain to subside. One the final stretch off road, I was walking in the dark with frogs croaking a splashing at my feet. I felt like a soldier in a monsoon jungle, only in my case I knew I’d be somewhere dry soon.

My cell phone is fried however.

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