December 5, 2011

Finally here!

So, It's been an interesting week.  Last Monday we went to the crocodile farm.  Because we spoke Thai, we got the Thai admission price.  It was way cheaper.  So, the farm is like a run down zoo.  Generally just a chain link fence, hopefully not too rusty.  You can feed the animals, which is all the fun you thought it would be as a kid, and more. Especially monkeys and crocodiles.  This one monkey was way smart and got a squid cracker by using a stick (which it also ate.  Way handy - tool/snack).  The hippos are amusing to feed, you just throw them bananas so they will open their mouths.  Monkeys are funny.  They will jump and swing around, take your banana, or ignore it, maybe eat it, take just bite, walk off with it, or throw it.  I shook hands with one.  The elephant show was really cool, the elephant ride isn't that cool.  But feeding crocodiles is a blast.  You are on this bridge over a pit full of crocs, with a fish head on a string.  You can torment them all you want, the small ones or the huge ones, until your teasing comes to an end when one finally gets the meat.  I worked it out that the total cost of the trip was about six dollars.

After, I tried Torrean fruit.  It is absolutely nasty.  It is more like a rotten onion.  I suppose it is an acquired taste.  In an informal survey of taxi drivers, it is liked so-so.  Some so, some don't.  Elder Seymour loves it, I hate it, as do most farangs.

We went on exchanges, so I wasn't in our area much, I didn't move out of Baangnaa, since I went with the Bangnaa Elders twice, then the Zone Leaders in Asoke.  I learned a lot, it was really great.  Saturday I was back, and I finally moved into my area, five days left of the transfer.

Tuesday I taught English single handedly.  It was looking like a small turnout, so we combined the two classes, but people just kept coming.  The others were busy answering questions in Thai, or teaching the Gospel lesson/introducing people to what we do, so it was just me and my whiteboard for an hour and a half.  It was fun, and gave them a lot of new potential investigators.

I love Big C.  It's a huge supermarket.  I stocked my shelf with food.  Rice, crescents, oatmeal, bananas, everything. Also in food news, today I had Som Tam.  It's this papaya salad.  All I could recognize was the shrimp (picked out), the peanuts and the pricks (very hot peppers).  It was really good, but super hot, which is largely why it was good.  Elder Seymour was sweating, crying and couldn't talk.  That's what you get when you ask for it hot.  I had ten pricks in mine!  Neither of us could finish it.

The members here like to translate my last name into Thai - so I am Elder Rotmee, Elder bus.  Kind of fun.  Our branch is really being helpful.  Sunday we contacted former investigators, once called us back right when we had another appointment fall through because we were way late from traffic.  They were drunk, but still.  It worked out, we got a return appointment for when they will be sober.

So, for everyone who thinks how I crouch/perch is weird, I win.  The flat-footed squat is an Asian thing, a lot of the missionaries can't do it, but I can do it for a long time, and don't think about it.  It's just what I've always done.  Similarly with sitting cross legged.  It doesn't work well with our chairs in the US, so I usually just put one foot up under my leg, but here we usually sit on the ground, so I am not one of the missionaries who has really sore legs/hips, because I'm used to it as well.  I love our mission.

Pres/Sister Smith run a blog - smithshere.com.  Also, on that site is a link to Picasa with more pictures.

I wish I had more time to talk, but I'd better go.  I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Robert Buss



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