POSTCARD#99: Chiang Mai: The day before yesterday I got my computer back from the repair shop… the stress of these last three months with it crashing all the time has been too much. No reliable way of getting it fixed because I’m travelling all the time and things being as they are in these Asian locations, making do, and looking out for an opportunity all the time. Meanwhile having to use the WordPress app for iPhone – really too small and going cross-eyed. So I bought an iPad mini which my 10-year-old niece (M) grabbed immediately and I had to go back to using the iPhone again – this is how it is…. Then when the laptop came back there was this small revelation – maybe it was just the relief that the stress wasn’t there anymore. Hard to say how or when it changed, some time after what we call the ‘now’ moment – perception arises after the event, it occurs in hindsight… things are seen to be in agreement. Everything attached to the former is suddenly gone… there’s something in the air.
Even before it happened, there were signs that it all seemed to be moving towards this kind of integration. Walking down the lane to the main road, mid-morning traffic, I see a tuk-tuk (3-wheeled taxi) arriving, just as I emerge on to the thoroughfare, and it stops right in front of me. I climb in and off we go; no traffic hold-up anywhere, no red light at the junction, just one large right turn and down the straight road to the mall building. Get out, pay the driver, into the mall, up to the second floor and I’m thinking the repair shop’ll not be open yet… probably have to get a cup of coffee or something. But all the lights are on, staff behind the desk, no line of people waiting… how can it be as easy as this? So I go in and hand the guy my creased and crumpled stapled-together papers with repair-job number and signed receipt for $680(!) They had to send for the parts from Singapore (incredible) and it’s taken a month already; there’s a kind of grumbling discontent hovering like a shadow at the edge of vision; grumble-grumble-grumble, and I’m waiting for the trigger: he’s going to tell me it’s not ready yet… I’m going to fall back into the justified-outrage film-loop thing that plays in the head… but it wasn’t like that, the man comes out from behind somewhere and he’s holding my laptop, says it came back yesterday. Here you are, he says, and gives it to me.
Unbelievable, put it in the bag: thank you very much, bye-bye, and downstairs to street level. Another tuk-tuk just happens to come along, get in and away on the long straight road; no red light for the second time, wide swerve left and along the narrow lane to the apartment. Up in the elevator, get inside and searching for the power cable for the laptop – can’t find it, maybe it’s lost… oh no, grumbling discontent returns… ‘self’ as the victim-of-circumstance default. Then while I’m looking for that, I find another power cable, the one for my little projector, wow! I’ve been looking for that for months… and sure enough, I find the power cable for the laptop; it was where I left it. The missing pieces of the jigsaw fit exactly, and it’s a huge relief to have my machine back.
The rest of that day just vanished, busy getting things re-installed, and I wasn’t able to put up the post I’d intended, so now I’m two days late. The world is reflected upon in hindsight. I was going to write something about 23 October being Chulalongkorn day in Thailand and, by chance, it was also Divali in India (lunar calendar)… there goes that agreement thing again, celebrations all around. Another factor in it all is that this is my 99th postcard post, something satisfying about that number. Then there’s this awareness that everything is in agreement, a renewed certainty in the way things are. The return of the laptop puts everything right, it means also that M now has unlimited access to the iPad, and she’ll most likely fall heir to it around Christmas. So I’m glad I’m glad I’m glad, and I’ll be able to read all your posts again, thank you…
“The search for a spiritual path…has to trigger an inner realization, a perception which pierces through the facile complacency of our usual encounter with the world to glimpse the insecurity perpetually gaping underfoot. When this insight dawns, even if only momentarily, it can precipitate a profound personal crisis. It overturns accustomed goals and values, mocks our routine preoccupations, leaves old enjoyments stubbornly unsatisfying.” [Bhikkhu Bodhi]