trang house tour + updates
Hello! I’m writing to you this morning because it is raining so hard we cancelled service!!! Most of us only have motorcycles to drive and ponchos only work so well, so during rainy season this happen quite often.We are all settled into our new house so we wanted to share with you what we call home!!!!
If you remember from the last post we were told we had to leave with extremely short notice, but thankfully the new owner of our old house told us we could stay an extra month so we could find something. The house we are in now we actually had found a few months back. It was advertised for sale, but we were able to talk them into renting to us instead. However it was quite expensive and had no kitchen, so we passed on it at the time hoping we could find something better. Turns out we never did, so here we are! Thankfully since many months had passed and the house was still available, they agreed to go down on the price when previously they had not. We are very happy here and were able to create our own kitchen with the furniture Aaron built when we lived up north. Our only complaint is it was super hot since it only had 1 AC in the bedroom. I really struggled so decided to purchase another unit. We dread these kinds of interactions here but it shows you a lot about the culture so I want to share the experience!
After doing all our own research Aaron went to the store to buy the unit we wanted. As per usual, everyone runs away from him in the store because they are afraid of foreigners. Finally one employee went to get another brave employee to help. Surprise surprise, she doesn’t know anything about air conditioner units because that’s not her department. She goes to get someone else to help. Finally someone comes who is able to help retrieve the unit we want. That process has taken 30 minutes already!! The unit we want is part of a promotion so it comes with free installation. Aaron double checks with them about this and they all say yes. But he wasn’t specific enough with his question, because later he finds out you have to be a member to qualify for the promotion, so he’s told he can’t get the promotion. When he asks if he can become a member they all say yes, but they still don’t get it. Aaron then asks if he can become a member so he can get the promotion, and NOW they finally get it! yes he can, its just 1 form. Now an hour has passed. Finally he checks out but needs to provide our address for the installation men. But no one understands where our address is even though it is our correct legal address. Aaron pulls up a map, but they don’t understand. 20 people come to try to help, but no one understands the map. He asks if they can use GPS, and they all laugh at him. He walks them through giving them verbal turn by turn directions from the store to our house, they are still confused. In perfect Thai he says “its near trang village” and they all say “ooooh you live in trang village!!!” “no, it’s NEAR trang village” now they are even more confused. now its been 45 mintues just on the address subject (I know because aaron has been angrily texting me the whole time) and he finally offers to just come to the store and let the installation men follow him. They all agree. The next day he goes back to pick up the installation men like agreed, but surprise surprise, they left already!! He drives around to try to find them but can’t. 30 minutes later he receives a phone call from the installation men who are lost. (no surprise!) He figures out where they are, goes and meets them, and lets them follow him back to our house. FINALLY we’re done! The crazy part, is this happens EVERY TIME we do something like this!!!!! Sometimes we have to be absurdly specific for them to understand and other times they don’t understand specifics at all! The joy’s of culture..sometimes I feel like I will never understand it!!!!!!
Here’s another funny story about Thai culture. I took Aaron to my Bible study recently and she was so very excited to get to know him. We were chatting for a while and she was asking how long we’ve been married etc etc. Then she asks me if he hits me often or not. I was so surprised! First that this is part of normal “getting to know you” conversation about my husband, and second that she would ask right in front of him, as if it’s nothing to be ashamed of!!! When I said no, she seemed surprised too! She said most Thai men hit their wives. Then she turned to Aaron and asked him if he has many other women on the side. Again, is this really what we are all talking about all together as if either answer to that question is fine?!?! She seemed surprised that he said no, so she asked again as if he misunderstood! “How many women do you have on the side? 3? 4?” She was very surprised his answer was no, and that most Thai men have 3 or 4 other women on the side. So sad!!! But I suppose these things are just a fact of life for many women here, so however unusual it is to talk about it to us, it is quite normal to talk about it to them. And Thai people love asking personal questions, so we’ve really had to adjust to that. “Whats your name?” is usually followed by “how old are you?” Many people often ask how much we weigh or why we don’t have children, “is there something wrong??” Everyone asks how much things costs. How much is your rent, how much money do you earn, etc. If I have a pimple on my face everyone will ask about it. “Whats wrong with your face?” It’s their way of showing personal interest I guess!!! It has taught us a lot of humility!!!!!
Our little congregation has been growing since we have two new publishers and one of the Bible students part of our sign language group has recently joined the school. So that has been very exciting for all of us!! Since many need greaters have left for the summer I’ve taken on 4 new bible studies which brings me up to 8 now, and Aaron has 3. So we have been very busy but very happy!! We are only here for 2 more months until we come back home for a visit, but in that time we have our English convention, Thai convention, and circuit overseers visit. So it’s gonna be a little crazy but we can’t wait!!!!
Here’s a few more pictures from our lives the past few months. Make sure you click on them to make them bigger and read the explanation, and please leave me some comments!!! I love hearing from you all!!!!