I love hooks.
It’s a simple thing, but they are wonderful. You can hang up everything: dirty clothes, clean clothes, clothes you haven’t decided if they are clean or dirty; wet clothes and pajamas; even belts, jackets, and bags. Or here, helmets and umbrellas, which we seem to have in abundance.
Either way, they’re ideal.
And we have this amazing little factory outside of Mae Sot where they make bamboo furniture. It’s all lovely, and it gets shipped around the world, to places like Pier 1 where they can sell it for hundreds of dollars. Or they can sell it here for $60.
So we went and ordered some hooks. We got to hand pick the kind we wanted, the color of the stain, the number of hooks.
I was very excited. But it would take two weeks for them to be ready. It’s a factory and not always open, so though we were lucky on this trip, we asked when they were usually open. Every day, they said, except Sunday. Afternoons, not mornings.
It sounded simple enough.
We returned two weeks later, only to meet the guard and receive the hand motion for closed. And if you’re ever in town, that’s the same hand motion for not here, don’t know, don’t have, or don’t do that.
We weren’t sure why they weren’t open: it was a Tuesday about 4:00pm. Sounded like not Sunday, in the afternoon to me. But we left, and decided to come back the next week.
That was today. We biked over, a little earlier in the afternoon this time. Maybe 1:00pm is more their definition of afternoon?
Closed. The guard gave the same hand motion, but this time with some laughs and one word: three.
Three? Three what? Stephen motioned to his watch: three o’clock?
“Yes, yes,” he shook his head. “Three, three.” And he pointed at his wrist.
So we came back at 3:30pm this afternoon. And mind you, this is not oh-so-close. Biking takes a good forty-five minutes if you’re booking it. Motorbiking is obviously faster, but it’s not so comfortable to go too far on a motorbike seat; but then a bicycle seat doesn’t scream comfort, either.
Anyway, same same. We got the closed motion and a few more bouts of laughter, but from a group this time. Stephen motions to his watch: 3 o’clock, right? But this time, the man walks over to his calendar and points to 3 October.
I’m sorry. What?
Please note that it’s the 21st today. It’s either going to take a whole lot of magic or a whole lot of patience for me to pick it up on 3 October.
And I’m going to have to say that is not what I first assumed when you said three.
We pointed some more. I pointed to the 21st, they seemed confused. I pointed to 3 November, and they pointed to 3 October again. I tried Karen, but they responded in something else. We did a lot of pointing.
And I guess we’re going back Monday. Maybe three days?
Most of the time I’m amazed how much you can accomplish without words. And other days I’m amazed at how much can be miscommunicated with them.