Daily Archives: July 18, 2005

Asatha Puja Day

The Wat

My local temple in America

As most of you are probably aware in a few days Buddhist around the world will celebrate Asatha Puja, the day when the Buddha delivered his first discourse, gained his first witness to his enlightenment and the Gem of the Sangha appeared in the world.

This is an important day for me personally as having the Triple Gem (Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha) to take refuge in was enriched my life more than any other single thing I have experienced.

Here at our Wat in Northren California a small group of us will join our Abbot on Saturday night and practice meditation through out the night and on Sunday we will have our big celebration. Through out the time of the rains retreat some of us will meet every Sunday morning for chanting, meditation practice and a Dhamma talk.

The Dhamma talks should be interesting this year and I’m looking forward to them. Last year my Dhamma sister Thum, responsible for translating to me, more often than not, would look at me and laugh before giving me the readers digest condensed version. Phramaha Buasai was no better. The morning she was not there, after a long discourse in Lao to the grandmothers, he looked at me briefly, laughed, and said that he could not remember because he was being “mindful”. My standard excuse for all infractions at the Wat now! 😀

You can see some pictures of songkran at my local temple during Songkran this year on page two…

Going to the Temple And We’re…

…gonna get ma-a-a-rried.

Bride and groom with the groom’s family.

Since there are at least 3 gentlemen of Thai-Blogs getting married to the fabulous Thai ladies, I feel obliged to share my intercultural wedding experience.

But as I’m restricted for time this night, I’d go into all the fun details on coming days in installments.

Although, in short, we had 2 weddings.

First, we got married on paper by a friend, who is a non-denomination reverend through a mail correspondence course, at a local diner in November, 2 months before our actual wedding. We did it that way to help expedite our INS paperwork. That plan didn’t work though as there were screw ups after screw ups, and I didn’t get my work permit/green card until September.

In January, we had a shortened traditional Thai wedding at Wat Thai Los Angeles on a Sunday morning with families and close friends, followed by
a casual Thai lunch reception after we fed the monks. Later in the evening, everyone reconvened along with the rest of our friends in Long Beach for an American wedding reception with a little bit of Thai flares.

As a teaser ad, and an ode to SteveSuphan, here’s the Do’s and Don’ts list of Thai-Farang Intercultural Wedding:

DO, if you’re having many Farang guests, print some programs with explanations of Thai wedding ceremony. Just in case the interpreter that the temple promised you would be there to help narrate the shindig happens to not materialized. Our farang guests at the temple, which were the majority, and the groom himself, were in the dark through most of the ceremony.

DO go to the bathroom before sitting down with your new wife to be blessed by your guests. Having water from the conch shell trickling onto your hands when you have a full bladder isn’t fun.

DON’T run screaming from the temple when you are unexpectedly hit in the eye with the blessed holy water. Oh yes, DO warn your farang friends about that part of the blessing.

DON’T be surprised if the whole town showed up at your wedding. Thai style wedding reception rules is that you invite everyone you know. Thank god I had my wedding in the U.S., or else the citizens of the Big Mango would have congregated at our wedding reception!

Selected pictures from the wedding are on my Yahoo! Album along with other pictures. I’ll put more, better resolution pictures up on my Flickr album as I write the storie.

Until next time!

Peaceful Bangkok

There are many places in Bangkok with unusual beauty. One such place is the Siam Jusco at Laksi. A large and bustling shopping complex, it is crowded all through the day. But outside, it is very peaceful. It is at some distance away from the main road and in the image above, taken at about 11 AM, the complex looks deserted. A large number of cars are parked on the two bays, but no one seems to be around.

Pon’s First Snow

12 days after Pon’s visa was approved, we touched down in Seattle, WA. A first time on US soil, foreign soil for that matter, for my soon-to-be wife. We collected our baggage and headed out onto the sidewalk to be picked up. Since 9/11, of course you cannot be met at your flight by family and friends. I had arranged to have my good Thai friends, Lex and Ahn, pick us up. I wanted Pon to have friendly non-Farang faces meeting her in her first minutes in this faraway place (more on that later).

..Lex, Anh, their daughter, Pon, and I
Christmas Eve at Kuhn Lex’s

One thing that I had hoped for, as we headed to the US, was for Pon to be able to see snow. She had never seen it! 26 years and the closest she had ever come to snow was when she watched movies or news footage on t.v.! In Seattle, we are always good for a couple of light dustings of the stuff, but seldom do we get a good dumping! However, if you want that, it is only a 30 minute drive into the mountains. Then you get all the snow you can handle.

I know that this is a blog post for Thailand, and Thai stuff, and this story really is a stretch for that topic, so I will keep it short. It was just such a kick to take a Thai person, who has never seen snow, up into a raging snow storm! What a way to be introduced to snow, eh?!!!
Here are some pictures of that day. Needless to say, Pon is addicted to snow now. She loves it! The look on her face..and that HUGE smile. It was such a huge treat to see her so happy!

Together in America at last!
She’s trying not to look freezing!

Pon is writing her name.
Writing her name.

Very happy.
A picture really does say a thousand words!

Bow_Mike – we made it

Hihi! Have you ever seen the cute girl in this pic before? Took tong na khrab! That’s Bow and Mike right there together in one pic. For 2 years we put eachother’s pics beside one another and could only dream that one day both Bow and Mike could look back at us from a single pic.

Maybe you’re wondering who I am. Well, I’m Mike, Bow’s bf. Last October was the first time I had a chance to go to Thailand – it was the first time Bow and I could really be together. We’ve been ‘fans’ for 2 years, writing to eachother, talking and laughing on the phone, staying up late to talk to eachother online – and finally the only one wish that I hoped for could finally come true! This is my story ~ I’ll write about my first day in Thailand next time so look out for my next blog!

* It’s been more than 7 months already, but Bow, every time I close my eyes I think of you. *