I have been in Bangkok for over a month yet hadn’t written any journal about it until now. And as if the universe clapped along to Mira’s idea about it, she let me go out and make brainless decisions of the day, which turned out pretty amazing.
1. My First Ever Ballet Class
I should probably remind you that I am 35 years old and I have been spending endless nights participating in Ellen Degeneres Stand Up, the Ellen Degeneres Show and Ellen sitcom marathon (funny thing is, I found out that Ellen Morgan – the main character played by Ellen Degeneres – was also 35 years old) and for your information I watch the sitcom from Season 5 to Season 1 (now I am in Season 3).
Anyway, people say it’s never too late to start something that you’ve been dreaming to do. But, boy I must say, at 35, I am waaaay too late to start my first Ballet class. My whole body is aching the moment I am writing this.
My ex-Bharatanatyam class and this Ballet class are close to each other and they both happen at the same time: Saturdays 2-3 pm. I went to the Indian Cultural Centre twice for the previous class, and I didn’t feel that I belong there, so I thought hey why not ballet because I have been wanting to do it, too to back up my flamenco dance.
Ever see Billy Elliot? When he joined the all-girl ballet class next to his boxing class? Where he had to wear those ballet shoes and moved awkwardly and the teacher was merciless? Well, that was me yesterday. The difference is, he had a future in ballet. But, I wasn’t bad for the first timer. No shoes, hand gripping to the bar, nose 90 degree away from my knees. My teacher was a young Thai man, tall and very ballety, who was very soft spoken (meaning I couldn’t hear anything he said and even if had, I wouldn’t have understood him anyway). Everything was either ballet terms in french, inaudible english, the dog whisperer’s “pst…” like when a dog is barking and Caesar just “pst” it and it sits motionless like a dog statue, and some happy “oui, oui!” when we did something right. He showed us five or six different steps, right and left, and sometimes corrected our postures.
And, boy an epiphany stroke me! We had to do this strange movement where one leg goes up and body bends backward after swinging it clockwise along with one arm (while another hand is clinging to the bar for dear life), and this teacher just ‘accupressured’ me here and there, put his hands somewhere on the waist and I noticed myself swung far backward like an excited pendulum and I thought: “Wow!!! I didn’t know I could do that!” All my life, I have been afraid to push myself a little bit further. How much I have been limiting myself. I remember it took me two full years to be able to spin in kathak dance style just because I had been afraid ‘just in case’ I would have fallen flat on my face.
2. Shiva-Shakti part One
Actually on the way to the ballet class, I took the wrong direction so I had to go back, cross the street, et cetera… then I bumped into a beautiful statue of Shiva-Shakti. He/She is like Shiva and Parvati in one. Buy One Get One Free. Divine Male and Divine Female. My favorite Hindu God/Goddess that I have always been drawn to like two people alike drawn to each other. Sort of a click. I love dancing Shiva in kathak style. I love the music and the whole aura about it. So I thought this is awesome! I took a picture and proceeded to the class.
3. Indian Food and the Tarot Reader
Naturally, I got lost on the way back to the train station but ended up in this stinking Indian restaurant to get rid of my guilt of giving up Bharatanatyam class for ballet. Believe me, I ate a humble meal with a price of a Tata heir. I paid 250 baht without even ordering a glass of water. Then again, what kind of Indian restaurant doesn’t serve a free glass of water? I’m sure it is illegal somewhere in the Indian law.
Anyhow, I finally switch my brain back on and realized that I should go back instead of forward to get to the station. And, on the way, I passed this lady sitting on an almost-a-bench bench, with a pack of card in her hands. So I stopped. I asked her if it was a tarot deck. She replied: “Future, future.”
Crazy. I always read other people’s cards and I had been wanting my cards to be read and it was 100 baht for a question. So, I handed her a 100 baht bill, shuffled the deck nine times, and she laid them out for me. And here it went:
- money good
- here in bangkok, don’t think too much, just be happy
- money good, family good
- good money, good house
- you nice person, good heart, you use heart not mind (that’s The Fool right there, and that was all I was about yesterday, making abrupt decision to drop one class to join the other, getting lost all the time without fail)
- you money come money go. pay to buddha, and ur money good (and the word ‘buddha’ was my cue to pay attention to the necklace that she wore: Shiva, Parvati and baby Ganesh)
- indonesian man no good. thai or america good (I think she saw a white man in the card… and she thought thai men are white)
- young man no good for you. old man good (tell me about it)
- don’t think too much about work (I love this woman)
- 36, 37, 38 years old, love money happy (that’s next year, baby!)
- pay buddha, pay buddha, money good.
And the session ended. I took a photo of her with the laid out cards, and said thank you. And walked two steps only to find that I and the tarot lady had been sitting in front of the same Shiva-Shakti statue. So, I walked in front of it, stood a little bit closer. And, I thanked god for this wonderful encounter with magic. I told him/her: “Well, I see that you don’t need my money, and I don’t know where the money in the donation box will go. But, I will give money to people in need, and when I do that, I do that in Your name.”
Then, fate brought me to family mart to buy water and there was this donation box for an organization called “Paws”, it is for reducing the number of stray dogs and cats in Bangkok by giving them neuterization, shelter, adoption and education for people about it. I love animals, Ellen loves animals. So, there goes my money in the name of god.