No this is not a commentary on the tragic situation in Japan. Which is so terribly awful and scary.

This is much more light-hearted then that.

Here in the North of Thailand it has been very cold, day of around 12 or 14 degrees (Celsius) which is very unusual for this time of year. Normally in mid March it is very hot, in the mid to high 30’s. The cold snap came on suddenly and was accompanied with rain and general misery, hahaha.

But many people (like me) were very unprepared for the cold snap and only had light clothes and not much in the way of heating and blankets, so yes, cold and unhappy : ( I shudder to think about the Burmese in refugee camps  –  especially the new arrived ones, it must be SO cold and miserable for them : (

But in Mae Sot town there were many theories as to what had brought on the early rains (the rainy season is not due for another month) and indeed the cold.

The most prominent I heard in town was that the cold and rain was because of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan… hence the title of the post… I suppose it could be true? I mean understand as much about weather reports as I do about modern (post-modern?) art, a person stands tells me that the squiggly lines and arrows and triangles marching across the screen is very meaningful will impact my life and depending on their tone I believe them : )

So maybe the earthquake made something low or high pressure and that made things cold and rainy when they would otherwise be stinking hot and dry. I don’t know. But I LOVE the way people say it. The very Thai way of saying with certainty…

Me: ooohhh! It is cold!

Other: oooohhh! Yes! It should not be so cold!

Me: Should be hot now, yes? I did not pack a jumper!

Other: yes, it is cold because of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan

Me: is that why??

Other: yes (nodding with great solem-ness) .

I don’t know, maybe there this is a way of showing solidarity with Japan. People are just so shocked and saddened by the tragedy that I guess it is natural to believe that the effects are so great that they must also be so far reaching. I know how strange it is when in a big country like Australia people in one state could be going through floods and fire and yet where I am we have lovely blue skies – it is very strange.  So I guess it is natural to feel like the discomfort we are experiencing is related to what is going on (like the butterfly effect?) and that we should be feeling discomfort because with so many suffering it would be strange not too.

However it is not the only reason I have heard for the cold. The other reason I have heard is because the earth is too close to the moon at the moment. Apparently it is true that the moon is large today because we are closer to it…. (see here) but I don’t understand why that would make me cold in Mae Sot.

Surely it is the whole earth that is too close to the moon? Not just the Mae Sot part. So why isn’t everywhere colder and wetter at the moment? Why just us? Hhhhhmmmm….

It reminds me of when I lived in the Philippines; many illnesses could be explained by the phenomenon of ‘air in the bones’. Things from headaches and colds to pneumonia. I was never quite sure how the air got in there; I think fans or maybe air con had something to do with it. But ‘air in the bones’ is taken very seriously.

After a while of living there I could demonstrate my medical astuteness by commenting on peoples illnesses… allow me to demonstrate:

Other: I don’t feel so good

Me: oh no, what is wrong

Other: I have a headache

Me: oh, maybe you have air in your bones?

Other; mmmm, (giving me that knowing look – like EXCELLENT diagnosis!)  yes, I think so. I think I should lie down.

Anyway, I guess I don’t really know what this post is about except how you really feel like you understand people better when you ‘get’ the cultural nuances. I mean I don’t really understand what is behind some of these things – but I know what to say and it helps to connect me, to connect us.

By the end of the cold cold week in Mae Sot we (the people of Mae Sot and its visitors) were connected by it. Everyone was taken by surprise, put out, a little bit freaked out by it and mostly – cold and wet and so I became a part of the ‘script’

Other:  ooh its cold!!

Me: yes! So cold! I heard it is maybe because of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan?

Other: yes (gives me the knowing look, hhmmm she KNOWS stuff) yes, I heard that too.

Me: maybe, I hope it warms up soon!

Other: ooh, me too!

And as I am writing this –  the sun has come out : )

PS: I would just like to write to extend my deep condolences to the people of Japan. I can’t believe the devastation heaped upon devastation. I am very anti-nuclear weapons and power and I am very afraid for people in the area around those plants. I will be thinking of you in my daily practice.