New in town, want some plants
I am quite new in town and want to buy some plants. I have heard of this
Khamtieng market and realize it is out on the Superhighway but as I am new I
do not have transportation either to that market or back. Also, I don’t need
to fill a garden, I just want to buy a few plants! Do I really need to go so
far just for a few plants?
Dear Condo dweller,
First of all, unless you live on the South East side of the moat, it really
is not quite that far. Khamtieng market is great fun even if you are not
buying a large number of plants for your balcony. The variety of trees,
bonsais, bulbs, flowers, palms, heliconias and many others is quite large
and Emma does have a hard time buying just one or two plants.
Unfortunately the new songthaew routes that have been announced do not
appear to go to Khamtieng but it is not too expensive to get a songthaew to
take you there. If, however, you really only want a plant or two then Emma
suggests you try some of the florist shops that dot the area around town.
But really, everyone goes to Khamtieng for plants. You can negotiate with
the songthaew driver to take you there and drive you around the market and
buy some plants. You can buy soil, nice pots and garden art as well. It may
seem inconvenient but to Emma, at least, it is very much worth the effort.
People who offer advice
I am one of those people who do not take kindly towards unsolicited advice.
Often I already know the answer but simply want to let off some steam or
even just complain. But in this day and age it is rare for someone to be
able to inform me of something I cannot simply research online myself. I am
quite good at it and generally can pick out the truth from the fiction.
But there seems to be a certain breed of person who feels the need to
dispense their particular wisdom whether it is asked for or not. I try to
rebuff them nicely saying, “Thank you but I already know that”, but on and
on they continue regardless of what I say.
How do I get these people to stop dispensing the unwanted advice?
Dear Fed up,
Emma does understand how frustrating well – meaning people can be, the road
to Hell and all that of course. But you must remember that they do mean well
and are concerned for your welfare and take that into consideration when
formulating your response. You should be polite and kind but firm in saying,
“Thank you so much but I merely wanted to vent” or let off steam or whatever
phrase you feel comfortable using.
Once you have said this change the subject. Talk about something else that
is not related to you or to whatever the problem may have been.
Alternatively, take a lesson from this and never mention anything that might
need advice to these people to avoid the unwanted advice.
My neighbor lets her dogs loose and they come and poop on my tiny bit of
grass every single day. She does not pick the poop up and in fact, does not
actually go out with her dogs but lets them go. To be fair, she is quite old
and a little disabled so although I have been picking up the poop every
single day it is getting tiresome. She does have someone who comes by every
day to help out around the house but this woman also does not pick up the
dog poop in front of my house. What can I do?
Dear No poop,
First of all, talk to the helper and see if she can pick up the dog feces.
If not, then consider your neighbor, she is elderly and infirm and needs all
the help she can get from the sounds of it. It is annoying and they are not
your dogs but you will be doing her a great service and yourself by simply
picking up the poop. One day you will also be elderly and infirm and if you
are Buddhist and believe in karma then perhaps someone kind will help you
when you need it.
It is, after all, not really a huge inconvenience for you is it? How many
minutes does it take up of your daily life? Five minutes? What is five
minutes of kindness to an old woman who needs help and who, if she were to
do it herself, would certainly take her far longer than the time it would
take you do it yourself.
There was a movie quite a few years ago called “Pay it Forward” about
performing random acts of kindness without any hope of it being repaid but
with the knowledge that if someone does something nice for another person
and then that person does something nice for the next person (the forward
part of paying it) then eventually we will all be doing nice things for
I was recently talking with a friend of mine who complained because a man
had called her adorable and she said that while she said nothing she was
rather offended. I asked her what was the problem and she told me that
puppies are adorable, babies and small children are adorable, little fluffy
bunnies are adorable but to use it to describe a grown women somehow implies
she is childish and immature.
At first I put her reaction as being overly sensitive until I had a
discussion with a friend about words we use in Thai to describe people and
the Thai friend pointed out that one would never use “suoy” or pretty for a
man and that is when I realized that my friend was right. Language does
matter, if I were to be offended if another man described me as pretty then
I cannot complain if a female friend of mine is offended by adorable.
I will try to be more mindful of my speech, I guess Buddha had it right all
Dear Not Pretty,
Well done for opening your mind to other’s viewpoints and yes, the Buddha
most often did have it right. Mindful speech and mindful behavior are
important in daily life.