November 13, 2009

Hunting for international collaboration

Namaste Ronald

So, it’s day 2 in Thailand and I dont know what day it is or what time or even where I am in this jet lag haze…

Today was the search for international telecommunications.

Thinking I was clever, I picked up an unlocked international mobile phone a few years ago in India. India is one of the places where you can buy unlocked mobile phones and just add SIM cards and money to your account. This has been particularly useful for my travels around the world. Even my great love for Apple products in general, and the iPhone in particular gets superseded by the need for connection. And connection at a low cost…remember I am from Hong Kong and born with the genetics of a bargain hunter!

Back to the hunt for international connections.

So arriving last night in Bangkok, I discovered the iPhone didnt connect in any shape or form, and somehow, my Indian mobile had no charge at all! My iPhone had been apped up with all kinds of kool toys – currency conversions, Thai language tips, Lonely Planet guides and other fun and totally unnecessary tools for travel. In fact, I never had any of these tools or even looked at a guidebook in my backpacking days.

But now, I am lost without my connections, and that has added to my sense of being lost in space. I use the handy mobiles to keep me on time and to tell the time, and now 2 phones and a laptop later, and I have no idea what time it really is (Chicago songs singing in my ear…)

To add to this international confusion, my Indian mobile with the fancy devanagari numbers (sanskrit to you my friend), had been loaded with Euros in Ireland this summer. So…an Indian phone with Irish money looking for power in Thailand… is this becoming an international incident?

Charged the Indian/Irish phone and went to buy a SIM at the local 7/11…Yes, I said 7/11 – isnt that where YOU would think to go for a disposable phone connection? Think they always use that in Law & Order or CSI for the bad guys. This is where Ronald MacDonald gave me Namaste smiles, and I rather smugly and unyogically had all kinds of opinions and judgements about fast food, marketing imagery, and all the other politically correct, green, Yogi reasons to be smug!

Indian/Irish/Thai phone resolved. So on to the iPhone situ… And this is how a hi/lo tech geek yogini handles it – Call home! Had a Skype to my partner Jack who called AT&T and I talked to them over Skype/mobile/wireless. Bangkok Yogini talking to Irishman in Cali talking to AT&T rep in call centerland (India..?!)

Many moments later, iPhone connection resolved.

So now I am happy as a Yogi in Bangkok could be, right? Unless you manage to blow out the hotel electricity! Plugged one more little gizmo into the wall, and suddenly there is a fizz, bang and smoke coming out of the wall!

Uuuuh, I think I did something wrong…now all the lights are out in the room! Memories came flashing back of how I burned the wall socket in Delhi and blew out the entire hotel for our entire group…in TWO hotels!

Wasn’t as bad this time…I am in the land of smiles after all! The electrician came and fixed everything and gave me smiles and namaste greetings. And I was not smug with him or the 2 sweet Thai women who were helping to translate what happened. I didn’t tell them about the smoke. Ssssh!

Maybe I shouldn’t have been so smug to the Ronald MacDonald namaste giving smile. After all, he was smiling AND wishing me to see the divine in him seeing the divine in me, right?

So lesson is…the divine is Divine, whether dressed as Ronald MacDonald or in saffron colored robes. This Yoga practice can help to change us, shift us to become better, to become ourselves, to become happy in all situations.

My life is blessed, and I am grateful for the ability to laugh on this side of the earth. It may not be as easy on the other…

Tomorrow the Yoga Festival begins, so will check in with all y’all later!

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