I like learning new things. When I learn something new, it's like a little drop of water sprinkles itself on a formerly dry part of my brain. In the spirit of learning something new today, (and having something to write about tonight), I googled "famous quotes about learning new things." Unfortunately, I had to stop reading when I got to the following Persian proverb, and realized I was in trouble: One pound of learning requires ten pounds of common sense to apply it. I can assure you that my extra 10 pounds have not been applied to my common sense.
The problem is, I don't usually keep track of things I learn from day to day. Never mind applying the things I've learned, I'm hard pressed to even remember them by the time I'm finished lunch. To give myself a helping hand, I decided to write down the things I learned this week...
1. Spiders are not reliable body guards.
I have a rather large daddy longlegs spider on my bedroom ceiling. In Canada, I would have vanquished him ages ago. In my little Thai cottage, I don't mind him. I know where he lives, so I can keep an eye on him. He chills out up on the ceiling, and eats all kinds of weird and wonderful things that I'd rather land in his web than on my head. So, we're cool. I kind of see him as my buggy little bodyguard superhero. However, this past week, he fought 3 consecutive battles with a large, villainous Winged Thing, and lost every time. The Winged Thing would escape, plummet, recover, and head right back into the web. My 8-legged superhero would pounce, and start wrapping up the delectable treat, only to have the thing escape, plummet, recover... On the 3rd escape of the Winged Thing, it flew straight at my head. I ran and hid in the living room, my bodyguard went to bed without supper, and the Winged Thing lived to fly another day.
2. There are some really bad reasons to consider matrimony.
Many of my friends have gotten married, and I'm sure they must have had good reasons for doing so. (Perhaps to have someone more reliable than a spider around to vanquish Winged Things?) As I was driving along this week, even I thought to myself, "Hmmm, maybe I should get married... ... ...so someone else can drive, while I sit on the back of the bike and take pictures of weird things on trucks." I saw so many crazy things on trucks this week, that if I could have taken pictures of them, I would have started a new blog called Stuff on Trucks that I could neglect as conscientiously as I neglect this one! Wouldn't you be excited to see pictures of a regular pick-up truck with 21 fridges and 3 washing machines stacked and strapped on the back? Or a truck bed full of pineapples, piled 3x as high as the truck itself? Or a motorcycle tied down in the flatbed, with a person sitting on the bike wearing a helmet? Wouldn't that be awesome!!?? Well, it's not going to happen, because it's a lousy reason to get married.
3. Aliens smell bad.
I didn't actually learn this for real and for certain, but I did make an educated guess. You see, one of the nice things about being illiterate in your country of residence, is that you rely 100% on packaging to sway your decisions. "These cookies have a picture of a squid and some pickles on the package? Put 'em back." or "I think this picture means you need to give it lots of water, and only feed it after midnight..." So, when picking out laundry detergent from a row of brightly coloured mystery packages, I naturally opted for the one with a large UFO hovering in a pink sky, with a sparkling white shirt in it's tractor beam. How could I go wrong? Just like misreading Gremlin instructions, things can go very wrong indeed. The detergent smells awful. Rest assured, dear friends, if I small bad for the next month, it's because I'm wearing clean clothes, washed in detergent recommended by aliens.
Veteran journalist Bill Moyers says, "When I learn something new - and it happens every day - I feel a little more at home in this universe, a little more comfortable in the nest." After re-reading my list, I think Bill Moyers and I must be learning very different things.