Letter to Susan

Dear Susan
Thank you for the postcard you send me from Argentina three weeks ago. Yes, it took a while to arrive on my little Island here. If one looks closely at such mail received, you discover that the few letters we nowadays write each other, often make a bigger journey then most people ever could afford; The greetings from Buenos Aires traveled as follows – (and yes, La Guardia National is by far the sexiest police force in the world…). It was first post-stamped in San Thelmo; I assume you visited the antique markets and bought a stack of cards with stamps in one of the old overfilled kiosks on the busy street sides. The blend of artists, music, Mate slurping hippies, vendors praising their colorful Lama wool scarves and the enticing smells from the many bistros grilling Argentinean beef is unforgettably burned into my memories. You had to see the white (pigeon shit covered) Cathedral del San Thelmo thronging above the market place; although it is confusing in that district, with 17 churches all clustered around one plazza. The next hint on the card was a little stamp with an airplane, indicating it flew possibly in a cargo from BA to BKK. There, unable to read your handwriting (you wrote like this before you became a doctor) it must have been waiting for some poor Thai fellow to decipher your hieroglyphs and they finally chosen, by sheer luck I say,  to send it down south Thailand where in a post office in Phuket town someone else stamped it again.

The front picture with bloody dripping beef carcasses must have really added to the Thai curiosity; maybe somewhere along this post-cards travel there were people pausing, opting to investigate if this message was a “threat to kill” someone… I can’t tell what happened in the next two weeks of its journey, but  your card arrived in the post office box for our hotel in Tongsai Beach on Phi Phi Island about five days ago (see last stamp). By now you are in Israel and possibly have discovered that the Israeli Soldiers are the “most perfect species” you’ve ever crossed eyes with…
I never knew we had a post office box when I gave away this address to my mom and friends believing it to be the physical Hotel information. Usually on Fridays it is office people (foremost HR and team) that go to the neighboring village via twenty minutes in a  long-tail boat for business excursions and to pick up mail… They had twenty minutes on the way back to study your card too (I am making sure it is known to be YOUR card):  It was of little relieve when HR brought me your “funny and bloody” post-card where you write:
Hi chef,
La Guardia National… I’m melting!
‘m loving the food here.
Thought about you;
Fresh bloody steaks!
All okay w/HR?
Love Susan
Yes, Susan – To make a diplomatic correction: All is okay. The head of HR was promoted to Resident Manager.
The first heavy Monsoon rains are gushing down on our property and last night I walked around in the warm tropical rain, enjoying my security duty. I’m so odd, but I love the storm. However this morning the main water tank was drained and empty again; for the secound time in one week we have no water available on the entire property. So we scramble to find where the pipes are broken. You think I am hired as a chef. Everyone is helping where hands are needed and we actually get most problems solved. Since this is the low-season all department heads have a chance to train our staff. My chefs are improving, its a joy to teach them! In exchange I study their language… My Thai speaking is getting a bit better. I finally can follow a basic topic in a conversation. Susan, you remember when I taught you French?  Once, at four in the morning you threw a book at me (I still suffer post psychosomatic stress) screaming:  “If I can’t speak this bloody language I will always be in doubt if the picture I see before me has anything to do with me…” Tell that HR!
Love you,
Raphael

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by . Bookmark the permalink.