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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Night out

We went to the second best Thai restaurant for dinner last night. I don't know if my standards are falling because of having to make do with what there is here, but the Pad See Ew was so good, and the waitress so helpful, I'm moving it up to the number one slot.

It was just so good to have Thai food again.

Afterwards, we went next door to an Asian market. What? Yes. An Asian market. I couldn't believe it. It was so amazing to find this little world in the middle of Strip-Mall City. I got tapioca pearls and joss paper.

I never knew what joss paper was. My first encounter with it was in San Francisco, 1998, spring break senior year of college. Hannah and I were walking up one of the hills, and suddenly the wind picked up and we were rained on by little sheets of rice paper with a metallic square on each. We were both enchanted by the squares of paper, and collected as many as we could. Through the years, I used them sparingly, not knowing where to find more, or how to make them. I mostly put them on candles. The orange and gold squares looked beautiful against red or blue ones.

So I was really excited to find them at the market, and I asked the woman running the store what they were used for. She said the papers were burned at the New Year. I hope she wasn't offended that I bought them without knowing what they were. Now that I know their religious significance, they're even more special to me. I like that I had such a strong connection to them from the beginning and then discovered that they had an even greater spiritual significance than I originally knew.

I feel like if I had any rituals that I felt comfortable performing, I'd want the joss papers to figure into them. But since I am not comfortable with ritual, I think I'll instead give them quiet respect and reflection.


Blogger molly said...

I'm not gonna lie, the availability of Thai food was one of the preliminary requirements in the decision to move to Raleigh.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Skeezix said...

I love the bt about the papers. That sounds like such a lovely memory and I love the fact that you have used the papers all these years.

10:45 AM  

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