today I went on pindabt alone. Ajaan and the assistant had an invitation and the 2 little monks didn't show up. Someone tried to convince me not to go, I could eat at the temple, he said, its dangerous alone.
These Thais ... being alone or doing something alone is scaring them. I have enough fears left, some popped up these days, but walking through the Streets of L.A. with an almsbowl is not among them. So I went and received one of the best salads I ever had in life, two veggie meals, a burger, some water, juices and some deserts.
On the way someone yelled something out of a truck, just in a moment when I was not mindful but watching aside at a beautiful rose. He did that earlier, so I was collared in unmindfulness but not too shocked. Two men, a Mexican and an American greeted after staring at me while I was approaching. The first with a nod after he noticed that I saw him without looking straight at him, and the latter with a kind of respectful sounding "good morning, mam".
After overcoming their first irritation that I come all alone the people of the restaurant brought me a tea. Usually we arrive with 3 monks, one nun, 2 attendants and a bunch of laypeople who come to offer food. I unpacked what I received before on the street and mixed it in my bowl, then a waitress brought some really good fried rice with vegetables. They wanted to sneak away because they weren't sure if I can give a blessing, when I said in Thai that I will give the blessing now they all rushed back and kneeled down. One cook I've never seen there before was so pleased, she ran into the kitchen and came back with a pack of blue berries.
After the meal one came and wanted to wash my bowl which I accepted and one wanted to drive me back, which I did not accept, they have their work. It was nice walking back, one woman saw me coming from far and looked at me, I smiled at her, she stuttered: "oh, you, oh you ... what, you ..." and then burst out: "you don't have shoes." She was very excited, and laughed, "no, I don't wear shoes" shortly I thought of giving her an discourse of what it means to go on alms round, but she was not really receptive. Next time.
Half way back someone I know from the temple came and took me back.