Monday, May 26, 2008

Eye Contact

I went to dinner with my Dad and a dear friend of our family's tonight. I was struck by an interesting cultural difference as we sat at the table by the window looking out over the busy traffic below. It was a quiet, spacious restaurant where the waiter's station was across the room. On several occasions I needed something. I simply turned my head and waited a moment until I made eye contact with the server. Usually it only took seconds. He was holding a dish to be delivered to another table but he gave a small nod and a half smile as if to say, "I see you and will be there in a moment." Once he was free, he came to our table to see what we needed.

At another point in the evening I went through the same motions. This time I needed water. Again I looked the waiter's direction and as if he had a radar for eye contact he turned. I discretely pointed to my glass (really, I barely moved my hand). He appeared in a few moments with a fresh bottle of water.

Thai culture is known for it's gracious ways. You don't shout or talk to loudly. Small motions and quiet words communicate so much. I find that my volume is so much quieter when I speak Thai.

I found the interaction with the waiter tonight beautiful. It was a subtle expression of the Thai heart. Quietly aware.

And now it is time to sleep. Lat Dee Sawat. (Goodnight to you. )

1 comment:

Jaime Lindsay said...

Jessie I stumbled across your blog and was so excited to read all about what is happening in Thailand. God is so amazing... I am amazed about Jume's church and what God is doing in Bible and Best!! Two little crazy ones who are being touched by God. Amazing. These testimonies are a blessing to me and I will be praying for you! Jaime