Reb Elimelech's ShabbosOne of my better stories was in the village Nong Khiaw, 6 hours upriver from Luan Prabong.
First a story. Rabbi Elimelech and Rabbi Zusha were wondering: "Is Shabbos special because of all the special things we do - The prayers, the meals, the preparations? Or is it something about the day itself." To find out they decided to make Shabbos on a Tuesday. In Nong Khiaw I came close to doing the same.
I arrived on a Wednsday. The next day, Thursday, after locating the market I went out walking with a Dutch girl from my guesthouse. We headed up the river and came across a beautiful river beach. Planning the next day out loud I said "I think tomorrow I'll go to the market in the morning and then spend Friday afternoon here for a swim." She turned to me and said "You mean Saturday afternoon, today is Friday." "No, today is Thursday and tomorrow is Friday." She insisted that it was in fact Friday and I had lost track of the days. "But what difference does it make? It happens when you travel."
I started to count days as I explained to her that is made quite the difference to me. I then realized it was Friday, 5pm, I was 20 minutes upriver and had nothing prepared for Shabbos! I also realized as we rushed back, that had it not been for Mika I might not have realized my mistake until ... maybe not until after a Rabbi Zusha Shabbos on Sunday! I rushed back and made some instant soup with rice. Mika went to a fruit stand and bought some fruit and Pringles for me. It all worked out. By 6pm I was as ready as I could be.