Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2 months left.....and counting?

Throughout the past 2 years, I've experienced what is known as the "Peace Corps Emotional Roller Coaster".  It essentially means a constant, and often extreme "up and down" experience of emotions.  I have certainly ridden the good ol' roller coaster, some times more constant and extreme than others, but was a fairly active rider nonetheless.  Now with 2 months left (wow, how time flies), I'm back on for another ride and experiencing all sorts of new things.  I'm currently battling with the feelings of "I'm ready to GO!" with feelings of fear to leave my second home, leave a life and friends I've made here the past 2 years and leave a lifestyle that I've become accustomed to - all that is so very different from my life in America.  Many say that I'll be fine, that I left almost 30 years of living in the USA and adapted to life here, so I'll adapt back.  The only thing is, I'm a bit different now....I'm not exactly sure how yet, reflection takes time you know, but I just know I feel different. This is rather hard to explain in words. I don't know if I'll ever be able to explain it, but I've compiled a list of things I will and won't miss about Thailand with hopes of giving you an idea of what I'm leaving.  It's an ever changing and growing list, but here is where it stands as of now :)
                 WILL  MISS                                                      WON'T MISS
1. P'Dtang, P'Dtou and Grandpa                          1. Sitting around all day/for hours just waiting.....                      

2. The veggies and fruit everywhere                      2. The God-for-saken heat

3. Speaking Thai                                                  3 . Speaking Thai

4. Biking through the rice fields in full bloom          4. Being called farang....even by people who know me

5. Going to the temple every week with neighbors to feed the monks
                                                                           5. Greng jai - in Thai this means to be considerate but PCVs consider it lieing

6. Cheap food                                                     6. The transportation system

7. The unique warmth of the people (meaning their warmth is different from let's say, Mediterranean or Latin American people, but they are still warm people)
                                                                          7. Bangkok

8. Sticky rice                                                      
                                                                          8. Importance of and constant discussion of physical   appearance (mine, in particular)

9. Laughing with Thai people                               9. Having to be home by dark

10. PCV friends                                        
                                                                          10. Having to be riap roy (appropriate) in all you do/say/wear when so much of what Thai's do is not riap roy (by American standards, at least).  Example - in America, picking your nose is considered inappropriate and done in private (with a tissue, hopefully!), but here in the land of Thai, shove that finger right on up there wherever you are and whoever you're with....

11. Staying home on a week day, saying I'm working from home/tired/whatever and everybody just accepts
                                                                         11. Having to be "on" all of the time.

12. Animals EVERYWHERE!                           12. Motorcycle smoke in my face

13. Going to the market 100 meters away for fresh food
                                                                         13. Mosquitoes

14. My bike and house                                     14. Kids dropping their pants and peeing EVERYWHERE

15. Not caring what I look like...ever                15. Being considered special solely because I'm white

16. Random, pleasurable trips to Tesco Lotus to remind me of America
                                                                         16. Thai dairy products

17. Conversations with P'Bramote                     17. Being judged as rich and bad because I'm American

18. Shoes off everywhere                                  18. Random power outages / bouts of no running water

19. Picking my feet wherever I am, because it's how we do here
                                                                      19. The constant compliments-it makes me feel uncomfortable

20. Thai kids wai'ing          
                                                                      20. People at my government office talking about me while I'm in the room like I'm meaningless, especially since I understand them

21. Having the hairiest legs ever and the fact that it's expected of me because it makes me more Thai
                                                                     21. People getting mad at you when you haven't visited them in a long time, even though they never came to visit you.

22. Making and eating lunch with P'Dtang, catching up and then the middle of the day.....because we can
                                                                      22. Burning trash smoke

23. Hanging out with my neighbors
                                                                     23. Getting chased by angry dogs who look like they are ready to kill

24. Going to the school and teaching kids that are so desperate to learn
                                                                    24. Waking up with random bug bites all over your body, even though you use a mosquito net, every night

25. The kids over my house whenever they want, making me feel like a real part of the hood
                                                                    25. The kids over my house whenever they want, driving me crazy!!!

1 comment:

  1. I'll miss reading about your adventures Eck, however I am sure there will be more postings regarding your travels until you return to the US. Of course there will be adjustments that you will make once you return and your friends are right if you can adjust to life in Thailand you will certainly adjust back to the US but probably not in the way we think. Your life changing experiences will come home with you and perhaps rub off on some. Please do not judge those that it doesn't. LOL It will be hard to accept the waste that goes on in America, but it's our way of life right or wrong. You have brought many joys to us, including Auntie Ada who remembers you as the little 4 or 5 year old sitting on her lap and not wanting to go home. If you remember and have room, please bring home a hat, or bag that was made there. Auntie Ada would love to have them and show her friends, she has earned bragging rights from you.
    Enjoy what time remains, take home all the good and tuck away the memories that were not so good. All of your memories and experiences are what makes you who you are today, someone who brings honesty, joy and respect to all who meet you. Stay Safe, Love you