It’s six AM and I can’t sleep. Jet laggin’ like none other. Transitioning back to the U.S. hasn’t been so hard yet. I have missed some things in the past two months. Mostly people, but the fact that I can dance without paying exorbitant prices for drinks is a nice little bonus. In Thailand I often got kicked out of bars because I wanted to dance without buying anything.
I no longer feel like I’ve left the past behind. Fargo is full of people that know too many personal things about me. Eek, I wanna get out again. Cue the obsessive internet searches for plane tickets.
Was talking to my brother, and apparently my parents were so worried about me while I was gone that they were losing sleep. This makes me feel kind of awful, although it wouldn’t have changed anything had I known. This is something I had to do. Why worry about something you have no power over? It must have something to do with having kids. I remain every joyful about my lack of uterus-spawn.
Besides, Patong is full of cops. No one there wants to mess up their source of income (tourists). I always felt safe, even walking home in the early AM, alone.
On my last day, I met a Thai taxi driver who was impressed with my (very limited) grasp on the Thai language. I wanted to cross the street and traffic was pretty bad, so he had me take his arm, and walked me very slowly across the street (with a huge line of cars zooming toward us) while humming the wedding march. That sort of comical openness to strangers is something I will miss. I suspect it would have been even better in the non-touristy parts of Thailand (although the language barrier would be terrible).
Fun fact: There is no road rage in Thailand. They are crazy/dangerous drivers, sure. But they don’t get angry if you are in their way/driving too slow/whatever. They simply slow down, or try to get around you. Fargo traffic seems absurdly tame, as if every car is driven by a very careful, very ponderous old lady.
I will go back. Not to Patong, but definitely to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and some of the tropical islands. I so wish I could sleep right now. ugh.
After teaching my class yesterday, my instructor/observer told me he couldn’t find any mistakes in my teaching process. So I’m insanely proud of myself right now, and so, so happy.. I think I want to teach English in Japan. Of course, I’m basing this solely off the fact that my Japanese students I taught last week are so crazyawesome.
I love teaching. I always thought maybe I’d be bad at it, but now that I know I’ll do fine, the world is my freakin’ oyster.
Every other night here is a going away party as we all slowly drift homewards or on to new travels. I leave Sunday. Can’t wait to be back, can’t stand to leave.
Part of a sample lesson plan : (the fun, drawing part)
Koh Phi Phi! Paradise
I love watching the sunset in Patong… everywhere else it seems so violent, but here it’s golden and soft. All the little mermaid babies (i.e. children) frolic in the waves and it may be the most picturesque thing I’ve seen.
favorite favorite favorite Japanese dude in the whole world.
This kid is one crazy dancer. If you are coming to Patong Beach, Thailand, I highly recommend the Banana Discotheque. Spent an amazing couple of hours here.
I think I remember that I loved to dance in high school, but I don’t think it was an obsession like it is now… Nobody in Mott ever really danced, some did (poorly) if they were drunk. I don’t know how I learned to dance while growing up without a tv set, surrounded by non-dancing friends.
“When I dance, I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole, that is why I dance.”
I only have one week left in Thailand. Everything has been perfect. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve been, my students, my fellow teachers. I have danced on the beaches of a tropical island, on the dirty Bangla road, in backstreet bars with Thais who have no customers since it’s the tourist off season. I’ve gotten into dance-offs in the rain, and taught fire-dancers and waiters how to swing-dance. I hit clubs with my crazy Japanese students, and sang/screamed so hard that my voice didn’t come back for days. I have gotten into the strangest of conversations on subjects ranging from dreams to other universes to quantum physics. I have walked the beach late nights with the best people. I have laughed harder than I would have thought possible. Oh and I’m almost certified to teach English.
There is so much shit in my past that I’ve been trying to escape.
Think I finally half-managed it 🙂
“That is the simple secret of happiness. Whatever you are doing, don’t let past move your mind; don’t let future disturb you. Because the past is no more, and the future is not yet. To live in the memories, to live in the imagination, is to live in the non-existential. And when you are living in the non-existential, you are missing that which is existential. Naturally you will be miserable, because you will miss your whole life.”
I got into a dance-off with a Thai native. Then it started raining like crazy and we were the only two people in the street, (much less dancing) while everyone huddled around in bars trying to stay dry… Then my Colombian friend came out to dance with us (she’s dipping me, here)
One by one, more people joined us, till it was this crazy rain-dance party. Amazing.
This is the first time in a very long time that I am able to say I am living in the here and now. I’ve been so hung up on my past, on the people who think poorly of me, the mistakes I’ve made… I spent a good chunk of my life constantly reassuring myself that “eventually” I will be happy, satisfied, and start traveling.
Even in Korea, there was an undercurrent in my head “Thailand Thailand Thailand it will be better in Thailand”.
I’m here. I mean, mentally. I’m exactly where I should be. The past seems so far away, detritus washing up on a whole other continent.
I have class every weekday, and then I go out with my classmates at night. All together we are from 8 different countries (possibly nine, now I’m losing track). It’s only the third day of class and I’m already starting to feel really comfortable with these people.
I’ll probably never live on the beach for a month again. So it begins.
When I am in Fargo, my stomping-ground, I am more than ready to take on any problem that life might throw at me. I can think it through, develop a plan of attack, then execute it.
Here, in Thailand, where I don’t know anyone, I am pretty much a flustered wreck. I couldn’t find my airport pick-up, so I just went with some random taxi driver, and I didn’t have any small bills so I paid him WAYY too much, and instead of giving me change he just went “hee-hee!” and put my money away delightedly.
Later he asked for a tip, to which I said, “nuh-uh I gave you way too much already,” thereby making myself look like a complete jerk of an American to my guesthouse manager.
Well. I’m here, I guess that’s the main thing. I think this will be good for me, as long as I don’t get lost. I should also probably write my address in Thai and keep that with me.
I want to go out and dance tonight SO BAD but I’m by myself… and… I have class tomorrow. Better not.
if you wanna listen to the French version it’s called “Elle ma dit”