Things I Still Haven’t Gotten Used to Yet (Part One)
Twenty-seven months of summer was not something I was very concerned with before I came to Thailand. What I didn’t realize is how much my life and Thai culture would be affected by it. My threshold has definitely changed so that mid to low 80s is chilly to me and plus 95 is when I start to get uncomfortable. I know I’m still not fully adjusted though because: I never wear my hair down (maybe a total of 15 times this year, while my coteachers do it nearly everyday), I wear baggy/man clothes instead of more fashionable options so that nothing is touching my skin that doesn’t need to, and my face…its rebellion is quite obvious and doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. Cold season is coming soon though, phew!
Instead of sugar-plum fairies, I had visions of becoming a bike lover given it’s the only form of transportation I’m allowed to handle (outside of walking anyway). I would traverse great distances spreading goodwill everywhere I went like a good little Volunteer fairy. HA! Given the above, heat, and everyone wants to give me a ride, the whole riding my bike thing doesn’t really happen anymore. Plus I’m lazy, which I also blame on the heat. I would give up my pedaling machine for a little scooter that I see my little ten-year old sister cruising around the neighborhood with…little ratfink. Maybe now that cold season is coming, I’ll learn to appreciate my bike more, but I can’t wait for the day I can ride on a motorcycle or drive any motorized vehicle without qualms.
I’m what some might call a picky eater. I prefer to see it as remaining loyal to old favorites. This does not include spicy food or rice every day for that matter. It’s not likely to change any time soon given the ratio of rice to spiciness I try is easily 50:1 (what the units are I’m not sure, but you get it). I tell my Thai people who I can in fact eat it, but I simply don’t enjoy the sensation of my mouth being on fire (how does that qualify as a taste??). This is when they stare blankly. The thing is, I have no problem with this, but the Thais are always in an uproar and trying to find me something else to eat. It’s going to take more than twenty-seven months to get used to their idea of spicy.
They are the bane of my existence and sometimes the most pleasurable part of my day. No matter how hot it is though, there is nothing that can stop the wince on my face that comes from the first burst of cold water (that is if the water is running) on my upper body. I’ve tried various techniques like starting at my feet vs. going right for my head, all to no avail. My Mom’s dream that I would take five-minute showers has come true…all she needed to do was cut off my hot water supply.
And all the things that come ‘in’ with me. Thai homes are set up so that most of the time, a huge portion is open to the world. There are many reasons for this, but bugs, random people, ants eating my food, lizards, and everything in between find their way into my room whether I like it or not. I’ve learned a certain amount of acceptance and to just sweep the evidence of their existence (read poop) out as much as possible, but I still jump about three feet in the air when I’m laying down in bed and I feel a wisp of movement around my skin. The day that I don’t have to worry about what’s crawling on me or biting me (giving me a black eye while I sleep) is going to be a very happy day.
Sorry for the lack of pictures, I’m typing on my host family’s ancient computer. Luckily I’ll be getting my computer back tomorrow!!