It’s hard making it through a full work week. I’ve taken a few days to recover. Mid-service this past week was a little taste of that, but more relaxed than PST and even our Reconnect conference. The Royal River Hotel was a nice relief of real Thailand for a few days. I couldn’t get over having sheets (and soft ones at that) on my bed. And real hot water. It came out of the sink faucet too. Glory be.
I really enjoyed hearing from other Volunteers and their projects. My favorite being from our environmental group about reusing materials that are usually ‘thrown away.’ The problem with waste management in Thailand is there isn’t really much of it. Most people just burn whatever they don’t use releasing all kinds of nasty into the air. And the plastic bags! The obscene usage of plastic bags in this country are unreal. Even a small piece of candy will be thrown into a plastic bag (despite already having other bags to put it into or the fact the person is about to eat it and then toss the bag on the street). There is usually no reusing of the bag. Enter PCVs.
One Volunteer has a few of her ladies crocheting plastic bags into bigger, reusable shopping bags for themselves or to sell. One of her more enthusiastic gals wanted to buy plastic bags to keep working on her project. Her passion is encouraging. I’ve become quite the zealous granny crafter the past few weeks as well and this is multiplying my ideas.
Their presentation completely changed my views on recycling/upcycling and it’s really given me the confidence to try to start an environmental project at my site and how I want to live post-PC. When I was in Germany, I remember being so skeptical about the lengths they had to go to separate and handle their trash. Now, half-way across the world, the lessons are really taking hold in my brain and I want to make the transition. Here is a link to our wiki page that gives an explanation about plastic bag crocheting and I will be exploring and reposting more as the environmental group puts more of their explanations of their projects that can be done anywhere in the world.
The other part about this week that I enjoyed was visiting my two families in Ayutthaya and Ban Rai. Both doted on their long-lost farang and I entertained them with my new and cheeserific jokes. Lots of love. A big difference between the two though is how they seemed to react to ‘Isaan Erin.’ Ayutthaya thought I was more beautiful than before and my Thai was as sharp as ever. Ban Rai ladies did not seem to feel the same.
They’ve called me fat before, but the rain down of fat and ‘your Thai sucks’ comments were a bit demoralizing. While I did notice that I have put on a few pounds during my week in Bangkok (staying next door to a delicious Italian restaurant would do damage to anyone), I didn’t think it was noticeable. I was wrong.
According to them, after a month in America, I’ll have gained 10 kgs and lost all ability to speak Thai. Thanks for the vote of confidence guys. I got the most outspoken person back though. She called Pi-Chaai eleven times in an hour and a half period (we didn’t have good service at the restaurant we were waiting for her to show up to) and I laughed in her face. Hard. They refused to see the logic in the situation that if someone doesn’t see your call in the first one or two times, that eleven is unnecessary. This made me laugh even more.
It was a good week. A busy week. Doctor’s have cleared me except for my very first ever cavity that I had filled on the spot (not a happy camper having my record blackened like that). It’s taken me a few days to recover, but there’s no down time really as I’m gearing up for Chiang Mai on Friday!! So excited to go to this city as it even impressed Manfriend when he passed through. I’m hoping that Chiang Mai is a cool enough place that it can tempt me into staying in Thailand post-PC, but it has some steep competition. Let the travels and adventures of bpit term begin!