Five Things I ‘gave up’ for the Peace Corps
With ‘where you go?’ being a popular Thai shout to me, I taught myself early the Thai answer something to the effect of ‘where the wind blows me.’ The Thais were confused and clapped when I looked up the word for metaphor. This is one part of my personality that the Thais don’t understand. I liked that part of my life, traveling anywhere and everywhere, but that’s something that’s going to need to be put on hold for the next ten months as I’m supposed to spend as much time as possible in the village. Life in Peace Corps is not of the nomad spirit.
I consider this most important in transportation department. Going anywhere is a matter of how hot it is outside, whether or not I can muster up the energy to conquer my laziness, and/or if I’m going far, how patient I’m feeling in dealing with the Thai public transportation system and the people involved within that. I can’t wait for the day that I can get into a motorized vehicle that I’m legally allowed to drive without fear of repercussions and go wherever my little heart desires. Or on the legitimate public transportation line that will allow me to be taken by where the wind blows me. Either or really.
I can’t tell you how often I used to look into a mirror everyday. It wasn’t necessarily to admire my existence (though it is fairly grand), but rather to make sure I’m still presentable to the outside world. Now that it’s really hot again, I just don’t really care anymore. With my fashion choices, hair in a constant, crazy bun, and a serious lack of make-up, it just doesn’t matter. People are going to stare at me anyway, why put in the extra effort? At least until next cold season.
This is something that affects nearly everything about my life here. I hesitate telling a story because I don’t know if I have the right Thai words. Sometimes I do and I still get laughed at for reasons that I can’t determine. People don’t tell me things, so where I think I’m going, supposed to be doing, or how I should dress is in a constant jumble. Though it’s gotten better, rare is the time that I feel like in that moment, I’m where I should be, talking how I should be, and with whom I should be chatting.
Being ‘With It’
While I realize I have it a whole hell of a lot easier than Volunteers of yesteryear, but there are times when I read what’s happening in America and I have to give my head a scratch. From ‘look book’ fashion videos to who is going to win the Republican primary, I’ve never felt more out of the loop with the rest of the world. My brain feels like it’s rotted a bit when it comes to edjamacatin’ itself. I realize it’s no one’s fault but my own as I could, if I really wanted, find out what’s going on over there, but who has the time? People over here want the real, hard-hitting news. Like what I ate for breakfast.