As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I sort of disappeared for a week. It wasn’t premeditated. I didn’t even realize how much I needed a break from life until I was half way in it. Originally I only planned a long weekend, Friday to Tuesday, after Jeff invited me to his site. It was on Monday that I was aware of how much I didn’t want to go back to site, which is weird for me. Normally, when I get close to the end of a trip, I’m happy to go back home, see my students, and get back into the Thai groove. Yeah, I’m on a down.
A Volunteer from the ‘younger’ group, 124, emailed me about troubles at their site and I commended them for sticking it out through this difficult time. Talking to my best friend from home reminded me how bad I was doing last year. August is an awkward time in PC Thailand framework. 124s have been at site for six months, 123s are have just over six months left. So the newer guys are quite so ‘new’ anymore and have general expectations for their day, but there’s still a great deal of mystery. And they have an assload of time left. For my group, it’s not enough time to start any new projects, but there’s still a hill and a half to go, so you’re not really nostalgic.
I’m on the other end of that spectrum. Right now I feel like I have less patience than ever for the crazy shit that comes with this job. I even had those dreaded ‘WTF am I doing here,”this is a waste of time,”OMG you are so unbelievably annoying Thailand,’ thoughts. So with my excess vacation days, I cocooned myself at Jeff’s non-interneted, no running water, squat-toileted house. He cooked for me. We played catch (with a real baseball and gloves). I read while he went to work. No one expected anything from me. And it was magnificent.
I know this won’t last, but for today, I am not a ball of sunshine. I’m thinking about my own needs first. I can’t wait to go home. I can’t wait to not sweat every day. I can’t wait to be in front of a group of people who are quiet and listen rather than talk over me. I can’t wait to know what the fuck is going on. I can’t wait for my time to be appreciated. I can’t wait to not be laughed at for saying a simple sentence. I can’t wait to be with my friends and family that are not Thai. I can’t wait to not plaster a smile on my face and pretend like everything is ok. I can’t wait to tell someone my opinion and it not hurt their feelings. I can’t wait to not be a part of the broken Thai education system. I can’t wait to live in a city. I can’t wait to not be stared at for no other reason except that I’m white. I can’t wait to be understood or someone try to understand. I can’t wait to not feel hopeless.
And now, after that gaggle of negativity, something to guarantee to put a smile on your face. It worked for me.