I will not be using bullet points for this post, not because I’m morally opposed or anything, but mostly, because it takes too much effort. Sorry guys.
Also, sorry about the lack of updates since returning from The Land of Smiles. I have been fighting hard-core with internet problems since I returned. Well, really, been fighting the evil modem and internet company in Hong Kong since September. Sigh. Right now, my internet card and modem HATE each other. They are involved in some deep lovers quarrel and aren’t on speaking terms. Meaning, I plug the cable into my computer at home and…nothing. I take my computer to work and plug it in there – and all is lovely! Friends bring their computers to my flat, and in an effort to show off, the modem works on THEIR computer, but snubs its nose at mine. Double sigh. I have our tech guy completely befuddled, demuddled, whatever the expression is – he’s it. We have tried absolutely EVERYTHING under the Internet sun – reinstalling the driver, adding a new driver, running every virus scan known to mankind, praying, cursing, even the slight love tap now and again….nothing. So, if anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Because we are fresh out.
So, because of lack of internet at home, I’ve been waiting…waiting to upload pictures, waiting to update my blog, waiting to respond to important emails – because its hard to think at work. Well, hard to think about non-work related things, hard to think about personal things. Hard to write in this environment. There is so much going on. Too much going on. Too many languages, voices, other computers, distractions, outside noise, inside noise – gah! So, I haven’t written about Thailand yet, because I haven’t been able to process it yet. I process best in front of my computer. Usually what happens is, I email Stephanie – because she’s a great venting board for all things deep, whiny, unsure and exciting. Then, she responds in her oh so wise ways – and then I post the gist of the email – leaving out the repeats and unnecessaries. But, not being about to think in my own flat, I haven’t even really had the chance to email Stephanie, which makes the blog-posting lag even further behind. Sorry guys!!
But I will try, to give at least a little something, despite the noise and busy office environment that doesn’t go home (even when I stick around till midnight like tonight in hopes for peaceful internet connection!)
Thailand really was amazing. That sounds like an 8th grade summer report. “My summer was fun. We went to Thailand. I saw elephants and ate good food. It was amazing. The end.” But its hard to really sum up everything. Do I tell you about the way my soul felt just a little lighter, getting to hug my aunt and uncle for the first time in two years? Or do I tell you about the fact that I didn’t eat rice but ONCE for the ENTIRE week I was there. (it should be noted that the community I live in now eats rice with breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I’m not even kidding). Or maybe you want to hear about how my friend Lindsey and I rode on the back of an elephant named Mazda through the Chiang Mai woods. About how we were covered in elephant snot from where Mazda would get mad at us when we ran out of sugar cane and bananas. The scenery from the top of the elephant – overlooking rice paddies, mountains blocking out the blue sky, open-aired huts on stilts among the bare trees, the worn path of elephants who always go the same way to show the tourist what a beautiful country they are from. I’d like to tell you about how we rode down a river on bamboo rafts bound together with old tires – a total tourist attraction that I didn’t mind to be a part of because of the peace the comes from being on a river. Even with the young boys guiding our rafts with bamboo oars splashing the chilly water on all the lounging white girls. I can’t begin to talk about all the meaningful discussions Lindsey and I had laying in our double beds in a room that was too cheap to be so luxurious. Discussions of religion and relationships, food and fear. Discussions laced with tears, laughter, understanding, questions. How do I describe the feeling one gets when visiting Buddhist temples? The ornateness of the halls – how everything is plated in gold-leaf. How I found serenity in the prayers of the people there – even though its something I don’t completely understand. Or how I found a Buddha position I liked – because it represented being in touch with the Earth and Creation, instead of worldly worries or possessions. I want to accurately describe what it was like to be a tourist, instead of a grassroots worker – the shame I felt at how comfortable it was to eat out without concern to price or to shop in the tourist trap that is the night market. And how I felt like a true backpacker as the only plans we had for the week were our air tickets booked in and out of the country – how everything else was left up to chance and train schedules. Will you find me silly when I say that the 13 hour train ride from Bangkok to Chiang Mai was one of my favorite things – because of the peaceful repetition of the motion and sounds of the engine, the scenery the flew by and was imprinted as beauty in my mind?
So, I want to tell you about Thailand. I want to describe, in detail, every little thing. But I can’t.