If we were having coffee, I’d probably first give you a big hug (if you’re a hug person, that is…please let me know ahead of time) and then I’d say how good it is to see you. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve joined the coffee share, but life in Thailand has been quite busy.
If we were having coffee, I’d catch you up on the last few weeks. I’d tell you about celebrating Christmas in Thailand at school (where we did Christmas activities the first three class periods before continuing a normal day of school) and on celebrating in Bangkok over the weekend with my TESOL friends–which included ice skating in a mall and going to a really cool bar that looked like Hogwarts on the inside (it’s called The Iron Fairies and if you ever find yourself in BKK, I recommend it). I’d tell you about our New Years Party at school and the MASSIVE, school-wide gift exchange that we did. It was crazy and took at least two hours to pass out all the gifts. Every gift had a number attached to it and every student and staff member got a number on a piece of paper–whatever number you got lined up with a specific gift, and that was your New Years gift! It was so fun and quite a scene to watch. I’d lastly tell you about spending New Years down south on the island-province of Phuket and how lovely and fantastic that was (and I wouldn’t go into too much detail because Phuket merits its own post…coming soon).
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Saturday was Children’s Day in Thailand, a day dedicated to recognizing the future of the country by celebrating its youngest citizens. We celebrated all day on Friday at school–with games and activities and lots of yummy food. No class and students and staff alike did not have to wear uniforms for the day (the foreign teachers were instructed to “dress cute”).
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how this year I have decided to push myself in new ways. To be more comfortable and confident in my own skin. To depend less on others and find my own independence. I love being alone. As an introvert, I thrive on it….but when I’m alone for too much time, I become anxious and scared. I’m terrible at making plans on my own and don’t like to go out and do things by myself–and I aim to get better at that. It will be really hard to push myself in these new ways and I certainly don’t expect to improve on everything all at once. It will be a process and, in the end, it will be so worth it.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how I’ve realized that I need to switch up my diet here in Thailand. I have been a pescetarian for four and a half year with little problem. However, it’s not working here. Portion sizes are smaller in Thailand and because Thai food is excessively meat-based, vegetarian dishes have very little protein. It is hard to find vegetarian foods that I’m used to in the grocery store and foods that we take for granted in the west (like cheese) are extremely expensive here because they are imported. The bottom line is, I’m always hungry here. One of the reasons I became a pescetarian was because of the health benefits, but here in Thailand, in such a meat-based culture, my health is only suffering. Because of this, I have decided to start inserting meat into my diet (slowly…oh so slowly, for the sake of my stomach) to improve on my overall health here. I love being a pescetarian and rarely miss meat–but I just can’t do it here anymore. Something’s gotta give. There is no reason I should be hungry–I have money and plenty of access to food–and yet, I am ALWAYS hungry.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that living in a foreign country is damn hard. I wouldn’t want it any other way–I have learned so much about myself already from being here and I will only continue to learn more, I love my students, and Thai people are honestly some of the kindest in the world–but oh, would I not give for just one day back in the States every now and then. Just one day.
If we were having coffee, I’d ask you–do you have anything to share over coffee?