From the Inside

From the Inside

Sorry, I know I should have. Should have already responded to your more than week late messages and emails. Should have uploaded more edited photos on Facecrack. And certainly should have not purposely left my smart phone at home. There are so many apps we should be connecting on! Or who knows, I could have even swiped right on “the one”!

But, I’m not one bit worried. Actually, change that ‘Sorry’ up there to my new favorite Thai saying and ode to peace: Mai bpen rai. The more intense Thai version of hakuna matata. Intense in that all the locals live, breathe, and speak this truth which translates to: ‘No means nothing/No worries/Don’t worry/Nevermind/It’s no big deal/Don’t mention it/You’re welcome/It’s okay…  (Wo)Man, this everyday saying has really worked a pleasant number on my patience and overall quality of life. Honestly speaking, this trip was not a self-advertising special to show off all my special moments with you. LOOK! I’m a traveler. WOW! I’m so cultured. OMG! I love Thailand and you should too. No, no, no. This adventure is for me. The deeper part of me that will forever yearn to be paid attention to, expressed, understood, and contemplated. A degree never yet achieved or defined.  I didn’t just randomly shed a mediocre relationship from my grasp or sporadically change locations with blinded eyes. My spirit was literally crying out to me. It needed some time away to wander, a respectable chance at ingrown bliss.

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During tonight’s dinner over mouth-watering 30 baht ($0.97) pad thai kung (fried noodles w/ shrimp), a friend spoke from the heart as she proclaimed, “Since being in Thailand, I’ve never been happier.” Happy, happy, sabaidee! It’s in the air here. Thai people actively achieve happiness by acknowledging the beauty within. By eating well or at least keeping one’s temple well fed, meditating, smiling at everyone, talking to everyone, keeping harmony at the forefront of consciousness, showing respect through wais, the list goes on and on. People here seek peaceful happiness, not plump paychecks. The other night at the Hua Hin night market, a young Thai student was seriously amazed by the fact that my teacher friend, also American, said people in America seek money for happiness. He was seriously appalled by the ignorance in that empty equation. This boy, around 15-16 years old, confidently mentioned that, “Money can never bring happiness. Family brings happiness.”

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Now that I have been living in Thailand for one month, I have had the joy to be apart of the formation of a new family. A group of young teachers, who all have somewhat similar stories as to why they needed to leave what was, and be right now in Thailand. My dear yellow group of 27 adventure-seeking English educators were lucky to call Baan Ton Mai Apartments (Thai for tree house) our home for the past month in Hua Hin.

yellow fam bam

Even though we were isolated in the foothills away from the 100 other Xplore Asia teachers, we were incredibly lucky to have each other and we got so damn close. Always happy, always, always laughing, and after -school, almost always with a Chang or air J in hand. It’s to no surprise that the beach was our favorite place to be. But we also worked hard in school, hiked an uphill and humid hour to an Avatar-like, heaven-on-earth cave, hung out with elephants (#elfies included), got trippy and artsy on an artist village, meditated to the sound of the ocean waves, danced our asses off in da club, alllllll of it, together. So even though I came here for me, it was to no surprise I found happiness as the Thai boy said, with family.

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But now that Hua Hin’s resort town and English translated signs(Um Samut Sakhon get on that!) are five days gone, the memories will be burning bright in my heart forever. The yellow team, along with all the 100 other October Xplore Asia English teachers have been sent of to their placements. The family is spread apart but in my eyes, it’s always going to be together. Even though the faucets were turned on as our cheeks flooded with salty tears when we had to leave each other, reality is we came here by ourselves to teach. BUT MOM!!!! Beach resort town, like-minded young and beautiful family, treehouse livin’…why no haz forevvvver??! Still don’t have an answer for that one, but all I do know is that we are going to become so beautiful and strong within ourselves from here on out. We surely built each other on up, so now we are to grow til tall (Jonsi reference, eh?)

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Home is wherever I can find myself growing and comforted by love, and the road and I sure do love each other lots. Leaving last Friday from taxi to van to taxi to SUV, the lovely road brought me to the industrious, bustling, and beautiful harborside province of Samut Sakhon. My new apartment, all to myself( AHHH dream come true!!!), is plopped directly into Samut Sakhon’s main hub of the Maha Chai district. Tucked between the fresh water of the Tha Chin River and the Thailand Sea, it’s to no surprise the pride and joy of this area is it’s fish! So luckily, the whole vegetarian for 12 years thing took a break one month before departing to Thailand, because fish has found a way to sneak into almost every meal. And my body must just love Thailand, since I have yet to even experience Thai Tummy. Hope I didn’t speak too soon! But Samut Sakhon is a wonderful hybrid of what is a little Bangkok and non-resorty Hua Hin. Pretty where it needs to be, but for the most part pretty urban and completely Thai. I’ve never felt like more like a celebrity before with the looks I get from natives. FARANG! FARANG! (Thai for Westerner or Whitey) They point and shout. I nearly expect paparazzi to be hopping out of bushes. But instead Samut Sakhon has 7 feet long lizard-iguana-dinosaur reptiles and snakes doing that duty instead. So, watch your toes, they might look like little hot doggies to some.HuaHinContinues-(1 of 10)

View from my 7th story apartment patio 🙂

Oh yeah, and school is seriously cool. Signed my contract today and it’s official, I’m an English teacher for Srinagarindra the Princess Mother School in Samut Sakhon! The 760 high school students who are all under my treacherous academic enslavement (haha ‘cept not, me too nice) for the next 6 months-1 year are about to become super jazzed about that whole English thang. Just make it fun. Keep it engaging. And honestly, “If you feel ridiculous and like a clown up front of them all”, as Jon said, “you’re doing it right.” Two days into teaching and I am loving it even more than I expected. I think they’re loving it too, or at least I hope the little love notes from both my boy and girl students are not lying. Ask me on Friday, and I might be super pooped to the point of wanting to change my mind about that. At least I’m not teaching Pre-K’ers 45 hours a week, with out a co-teacher anymore! Hallelujah, and praise Buddha. Good things do come in time. Just don’t give up, and let your richness glow from….ah, you know where.

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