See you again

See you again

The Thais don’t do goodbyes.

They don’t even say “see you later.”

Instead, it’s “see you again”.

This phrase is specific enough to acknowledge that a person is leaving, but vague enough to indicate that the person will come back eventually. When they come back doesn’t seem to matter, because the Thais believe that everything happens for a reason, and that people will come back into your life when the time is right.

I’m sitting on my front stoop, sipping on the last Singha from my now empty fridge and reflecting on all of the people I had to say, “see you again” to today. First, there’s the people I’ve grown the closest to in my time here: Katy and Molly who live next door and have been great friends, confidants, and soundboards for bad days; my hilarious popcorn making badminton partner P’nong, my godsend of a co-teacher P’ae and the other amazing Thai teachers that inspired me all semester, and of course, my dear friend Aokkie.

Oy. Time for another sip of Singha.

Then there’s all of the seemingly peripheral people in my new life- the lady who started making my cappuccino as soon as she saw me riding up on my bicycle, my awesome trainer at the gym, my neighbor who sat outside and always cheerfully greeted me in Thai, and even the old neighborhood dog (I named him Cleatus).

What will my life be like when my days aren’t punctuated by these people?

Another long sip of Singha and I’m waiting for the tears to come.

I smile.

Why should I feel sad, after all? True, I’m leaving them all behind to go back to America, and true, I’m not sure when I will see them again. But the thing is, it doesn’t matter when I see them again- or IF I even see them again. All that really matters is that I met them to begin with.

I’m so happy and grateful that that the lives of these wonderful people intersected with my own, even if only for a short amount of time. They’ve filled a space in my heart that I didn’t know was empty, and it’s impossible to feel sad about any part of that.

Well, I think that’s about as profound as I can get right now. I seem to be at the bottom of my Singha and it’s time for bed on this quiet, clear night in Uthai Thani.

See you again. <span class=’wp-smiley wp-emoji wp-emoji-heart’ title='<3

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