Ah, my life of late. It does seem as though it has been a constant, eternal state of transition. Actually no, no, not “of late,” or “lately,” but always. When I think back far enough, I can’t remember ever not being in a transition in one way or another.
Anyways, enough of that. I am currently sitting in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, picking up wireless internet from some unknown source. I arrived just before noon, and my flight to Los Angeles does not depart until seven-thirty tonight. As you can imagine, I have some time to kill.
If it’s not already obvious, I am indeed heading back to New Hampshire for the holidays. I decided this on a whim the other day, and more specifically, on a hammock overlooking the Mekong river. I float back and forth with my allegiance to the US of A, and my opinions about holidays. Last week was full of introspection. I found myself being a tourist once again, floating through a country, skimming the edge of the culture. The country was amazing, but I was unhappy, and unnecessarily bored. I felt like my travels had no purpose, no clear intention or direction and I was not fulfilled. I’ve determined that what I want at the moment is to go to a country with a clear intention in my pocket and some useful employment on the horizon. I had neither in Laos, and so I cut my trip short with the intention to visit again another day.
I finally decided that after eight weeks on the road, now is a good time to go back to the US. I rethink this decision every time I hear of the temperature of the Northeast right now. Bangkok is twenty Celsius, New Hampshire is zero. Every time I remember this I think, what am I doing? As I walked the jet bridge in Chiang Mai to board my flight, I seriously considered turning around and staying. Last night I took my last motorbike ride through the city, and all the sounds and sights pulled at my heart strings. Wait a second…when did this happen? When did I fall in love with Chiang Mai?! I’m not sure when I fell for that comfy city, but I do know that I will miss it.
As for the future, aside from partaking in the usual holiday family traditions like shoveling snow, and the Annual Christmas Day Lobster Feast, I will be grounding, finding a new direction, and researching my options. I have also made a list of things to keep me occupied:
reconnect with friends
visit the secret book barn
Peaks Island, Boston
Salinger Quest 2008
drink tea at Adelle’s
Stay tuned for:
laos: a whirlwind week
Remember when I brought my favorite jeans to the tailor to have a small hole in the knee stitched? Remember how, instead of stitching up the hole, she removed the bottom half of the pant leg, leaving me with awkward shorts? Well, I informed Bee of the pants incident and she felt terrible. Without telling me, she went down to the tailor and explained the miscommunication. For some reason, the woman had kept the calf portion of my pant legs intact. She sewed them back on in a flash. I was thrilled to have my favorite jeans back, and I can live with the awkward stitching around my leg. It adds a bit of character to my pants. You can’t buy pants with character these days.
All is well in Thailand. The airport is open, and as I look around I see no signs of protest or structural damage. This is one mighty sturdy airport.
A new Prime Minister, 44-year-old Abhisit Vejjajiva, was elected this week. According to CNN, Vejjajiva is Thailand’s fifth leader in two years, and the third in four months. Let’s hope that this one is here to stay, and that he will not face similar fates as his predecessors. Let’s recap, shall we?
According to wikipedia’s (yes, I’m citing wikipedia on this one) “List of Prime Ministers of Thailand,” Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in 2006 in a bloodless military coup, then Chidchai Vanasatidya was Prime Minister for a month, followed by Surayad Chulanont for over a year. Then came Samak Sundaravej, who was forced out by the Constitutional Court because he violated the constitution. How, you ask? By appearing as a paid guest on a television cooking show, of course! After the culinary catasrophe, Somchai Wongsawat was elected in early September, and then ousted in December. Chaovarat Chanweerakul was acting Prime Minister until Vejjajiva was elected this week. Thai politics are way more interesting and fast-paced than America’s.
When I first saw the new PM on TV, I remarked that he looked very young. My Thai friend added, “young like Obama!” This launched a rather interesting conversation. She explained that she liked Thaksin’s government because he helped the poor people, whereas the new government was more beneficial to the rich. Also, a conspiracy has surfaced that the Queen financed the PAD protests to unseat Somchai Wangsawat, which explains why the police did not intervene with protesters. That sounds like a sure-fire Hollywood blockbuster to me!
Names of Random Thai Political Parties (because you’re curious):
Democrat Party, New Aspiration Party, Thais Love Thais Party (that sounds like a party I would go to), and the People’s Power Party (who doesn’t love alliteration?).
A Song That I Can’t Stop Listening to: