Well, I am on my final night in Thailand. It has been a whirlwind of a time– I can’t believe that my first stop in Hong Kong was only 3 months ago. So much has changed since then, and I have changed a lot from the experience.
I feel that the biggest change is that living here has given me a lot more tolerance. The troubles and annoyances never seemed to stop while I was here, and I think because of this, troubles roll off of me more easily now. For the first time in my life, I have developed a little patience. My attitude is: I have everything I need for today, and that is all that matters. So let me enjoy today, and tomorrow the rest will get worked out. I think it’s a much nicer way to live.
And one very special thing I took from the experience is that now I smile more easily, more naturally. It just came freely to working with these kids, and I hope it will continue to be the case from now on.
I thought it would be much easier to leave the school after my short contract– you go somewhere, have your fun, leave. Its that easy. But its not. The fact that I probably won’t see some of these kids ever again makes me want to cry. And even more so when I think that they must wonder why I’m abandoning them.
This may sound random, but I thought there would be more elephants in Thailand. That kind of sums up my whole experience in Thailand– it was all much less “exotic” than I thought it would be. Though this is the smallest and most remote place I’ve ever lived, it was all quite “normal”. I guess people all over basically do the same things– work, eat, socialize, sleep. Or maybe the world is just becoming a smaller place.
I left with kind of a bad taste in my mouth for the Thai attitude. I don’t really want to discuss the details, because the last thing I want to do is to defame the entire Thai country or its people. I would just say that I have a very different attitude, and though I tried my hardest to learn more about the Thai way, I felt that my efforts and differences were not respected. I hope and believe that this will not be the case in Istanbul.
So my stay in Thailand is over, and it was much shorter than I had expected when setting out. I had a great time seeing the country, but for a number of reasons I think it’s not the right place for me to settle in. But I’m very glad that I came and had the experience.