Sitting between Calamity Jane and Typhoon Mary, or in this case Swine Flu Joo and Red Shirt Nam, I am wondering what I have gotten myself into. I am a first generation American living in Thailand. The new Asian American: the ones who haven’t been taught the language, the ones raised in duplicity, the ones who don’t fit in because the Americans see you as Asian and the Asians see you as Americanized.
But Thailand is more than a tourist destination, a retirement outpost and hackneyed travel blog; it’s where my mother was born, my parents met and where my father died. It’s a place that has changed my life at 6, 16 and 33 years of age. So I moved here in June, in search of some unknown quality that I have felt missing, and to have – a good ol’ fashioned colonial adventure.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Then Tell-Thai Heart moved to Ecuador. . .for a brief intermission
I went to Ecuador in search of a place where I could breathe and live. I thought Thailand was too fraught with the birth death birth cycle* (heavier emphasis on the death part) and I needed to escape. But the distance that had arrived from living on the other side of the world allowed me to see what I had left behind.
I realized I was homesick for a home I barely knew and a relationship that I thought was doomed. It turned out that the birth death birth cycle was not something I could escape, even when I wanted to but is very much a part of living.
When I left Thailand I knew I would be back. But I didn’t realize that my Ecuadorian adventure would be a Cuencana intermission of five month proportions. It turned out to be a hearty meal packed with new friends, sights, sounds, smells and teaching, but Thailand had more to offer me.
Although I do not know what. The relationship I came back to save was doomed, as it turns out. I did find work though, and friends to help me along the way. This is where I am at. Working on a beginning, transitioning and determined to make the most of my life here.
So I’m back, with my ear to the ground to listen to what Thailand has to say.
*as mentioned in Clarissa Pinkola Estés Women Who Run With the Wolves.