You are here.

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.
— PinkFloyd
 Nothing says, "this is going to be a burnt-toast kind of day,"...like some burnt toast.

Nothing says, "this is going to be a burnt-toast kind of day,"...like some burnt toast.

 A woman praying at one of the MANY shrines throughout the city.

A woman praying at one of the MANY shrines throughout the city.

 I pass by this gorgeous green glass building every day. I especially like it when it catches the sun.

I pass by this gorgeous green glass building every day. I especially like it when it catches the sun.

 Dapper man at Sarasat Station.

Dapper man at Sarasat Station.

 Bubble tea at the mall before talking to my dad.

Bubble tea at the mall before talking to my dad.

 Pathos.

Pathos.

 Some crafts being sold at the Bangkok Cultural Centre Museum.

Some crafts being sold at the Bangkok Cultural Centre Museum.

 Because museums are the best place for selfies. 

Because museums are the best place for selfies. 

 I was really blown away by the abstract artwork.

I was really blown away by the abstract artwork.

 The rooms had photos around the walls, and white cubes in every room which had a small movie projector and seats for two people to watch an informative video.

The rooms had photos around the walls, and white cubes in every room which had a small movie projector and seats for two people to watch an informative video.

 One of the Royal Families from another time.

One of the Royal Families from another time.

 Traditional head gear for Thai dramatic dance performance.

Traditional head gear for Thai dramatic dance performance.

 Typography.

Typography.

 MANGO Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant. 

MANGO Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant. 

 Shoes go OUTSIDE silly.

Shoes go OUTSIDE silly.

 Mango Kambucha.

Mango Kambucha.

 Fried dumplings on lettuce.

Fried dumplings on lettuce.

 Steamed potstickers.

Steamed potstickers.

 Mango falafel burger with fries and a garlicy vegan aioli. 

Mango falafel burger with fries and a garlicy vegan aioli. 

 Back at the Banyon Tree Hotel...this time only 300BAHT for two drinks!!

Back at the Banyon Tree Hotel...this time only 300BAHT for two drinks!!

So I've procrastinated writing until I was in a clear headspace to get it all out. Here goes nothing:

The other night my blood sugar was low (for those who are intimate with me and this disease you will know that low blood sugar equals irrational emotional turmoil, borderline depression, and the inevitable tears...even if only for the 20 or so minutes that an episode lasts) in anycase...I was laying in my hostel bed at 2am just weeping. But of course silently so as not to be a rude hostel roommate...

I think it hit me how much I missed everyone in Belfast, how beautiful that time was...how conflicted I STILL am about the putrid darkness that I call the "Tim chapter"....missing my family...the kind gestures that people have done that just moved me. yeah I was sloppy haha.

I had spent a good hour looking at my phone and laptop, hovering my finger over the "Tim" contact. Should I call? Will he pick up? Will he comfort me in this sugarless fervor? Does he even miss me now that I'm no longer there? Will he care about the sights and experiences I've had so far? Will he tell me everything will be okay and I'm strong and I can push through this wall? Will he be a friend?

no. the answer has always been and will always be no.

So I didn't call. And as I lay sweating, sticking to my sheets, shaking with glucose gel dripping from the corners of my mouth, I was proud. How strange to be proud in such a moment? Proud of self control? I didn't care.  I was. and I was stronger for it.

The next day I woke up telling myself, "okay today is YOUR day chickadee! you got this!" and I believed myself...at first. Then it was a shit show.

After waking up and struggling to get my bearings (low blood sugars deprive your brain of essential glucose and leaves you feeling depressed/out of sorts sometimes days later) I went downstairs to make breakfast. I managed to burn my toast...setting an embarrassing flume of smoke all throughout the first level of the hostel. not a big deal right?

right.

but I was fragile. and really annoyed.

Okay...not a big deal...bin the toast and start again. So I did. I realized I hadn't heard from the airport yet and wanted to sort out my lost sleeping bag before my checkout in two days. But then I realized I couldn't find my blue wallet dealy deal with my drivers license, social security card, health cards, the reference number for my lost sleeping bag report that I filed at the airport etc. 

shit.

ok ok ok...not the end of the world...first things first, try calling to sort out the sleeping bag.

so I called the airline and the language barrier made it really hard. Basically even though the lady at the desk told me when I landed on the 27th that they had located my sleeping bag....the person on the phone that day didn't know what I was talking about. She asked for the reference number to look up my case...and I told her I lost the wallet the paper was in...and I'm imagining she was making this face on the other end of the line: -.-

So eventually after about 20 minutes of back and forth, she took my details and said they'd call the airlines again and contact me later.

sorted.

So I left the hostel and went to a pharmacy to get anti itch cream because my legs were on fire. The bug bites from before had gotten worse. During my low, I had scratched them to the point of no return. The sensation was making me genuinely nauseous. My bites were weeping puss.. So I went out, found a pharmacy, got the cream, asked about diabetes stuff as well and got some really useful info. So after lathering the 'Bangkok Balm' on my legs right then and there in the pharmacy, I decided to just get away and hit the museum.

I needed a nice relaxing day of culture to myself. Except I got lost. and ended up at the mall I found a few days back called Tesco Lotus. So I went in...got a bubble tea....as you do...and face timed my dad. I was oddly zen even though my insides were molten lava churning.

He calmed me down from the inside out like the sensei he is. Our chat coupled with seeing a familiar face helped center me. Then my UK phone which I was facetiming him on, began to die...

shit shit shit...how is the airline going to reach me? Then in the nick of time, the airline facetimed me on my UK phone, I answered. They had my sleeping bag. I told them I was coming. we hung up. I ran to a phone counter, bought a Thai phone with data...bam....sorted.

called an Uber, got a lift to the airport. Had to jump through hoops, walk through a thorn forest, climb a mountain, battle a Wizard, walk through coals....but eventually I found where I needed to be and got my sleeping bag!

YASSS!!!

I stayed there to catch my breath and charge my new Thai phone. Then I realized that between the mall and airport I lost the piece of paper with my new cell number on it. 

Kripes.

I texted my dad and asked him to email me the number. He did. what a legend. so I set up whatsapp on my new phone and was able to chat to my family and let them know what the deal was since my other phone had died.

And by that time it was close to midnight and I was exhausted. I Got a lift back to the hostel...and slept the coziest sleep ever in my beloved sleeping bag. little victories.

***

New day, new start. This morning I woke up...AND FOUND MY WALLET IN MY BACKPACKING BAG!! The universe has a funny sense of humor. Today was way better by a landslide. 

I got dressed in my blue dress, tied flowers in my curly mop of hair, packed my bag and headed out the door feeling like I could take on anything. Of course I forgot to put a battery in my camera and had to double back--passing the same people on the street and feeling slightly silly haha--but this reminded me of my dad and his notorious "circles" that he drives in. This made me smile to myself and I began the journey again once I had everything.

I noticed people looking at me. I wasn't sure if it was the flowers in my hair or the dress, but When I looked down and saw 90% legs glowing tawny in the sunlight I laughed out loud. My mom has a joke that I wear "shirt dresses" and I always retort without fail, "It's because I have such long legs! I can't help that I'm so tall!".

I smiled because I felt both of my parents with me, circles and shirt dresses.

My Mp3 player played the perfect soundtrack as I walked lightfooted through town, bopping my head and smiling from ear to ear from my old friend music. I hadn't listened to music in days and this was sweet. A holy moment with me and my tunes. I thought about my friend Pete as I walked down the busy streets and wondered what new music he was listening to these days. For those of you who may not know, he's my music soulmate.

 I finally made it to the museum and got my culture on.

The Bangkok Cultural center is a behemoth of a building! Spiraling architecture wraps up 9 floors. Vendors and artisans sell their masterpieces at decorated tables. A man played guitar and sang into a mic in front of a small gathering crowd. His voice would make you weep it was so soft like silk.

I snapped photos, running from sight to sight, eying sculptures, reading captions, learning about the histories of these people.

I found a photography exhibition and made a B-line.

WOW.

I was in awe. My back began to hurt from bending down so low (the artwork wasn't hung at eye level...more like pelvis level...and so I spent most of the evening booted over in my shirt dress.

hey...what can ya do?

After a few hours of reading and learning, I saw the pitch blackness outside the windows. Geez what time was it?

Dinner time.

SO I decided to treat myself. 

I called an Uber and went to a vegan restaurant called MANGO. It was divine. I bombarded into the joint like a gust of wind had blown me in, and before I could open my mouth, the waitress said, "take your shoes off and leave them outside."

whoops.

I completely missed the GIANT RED LETTERS on the front stoop advising this same thing. I backtracked, kicked my sandals off and put them on the shelving outside of the door like the rest of the patrons had.

MANGO was cute. There were tables and pillows on the floor for ground eating (I had really wanted to sit there...but all the seats were taken) and there was a nice ambiance of warm lighting and buddha figurines.

It didn't take me long to flip through the window and see what I wanted. I ordered some sort of fried dumpling, steamed pot stickers, a mango falafel burger with....FRIES!!! <--I had JUST been talking to Claire about how I wanted a vegan burger and fries! and I also tacked on some mango kambucha. It was enough to feed an army and everyone was looking at me like I was an elephant...I honestly think the waitress was disgusted haha, but I didn't care. it was glorious. 

I had made a silent promise to myself earlier today that I'd ride a tuk tuk...so after my meal, I rolled myself belly first through the door and found one! The guy clearly ripped me off because he heard my accent and asked if I knew the price...and when I stupidly said,

"no?"

He set the price to 400BAHT...but I didn't care. I squealed with delight and moon beams shot out of my cheeks as we zipped and swerved our way at at least 120mph through traffic back to my hostel. It was like a mini party on wheels, his music blared, I slid back and forth on the gaudy upholstery, and neon lights blinked from some hidden places around the vehicle.

As soon as I arrived back at the hostel, two of the employees (from a few nights before, Ning and Goy) invited me back to the banyon tree hotel for drinks where they were meeting chloe (one of the hostel guests whose been here for 2 months working in thailand selling her jewlery line) so I said "yeah!", Freshened up, then we drove over. I felt bloated. I shouldn't have eaten that much o.o

We got there and they told me they used to work there, so they knew everyone who was serving us (they also said not to worry about the price because they would get me a discount...which was really generous!). Then the lady in charge who also happened to be Ning's best friend came over and had wine since she was almost off work (people are so chill out here).

They were speaking Thai and I was just sitting enjoying the cadence of their back and forth that I couldn't follow. Then Chloe rocked up with THREE of her french friends...all guys.

They were all speaking French, and there I sat. A wall between a French and Thai sea. I enjoyed it. I loved the staccato that sang out in each of my ears.

I kept locking eyes with one of Chloe's friends. Theo I think his name was...with a hard "T".

He was a lovely dreamy in a 'polite safe, brown-eyed' sort of a way and he reminded me of  a teenager with his spirit...not really a sexy sentence...but what I mean to say is, there was a rare softness about him that you don't really see in a lot of men these days. He even stopped the conversation once to say that maybe they should all speak English so I could join in.

I blushed.

Had it been this long since I felt some sort of electricity with anyone?

anyways we had our drinks then we all headed downstairs. One of the French guys asked if I wanted to go out and continue drinking with them (Chloe has work tomorrow so she was out)...So I said no >.<

I think I got the fear. 

I want to be in the space of "YES YES YES." But I was too much in my head. I think it will be some time before I feel safe enough with my heart and body to let them both enjoy themselves unapologetically.  

Anyways they were heading off and we did some awkward half hugs and ungraceful two-cheek kisses that are typical when two cultures who aren't used to eachothers customs come together and then they were off into the night.

SO all in all, a few rocky moments, but nothing too devastating. And I can say, I'm really starting to enjoy who I see when I look back at myself in the mirror now. I finally feel like I LOOK like myself again. If that makes any sense. There was a period there where I didn't really recognize the person staring back at me while living in Belfast.

But here...the copper tan, the smooth skin, the almond eyes, the extra ferociously curly hair, the sneaky smile when thinking of "Happy thoughts"...this is who I remember. 

But I'm still on a mission. I DID come out here for one soul reason. And I'm feeling closer and closer to that destination every day.

I'll keep ya posted in the very least.

Bon Nuit and Mango sweets.

-DW