Yesterday was my last day at Restdot hostel. I did some more yoga to start my morning (accomplished a long standing head stand which immediately made me think of Hannah) and had a great moment of meditation as I sat; sweat pouring down my body.
I packed my things and called an Uber to my couchsurfing host's condo. I was excited for a change of scenery. It was quite a drive away and I sat wide-eyed at the passing scenery.
I arrived to SYM condo and rang my host. Josh works right across the street from his condo and he left work to meet me. Josh is a Gay man from Vietnam. He is charming and hilarious. We went up to his flat, I dropped off my bags and he took me to the market in the parking lot of his condo. The market was mostly vegetarian so he explained what was what before heading back across the lot to work. I found a cute shop within the market that sold specialty vegan and health foods. I ordered a curry microwave meal, some sweet bean filled pastry, pumpkin pie, and a stevia sweetened tea. It was a scorcher. I made my way back to the outdoor seating of the market and ate my finds.
I was exhausted. I hadn't gotten much sleep my last night at the hostel, so I decided to head back to the apartment and take a nap. My nap turned into a full on sleep and I awoke to darkness outside. Josh had gone into town so I was alone. Thank goodness, because I was slobbering and covered with sleep lines. I dressed in my bikini and headed down to the pool that his condo has.
Sweet water. I miss the sea. but the pool will have to do. I swam alone (it was really late at night and nobody was around) and did some laps. I always feel most at home in water. weightless, graceful, strong, like a merwoman.
I enjoyed the infinity pool until it started to pour down rain. Usually I would have stayed and continued my swim, but I had my camera and diabetes equipment wit me and I figured I should head inside.
That's when I found the Sauna. Inside the women's locker room was both a Sauna and a steam room.
I turned it on and had a sweat. I found myself napping in there with my headphones on. I awoke an our later with sweet tunes in my ears and warm sweat all over my body.
I felt zen.
I left the locker room and headed back upstairs. Josh was packing for a trip back to Vietnam. He will be gone until the 12th and is leaving me with his house keys to come and go as I please. People are trusting here. I like this.
I went to bed and had the coziest sleep. This was definitely a step up from the hard beds at the hostel. I slept until 3pm today.
I woke up in a panic as I had plans to meet an old friend who I studied abroad with at Queen's.
Edie is from Michigan and we met a few years back in Belfast. She has been living the past year in Thailand teaching English. Today I met her at Lumphini park and it was like no time had passed at all.
We ran to each other and hugged. I miss hugs. It was a sweet embrace.
We caught up under a shelter as it had begun to rain torrents. Her time over here seemed fantastic! I soaked up every morsel of her words.
Time to get food.
We headed to a vegetarian street market near National Stadium and enjoyed some vegan doughnuts, and spicy noodle dishes.
I liked having someone who speaks english and also understands Thai with me. It helped when it came to ordering food.
We caught up on missed time, relationships, career plans, life ambitions, travel experiences etc.
Time for drinks.
We left the market and headed to a nifty bar with live music and crazy colored lights.
Mojitos, Screwdrivers and Jim Beams joined us.
We talked of patriarchy and feminism, cultural observations, racism, human cruelty, how to resolve evils...you know...light conversation. And I loved it. I missed this depth. Edie is seriously switched on.
I did a silent prayer of thanks for this reunion.
It was getting late. I ordered my taxi back to Josh's.
And so here I am. An apartment to myself. Enjoying the cadence of city life below.
Oh...I got a job offer to teach in Mae Saei in Northern Thailand. I think I will take it. Edie had nothing but good things to say about her time teaching...so why not? I wanted to come out here and submerse myself in a new culture. and to heal. I think this would be a door to both.
Things I've noticed out here culturally:
Skin lightening is a THING. The whiter the "better" in these people's eyes. This hurts my heart. You see it in advertisements, in shop products, and in the face to face interactions with people on the street.
Where does this ideal for "whiteness" come from? Why can people not feel completely loving towards their bodies?
Nose jobs are also a thing. People get surgeries to have a bridge constructed on their noses.
and the fake contact lenses.
Again my heart aches.
The DNA and genetics that made each and every one of these precious people are null and void. Lighter, plastic-ier, bluer, skinnier, whiter....it fills the void.
I'm more drawn to my blackness now more so than ever. I love the coil in my follicle, the brown in my eyes, the hue in my skin. These things represent a past and a future that were paved by my ancestors before. I value them. I'm proud of them. I look in the mirror and I feel more love for my exterior than ever before. I will never lighten you dear melanin, never change you sweet brown irisis, never again will I chemically destroy you darling curls.
I'm learning more about 'people' and what damages we do than ever before. I'm thankful for these life lessons.
Here's to growth.