Chatting with a friend on facebook last night, she aptly stated, “The honeymoon is over”.
It’s true, unfortunately. Thais are not on their best behaviour anymore, I know just enough to pick up when something is out of order, I am allowed to wash dishes at my home (versus being told no, you’re a guest), I can find my own way around (more or less!). Then, yesterday I watched a motorbike accident unfold right before my eyes.
The truth of the matter is, accidents happen everywhere. Typically in America, everyone on motorcycles is wearing a helmet. Not always, but hopefully. Still, it was Monday evening and I was tired. When there’s a panic situation like that, I could join the bystanders but couldn’t ask questions. Because of the chaos and language barrier, I couldn’t ask if the girl slumped over in the policeman’s arms was unconscious, or dead. I couldn’t tell if the fluid leaking out of her onto the pavement was blood or just her bladder losing control because of the trauma.
That’s when I finally thought, “I just want to go home.” Home where I can make every carb-laden food my heart desired, sit in front of my TV, watching a movie without subtitles, drinking wine that didn’t cost $15 a bottle and call my sister to whine about my day.
Instead, I called the pastor of the church I’ve been attending, asking him to speak with me until I calmed down. Then I waved down a truck-bus, and road the 30 minutes to my Thai home, to be with my Thai family, and whine to my Thai sister about being scared. At home there were friendly faces, asking why I looked so tired and came home so late.
I made banoffee pie, washed my dishes, was smacked by the 5 mo and fell asleep facebook chatting with two friends about culture shock. This is life – real life where things are not simple or just fun anymore. It’s good. But it’s hard. People are run over by mopeds, and it could have been me. However, it wasn’t and the girl was sitting up when the ambulance came.
So, the honeymoon is over. Sometimes I get fed up and frustrated and my sense of humor leaves me. Not for long, though….I promise to be funny again later this week. The reason I like staying overseas for so long is because of these very experiences – the veils come off and I see how Thai people respond to an accident. I realize they aren’t “Thais”, but people – hurt and in shock just like me sometimes.