Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The last stop

At beginning of each Gregorian year, I get a little excited about what's to come. How will Spring 2008 fare in the Book of Ginrod? Will this chapter be the traditional very cherry Jelly Belly? or will it be an accidental mix of Berry Blue and Green Apple? Will I mistakenly pop in a JalapeƱo instead of the watermelon? Or maybe I'll develop an acquired taste for licorice this year.
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On the bus ride home from work yesterday, I got caught in an intensive day dream of Thailand, so much in fact- that I almost missed my bus stop. I was remembering everything I could about the town I lived in. I thought about my neighbors- middle aged women I sat with on the cement bench outside every evening, smacking mosquitoes eating at my ankles while explaining to them U.S politics in my broken Thai. I thought about if I went back, how I could finally afford to bring them nice gifts- but I won't be able to communicate with them, since I haven't spoken a word of Thai in almost 3 years. I wondered if a ring to my old landlord would set up my old apartment for me for a long weekend, I could visit my students- say hello to all the people I left overnight, literally.
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I suppose I've come to terms that I need some sort of closure when it comes to Thailand. Perhaps most of my things are still in my old apartment, maybe the yoga mat I was stretching on when I found out my father died is still laying out next to my made bed.
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Did they take down my pictures? My decorations? What happened to all my clothes the Peace Corps couldn't pack in the two suitcases they sent to me months later?
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I guess that's what they mean about gaining "closure". In my head, my life in Thailand is exactly as is was when I left it so abruptly. As if it froze in my memory, without an ending- I literally just got on a plane and had to leave it all behind. Even my toothbrush.
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I came to just in time to jump off the bus and into the arms of the "free hugs" picketers standing on the corner of Ibn Givrol Street. I gave a few more hugs to the non-protesters and went on my way home.

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