Things I Have Learned
That Thailand is not a nation of natural swimmers. They still think it’s ok to swim breadths instead of lengths when there is 15 people in a small pool, their men find tiny Speedos to be the default choice of swimwear and both sexes find it perfectly acceptable to spit into the gutters with gleeful abandon.
That me + humidity do not = happy hair. I can count the number of times I’ve had straight hair in the last 5 months on one hand (nay, about 2 fingers). This is quite a shocker for me. I can almost hear Jo’s jaw dropping at the thought of me not being surgically attached to my GHDs every morning.
That loyalty to companies is really not worth it. After having worked for my last employers for just shy of 6 years, I found that once I was out of sight, I was most definitely out of mind. They ceased to care about me as a person and I really had to fight hard for what I was entitled to. Although all seemed rosy on the Thai side to begin with, once I made it known I was leaving, it turned out to be just the same, with my boss not even saying goodbye to me when I left. That’s what 6 years of hard work and loyalty will get you – nothing more than some saliva in your eye.
That independence is all well and good, but it doesn’t beat domestic bliss. I am quite happy to spend time by myself, in fact, I need it sometimes. There is nothing to beat a quiet afternoon by yourself, reading a book, playing a game, eating some cake. Just some time where you don’t have to think or worry or talk or anything. 5 months of it though was a bit much. Not having Lee there to amuse me with even just daily random chattering, or a hug or just to be cooking together – I have missed that so much! So I am pretty excited to be going back to our domestic life. I have however got used to a king size bed to myself, so he’ll have to stop hogging the duvet 🙂 I am very lucky to have an exceptionally spectactular husband who didn’t bat an eyelid when his wife came home one day and said I’m going to South East Asia for 6 months! Thank you 🙂 xxx
That you can count on friends. My various real friends have really come to the forefront in my time away. Liz was so great in helping me settle in, putting up with me gawping like a slack-jawed yokel at everything when I first arrived, pointing me in the direction of the best shops/restaurants/places to go, etc. Her and Rob helped me get over my homesickness which was really bad in month 2. Marceline kept me amused with daily MSN chats, all the news from back home (Wispas are coming back!) and then came to visit, which was awesome fun. Jo sent me approximately 70 billion emails, put up with me calling randomly in the middle of the day/nite to say “can you hear the frogs?!” and showed how she is my true kindred spirit friend by sending me packets of Bacon Fries, entirely unprompted 🙂 Catherine also sent me a packet of joy and Skyped and MSN’d me with all the news and kept my bouyant in my doubtful moments. So did Susan, a new friend who I met at the evil ex-employers (thankfully she got out too!) and many others on Facebook who kept in touch and even got in touch after many years! Jamie here has been my little brother I never had – he’s been a great laugh, we’ve had some great times and I will miss him a lot. I will stop now as this is like an Oscar’s acceptance speech!
That there is nothing too much trouble. Thai people are amongst the nicest in the world. Customer service is second to none here. Anyone considering opening a hotel should come and stay here for a week to see how it should be done.
That I don’t want to go back. Sadly my last moments in Thailand turned into a nightmare, as documented elsewhere and I’m still having to clear it up (and pay a lot of money for it) with the luggage situation. It’s left a wee bit of a sour note at the end of it all for me, so I don’t think I’ll hurry back there.
I’ve learned a lot about myself in the 114 days away though, as you do when you spend a lot of time by yourself, I guess. Having said all that, I wouldn’t change it – I don’t regret it at all. But I’m glad to be home!