Saturday, July 09, 2005

It's 2:30 a.m. in Bangkok... I'm on the seventh floor of a hotel on Khaosan Road, Bangkok's Farang Mecca. If you don't know Bangkok... or rather, if you don't know where to find cheap but decent lodging in Bangkok, you come to Khaosan Road. I want to take that back... the guesthouse that Allison and I stayed in last night was not decent, not decent at all. So today, as soon as we woke up, I checked in to a better place across the street. Twice the price, but totally worth it. The hot shower I took today was heaven on earth.
I said goodbye to Allison at 11 this morning. She's off to Dharmsala for two weeks to recieve teachings from the Dalai Lama. I was really quite sad to see her go. Though I had never met her before this trip we really connected here in Thailand and had a fantastic time. It's strange...for the past two weeks I've been saying goodbye to one person after another... my travelling partners have become less and less until today. Today I was completely alone in the big city of Bangkok and I really felt it. In one way, it's liberating to be on your own and it's exciting to immerse yourself in the culture of a place. In another way, it's sad not to have anyone to share it with. I traveled all over Bangkok today...just seeing things and watching people, but having no person to share it with. It's a strange feeling.
I'm leaving Thailand tonight. Though I'm excited to see everyone I know and love at home, I don't want to leave. Not at all. I've fallen in love with this country... the lessons I've learned and the ways in which I have grown from this experience are priceless. It is with a heavy heart that I'll board that odd little capsule that will deposit me on the other side of the earth. But come to think of it, it was with a heavy heart that I left my loved ones behind in the U.S.. the Dukkha never quits.
So goodbye Thailand... sawutdee ka let chog dee! We'll meet again.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Back Home... Kanchanaburi I mean

I left Kanchanaburi and Moo Baan Dek behind a little over a week ago to meet my research group on Koh Samed, a small island in the Gulf of Thailand. We relaxed a day and then presented to each other as well an Darrion, Karen, and Sarah Siler our experiences and ideas about our respective projects. Each person had an incredible experience at his or her place of study and came back with tons of stories, history, and new knowledge to share. I'm very excited that we can present our research and recount our experiences with the community back home in the fall... my only fearis that we'll have too much to share in too little time.
I had originally intended to waste away in Samed this week... just as I did last week... Sleeping until noon...eating lunch on the sand... refining my new dirtbike riding skills in the afternoon... and yes, of course, revelry at the disco in the evening. But the students that I shared my stories with became very interested in Moo Baan Dek and Kanchanaburi. So, on a whim, I decided to come back to this place that I have called home for most of the trip. To the river Kwae... the mountains... the railroads and the waterfalls that I had become accustomed to. And not least... I've returned to Moo Baan Dek, a second time, and I'm so glad I did. I heard my name in "Dek" once again |Saala| and it feels like home__ That is until I really go home in four short days|