“How was Thailand? Amazing?” people who do not read my blog regularly always ask.
I’ve yet to come up with a good answer.
Usually I smile, or at least, I try to smile. It might come across more as a grimace. And I say, “Oh, it was an experience.”
And then I tell them about the elephants or the beaches or Karen refugees. The exciting stuff. But because I can’t help myself, because I feel like it represents more of my semester, I add honestly:
“The school part was really hard.”
Sometimes I add more. Usually they do not want more. Not that I blame them. Who cares about school administrators who don’t send finals or taxi drivers that charge a few extra dollars?
I mean, elephants.
Those of you who read my blog understand, and I appreciate it immensely. You get what I am talking about when I call Thailand a mixed bag. But I do love talking with everyone. I love talking about the good parts of Thailand. I love being home. I love my job. I love my new glasses. Really, I sometimes wonder if I dramatize Thailand because home feels so nice. Almost three weeks absence from Bangkok has not made my heart grow fonder.
But really, what should I expect from three weeks?
I have a few more posts about Thailand to go. Posts about goodbyes and cool hostels and final memories. Happy things I want to remember.
But the final, happy memories come from a foundation of homesickness, loneliness, and anxiety. The bitter and sweet, ever mixed together. I guess that was Thailand for me. Good and bad. Amazing and painful. Even if it does not come to the surface, it hangs in the background of every conversation about my trip. I want to be happy, to only focus on the amazing.
Yet if I want to continue growing from the experience, I think I must hold on to the balance. I cannot lose sight of one or the other. So, yeah, Thailand had elephants and they were amazing. But gosh darn it, those taxi drivers were also a pain in the neck too!