(Note, I wrote the majority of this post a few weeks ago, but it is still true)
Sometimes in work I feel like I am going to go crazy. I call it the 33-66 rule. Thirty three % of the time I feel fantastic; like I am doing exactly what I should, the conversations are great, and this is where I am supposed to be. Sixty six percent of the time, I feel down, frustrated, ineffective, cramped, or not free. I think a lot of this has to do with the language factor. About once a month (it seems so far) I need to get away to recharge myself for the 66 % time of the next month. This past weekend was a recharge weekend. Now, my birthday (May 27) was the previous weekend, so this was my time to celebrate with my peace corps friends…and to speak English and be understood. These weekends are nice because they let me relax and realize that my own experience isn’t the only one moving slower than a results-driven American would like. In the beginning of May, I went to Chaing Mai. Now, Chaing Mai is a very big tourist attraction for people when they come to Thailand, especially for the elephants. However, my biggest highlight was eating the loaded nachos at a Mexican restaurant. Other highlights included drinking a chocolate chip Frappuccino from Starbucks, watching the Avengers in theatres (I was part of the record-breaking opening weekend) and speaking English/being understood. This weekend was similar, except Khan Kean didn’t have a Mexican restaurant so I couldn’t have my nachos. Probably the greatest pleasure was the beds and sleeping…the room was the perfect temperature and the beds were especially comfortable; I felt I could melt away. Other fun things included dancing, eating pizza, drinking Starbucks (FYI I am not actually a huge Starbucks fan, it is just my friends are), boating, eating Belgium chocolate fondue, hanging with friends and, of course, speaking English/being understood. The bus ride there was actually pretty fun too. Khan Kean is located in the north east province of Thailand, so it was about an 8 ½ hours straight west to get there. I traveled 7 ½ hours with friends and all we did was talk constantly, so it did not feel long at all. Also, our bus was severely back heavy, so going up and over the steep hills reminded me of a rollercoaster…I quite enjoyed it.
True, these are things you don’t think of being highlights when you go on vacation (at least not a Williams’ Family Vacation), but what I needed was a little bit of America to keep me sane. I experience Thailand, the language and culture, every other single day. I will have my Williams’ Style Vacation (aka fast-paced, fun, adventure-filled with culture, history, caves) later…and you can expect a very big blog post afterward.
It seems that every week and a half, the staff at my office feels the need to rearrange the furniture in some way. This week they brought two, huge desks down from upstairs. And totally redid the upstairs. I don’t know why they keep doing this. Someone told me it was because a few people got promotions, so of course that means they are relocated. Though, I don’t know why you have to move whole desks. For a person who sat in the same spot for 1 ½ years of chemistry in high school, this constant rearrangement is a little too much. Once I think I have things figured out, boom! Something (many times the furniture) changes.