Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sweet Homesickness....

The past few days have left me with a "hangover". No, I have not been drinking. The hangover is a result of too much American culture, too much, too much. I feel burned out. It's sucking the energy out of me.

Every now and then, I need to escape it. Sometimes that can be difficult when, naturally, the TV, the radio, the Internet and the people who surround me are all quite saturated in it. Marinated might be a better word.

It's times like that when I transport myself to Khon Kaen. When I try hard enough, I can even recall some of the smells. That spicy, hot smell of chicken over an open grill. The scent of the plants that mingle with the cooking. There's something in the air.

I can almost taste the food. Although I have spent the past hour making curry chicken with rice, it's not the same. I can't quite re-create it.

When I turn on the music, it takes me to the waterfall. It was awe-inspiring and that day, it didn't matter if I died right on the spot. As far as I was concerned, I'd seen the greatest beauty this world had to offer.

But, of course, there is something far more important to recapture. Words escape me to describe it. It's the tether that binds me to that place, the earth that roots my feet.

And sometimes I know it could be the ugliest place on this planet and I'd feel the same. It's not just the geographic beauty that holds me. It's something much more.

The ease in everyday interactions. I miss the smiles. I miss the purposeful strides of people on the street who have no aggression. I miss the warm-hearted courtesy. I miss the Khon Kaen Night Market. Oh, I spent way too much money there and elsewhere, too many times. I wear some of the jewelry to this day.

One of the things I loved most are the small, spontaneous gatherings that would take place, especially near the university. There was usually food present. Someone would yell out, "come sit with us!" The open-hearted friendliness was breath-taking at times.

We would chat. There was always someone or two who spoke English and I can belch out a little Thai if it's absolutely necessary. Broken Thai. Grammatically incorrect Thai ~ but that and some good sign-language always works. Time would pass. We would share ideas, talking about all nature of things. No pretenses. These were probably people similar to me, the assorted oddballs and eccentrics. It didn't take long for us to get past our differences. I was no longer "farang". They were no longer "Thai". We were just people.

I loved all of them. I didn't even know their names but I can see their faces.

Hours would pass. And there was nothing else but that very moment ~ complete strangers discussing everything from the meaning of life to music to food to ....

It didn't matter. I was home. By then, I knew it.




Lucia said...

This is beautiful, and anywhere I felt like this about would surely be home.

Laurie said...

That does sound like home. I feel that way when I'm in Absarokee...

jen said...

i can't think of a better way to describe the home all of our souls must truly want..and few are brave enough to uncover.

one day when you are finally home, i hope i'll get to see you there and have some tea.

Sevenwinds said...

How I wish the internet had the capability to transport things physical instead of digital as I would love to send you some satay chicken sticks from the guys down the street, and some 'real' thai food.

But hopefully the time will be short when you finally get on that silver bird and get over here! ...and home.

flutter said...

You are glorious when you talk of this place, I hope you return to it, soon

Thailand Gal said...

Lucia, it didn't even take much time to grow on me. LOL


Laurie, it's a wonderful feeling to know it's "there". That's what really counts. Without that... sheesh!


Jen, I hope you'll come over there many times. Of course, it might grow on you, too! :)


Sevenwinds, I would absolutely love some satay chicken sticks. They're not that hard to make.. but .. still.. it's just not the same here.

I'm hoping that early next year will be my time to go.


Flutter, that's my plan! There are days when I can barely stand NOT being there. :)


Thanks, everyone. I know this isn't one of those topics that generates great dialogue. It's kind of personal musing ~ but every now and then, it does take over! Yesterday was one of those days. It's a reaction to saturation probably.

Back to the usual stuff tomorrow. LOL



Rhea said...

I know several people who are completely disenchanted with life in the States. One goes to Cuba regularly because of the warmth and friendliness you speak of; another goes to Nepal. There is so much wrong with life here in the U.S.

Thailand Gal said...

Rhea, thanks for commenting. Yes, I am disenchanted. Some days, it feels very hollow. I try to keep perspective and look at the good things here (geographic beauty, interesting publications, interesting people, etc), but there are times that are more difficult than others. At those times, I need a "taste of Thailand" to get me through. :)



The Atavist said...

Thailand has now made it to my 'must do' list. Thanks for the beautiful descriptions!

Melissa said...

Nice post...

Thailand Gal said...

Atavist, wait until I get there. You can't believe the place I will be renting from a friend. It's beautiful! It would be wonderful if you and your wife could visit some time. :)


Thanks, Melissa :)

MsLittlePea said...

I could almost hear the sound of the waterfall and smell the spices of the market.....

heartinsanfrancisco said...

What beauty you conjure with your words.

It's bizarre and poignant to be an ex-pat in your own country, isn't it?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I meant the country of your birth. It's clear that your own country is really Thailand. :)

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite authors, Leo Buscaglia, used the Thai people in his lectures as an example of how to avoid stress and live a happy life. I'm not surprised you're attracted to them.