I’ve decided that I’m going to start an entry in terms of my travels, just so those of you who are searching for travels, insights and other information, you can click on the travel blogs on my website (a bing revamping will happen soon). Today’s blog is about going back to the roots.
The Roots in terms of having those butterflies in your stomach when you first touch down in unchartered territory.
This feeling, right now, I’ve missed so much because sometimes, as human beings, we get all caught up in other people’s narratives, historical problems, or just having a shroud of hell hanging right over our heads.
I can recall the first time going to the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. This province had the most openly friendly people you can ever imagine. After a couple of situations unfolded in terms of mistreatment, I built the fortified wall, never escaping it until today.
It’s just one of those days when I go to the outskirts of Bangkok and it feels like a completely different country.
I took a sontaew, which is a funny mode of transportation here in Thailand (open-air/pick-up truck), and I asked a student for some assistance. In the past four years, I’ve never been helped the way he helped me, even retorting in English. When I got out this particular mode of transportation, people were looking at me in awe. Not the eerie awe I’m so accustomed to seeing, but the awe of “wow, it’s a foreigner!” It’s almost like being in a country that had never seen anyone from the outside.
I stepped on a dilapidated sidewalk, splashing myself with run-off water that was sitting underneath it from days ago; and then a woman came over, offering me a tissue to clean myself up. CHECK!
I walked into a 7-11 and the cashier, when I was checking out, asked me, “are you a foreigner?” I smiled and of course said ‘yes.’ Everyone in the 7-11 smiled until a I walked out.
Then the search began for a particular place to meet 8-10 people. I walked around the neighborhood incredulously, searching for this place that I didn’t even know existed. I took out a sheet of paper with some Thai writing on it, approached the lady, and she kindly offered me a drink, a seat, and a fan.
Then, a lot of students were looking out the window as if a spectacle was occurring. They left and one-by-one saying bye and wanting to talk to me.
This is the exact feeling i had such a long time ago in the south of Thailand – back in 2013. For some reason, this feeling ended up subsiding because I was so angry about what was happening to me in my first several months in the country. I still remember the individuals I met within the first couple of months – all of them being remarkably intelligent and wonderful beings. However, when I got caught off guard with the discrimination, I had grown into a bitter, ignorant fool.
If you can take a look around you and see what’s available, everything is. That’s the bottom line. There isn’t a “maybe I should go to another country,” because then you’ll go to every country in the world and still be unhappy. You have to be present, in the moment, always have a clear consciousness.
I went back to my roots today. Roots that haven’t watered in a long time….and it feels damn good to be back.