Lessons Learned

As my time in Thailand comes go a close, I feel the usual swelling in my throat that means only one thing: I don’t want to go home. It’s not that I have it so bad there, because I don’t.  But I just so love being out floating on this planet, it physically hurts to think I need to end it.

I suppose going home allows me to leave again, so I try to look at it that way. A positive spin from a classic cynic.

I feel like this trip has been a study in human behavior in many ways. The fact that I can truly only communicate with so few people is both romantic and gratifying.  Aside from the usual things one needs to discuss at a hotel, like transportation or lounge access and the much needed “how much?” with street vendors, I have had very few conversations.  When I hear people speak English, let alone American English, I turn my head and pretend to be Arab. No understanding here! And it’s perfect. Not sure what this says about me, but I am confident it’s unflattering and I accept it.

My time in Thailand has taught me so much: I learned that bikinis are truly one size fits all. I was perhaps on the fence about it prior, but I have since been educated. Most of the time the ‘because you can, doesn’t mean you should’ rule is in effect, though.

Personal space is optional. Be it the Russians on line at the Egyptian museum who were all too happy to step on and over me like a weed or the French who view me as nothing more than a speed bump in an airport. I am either tiny, invisible, inconsequential or some combination thereof. But no one anywhere can get the hell out of my two foot zone for even a minute. Such a big planet we live on and everyone has to step on my manicured toes.  I guess it’s only fair to say that there’s a slight chance that a few men who clearly regard women as second class citizens may or may not have gotten hit with luggage or a bag or an elbow. Here we have my ‘if it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for me’ rule.

Traveling teens and 20-somethings: stop with the duckface, peace sign selfies. I suffer secondhand embarrassment when I see this. You are neither a reality star nor at a peace rally, so knock it off and be regular. Then you’ll really stand out!

Other fun facts: garbage pick up in Phuket is at night rather than the morning. I like this.

When there are sun showers, people get out of the pool. Why?

Adults who wear arm floaties look really insane.

I way over packed even though I tried so hard not to. I didn’t grossly over do it, but could have done a little better. Now I know for next time. And there will be a next time.

And finally,  I plan one hell of a trip. It was perfect in every way and I’d not change a thing. I did everything I set out to do and then some. I avoided crowds and prison. I ate new foods, I visited crazy places and saw some even crazier things. Could not have asked for more.

I now have 24 hours of travel ahead of me and I am sure I will reach new levels of misery. Stay tuned for that.


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