I’ve been back in the US for about a week and a half now, and I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that I don’t live in Thailand anymore. Some days, it’s pretty damn depressing. Usually those days are the ones that, like this one, coincide with me spending the day job hunting. But it also feels like there’s light at the end of the tunnel; we move into our new apartment on Monday, Kyle is really enjoying his new job, and I got to spend a week hanging out with my family. I’ve got a feeling that I’ll be able to find some kind of work soon, and then we’ll be able to actually have a little monetary elbow room.
But several times a day I have these moments where I think, “Damn! I really miss __________!” And sometimes it’s people, sometimes it’s places, about half the time I’d say it’s food. So I thought I’d take a little break from writing half a billion cover letters to make a list.
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with teaching. It’s never really what I saw myself doing professionally, but it always has a way of finding me anyway. And I do really enjoy it, most of the time. I worked mostly with kids this time around, and while I still prefer working with teens and adults, the young ones taught me a lot about being patient, positive reenforcement, and building confidence in others.
I’d forgotten how genuinely difficult it is to be healthy in the US, and how strange it is to feel this while also being constantly bombarded with new diets! and new products! to manage your weight and make you feel better. The first meal I ate here just after leaving the airport was ENORMOUS! I swear, everything is portioned for 4-5 people. In Chiang Mai, the portions were smaller, the food was (generally) healthy, and walking/biking was a much more viable option. We also had gym memberships at a fancy hotel, which made exercising feel like going on vacation rather than like being on a hamster wheel. I plan on being bike/bus dependent in DC, and we made it a point to only buy salad plates to use in the house as a means of portion control. But I know I’ll have to work at being healthy harder here.
While I was in Thailand, I really missed cooking. But I also HATE doing dishes, so the fact that we ate every meal out was a gift in that sense. I haven’t had to do more than wash and rinse a spoon or glass from time to time in nine months! So I’m getting back into the groove of making my own meals, but… man I wish the dishes would do themselves.
My skin has been in full rebellion since arrival. I used to think DC was humid in the summer… no longer. Send me some moisture, please!
I already warned you that this was going to be a big part of it. I miss going to the Burmese restaurant down the street, sometimes several times a day, for tea leaf salad, or tamarind leaf salad, and yellow bean soup. And everything else awesome they made. I miss finding hole in the wall places with AMAZING food. I miss not caring about the health and cleanliness standards of restaurants. I miss eating fruit that tasted like candy, it was so fresh and ripe. I miss having and excuse to eat rice or noodles with every. single. meal. I miss katsu curry and the guy we would chat with while he was cooking, who remembered us after our first visit. I miss how inexpensive everything was. Granted, it is a wonderful thing to have so much cheese and wine back in my life. But dare I say, I would give it up for a good plate of Thai food.