Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm alive... and in Thailand!

Ok - I still have very little clue how this whole thing happened. But I'm here & I'm alive so that's something.

I've spent what seems like an eternity in airports and on planes. I landed in Taipei at around 5am local time (no clue what time it was for me) I had a 4 hour layover, no local currency, no brain power to handle the situation. They made me throw out my water bottle at security (you know that bottled water - serious cause for threat level orange!) so I actually drank some tap water, then had a hypochondriacal panic attack thinking I was going to be puking on the plane. Anyway - I didn't puke, but I had about 4 hours alone with my thoughts. The main thought being "You know, this might have been a bit too dramatic of a statement to make about how much I disliked my last job. I probably coulda just gone on a cruise." But I'm here now... and hoping a good night sleep will improve my opinion of everything. If not, you might be seeing me back in Portland sooner than anticipated!

My guest house room is big and clean and bare...bed, wardrobe, desk - that's it. The bathroom is probably twice the size of J.'s in San Francisco, but it doesn't really have a shower - just like a shower nozzel between the toilet & the sink - and there's a drain in the middle of the floor. That's the kind of thing that sounds all charming and adventurous... but it's really just weird. But I took a shower, and I'm glad I packed my own towel. There was one on the rack and it seemed clean... but there's just something reassuring about *knowing* when your towel was last cleaned.

I've walked around the block, found a market with fruits, veggies and a wide assortment of things I couldn't begin to describe. I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting here... but it's really ... um... different. Someone was putting up a building - it wasn't like a construction crew, just some guy... it was a complete mix of bamboo tied with rope & concrete. Like, I think this is going to be a real building, like a store or something. Bizarre!

Speaking of stores - there are all these mom & pop shops, mostly specialized - just stationary, just food, just whatever... you don't even know how bad I want to see a Fred Meyer around the next corner. I didn't bring any sunscreen (clearly would have been a threat level burgundy or something) tooth paste, shampoo or anything like that. I've found Head & Shoulders and Colgate, but if I don't find some SPF soon, I'm going to be in trouble.


It's all cloudy & muggy & everything's a bit dirty. All I want to do is go back to my room shower again and go to bed... and that's exactly what I'm going to do! Here's hoping tomorrow is brighter both in weather & experience.

11 comments:

Bezzie said...

"you don't even know how bad I want to see a Fred Meyer around the next corner." "It's all cloudy & muggy & everything's a bit dirty."

Are you sure you're not in New Jersey? ;-)

Soon you won't even remember these first impressions you'll be so used to it!

jovaliquilts said...

Congratulations!!! You made it!!! Give yourself some time, it always takes awhile to feel comfortable in a new situation.

Stariel said...

I'm so glad to hear you made it there safe and sound. :)

The first day in a new country - especially when you've packed up and headed out on your own - is always really scary. I spent my first day in Norway wanting to run straight back to the airport, but I ended up having a fabulous time. So give yourself a couple weeks to get used to things - hopefully you'll end up loving it there too!

Exuberant Color said...

so glad you arrived safely. You never know how much you had at home until you get somewhere else with just a couple suitcases. Once you start learning more about their culture you will adapt. No panic attacks allowed!

Magatha said...

Jet lag and culture shock. You'll feel more comfy in 24-48 hours.

Lady Miss Violet said...

I'm so glad you made it. I thought of you Monday night at the NW Quilters meeting. I wish you all the best. Good luck and stay in touch.

Olga said...

Hey hey hey!!!! The dream is reality now!
this is what Princess Di's sister said when Di started getting cold feet about marring dunderhead-
" too late to back out now- your face is already on the mugs."

Ok, that marriage might not be the best example.....

T is said...

Be positive. It is going to be different for a few days maybe even weeks, and without a positive attitude you are going to be miserable.

marissa said...

when i arrived in london, aside from occasionally wandering out to get food and make sure i was really in london and not having a bad dream, i pretty much stayed in bed for two straight days wondering if i had made a really bad mistake. i finally dragged myself out of bed in time for the orientation i had to go to and then new years eve. and from then it was great.

Rebel said...

Thanks for your encouragement everyone...especially those of you who have done this kind of thing - my urge to run back to the airport is a little less now. I keep telling myself that if I could survive 6 years in a job I hated I can survive to the end of the week here.

gl. said...

you've arrived! congratulations! yes, if you've survived 6 years in a job you hated, this won't be so bad. :) writing about it will probably help!