First off, the course is over! I had really wanted to rock the last lesson. Between my own expectations and some expectations put on me by one of the instructors I was really kinda worked up about it. But then my class on Wednesday got canceled and rather than spend the night trying to make my lesson perfect I went out drinking with the guys and had an awesome time. I’d make the same decision again in a heart beat. In the end I decided not to stress about my lesson and to just do it. I made some mistakes, things weren’t as sharp as they could have been, the activities weren’t all that great. But it was fine and I passed my lesson. I passed the course, and that’s all I’d wanted to do.
Friday was the end-of-class party, and really fun. One of the gals from the front office made us Pad Thai (and it was wonderful), and there was a lot of other yummy food as well… all served on big ol’ banana leaves. The students gave us gifts… which was awesome. We all got loose weave cotton scarves (mine was in the exact shade of blue as most of my teacher clothes), the boys got gorgeous silk ties. It was funny, the Brit got a gold & burgundy striped tie and when he put it on a few of the students were like “Oh! Harry Potter!!” LOL. It was hilarious, he really did look the part. The girls got silk wallets which was great because I really really needed one. One of the gals gave us all pressed-flower bookmarks with a thank-you note written (in absolutely perfect English) on the back. We were all very touched. Finally, one of the gals made me a bracelet. We were spoiled. But that was only the beginning.
A few of the students had invited the teachers out to dinner & drinks. The girls told me to wear a dress - so I wore the one little black dress I packed. I got picked up by a student, and rode to the restaurant on the back of her motorbike. The bar/restaurant was fairly western… it had kind of a ‘wild west saloon’ vibe and it was about 50/50 Thai/Farang. The group at the next table over were from
A few of us went to "Fashion Club" for more drinks & dancing afterwards. There were 8 or 9 of us all on motor bikes (some of us doubled up), driving around Chiang Mai... passing each other... whacking each other upside the head as we sped past golden temples & ancient walls etc. It was awesome. It felt like when I was a kid and all my friends and I would ride our bikes around town… just playing & chasing & yelling at each other; except a
And live it up I did. The club was just incredible. On the one hand... I could barely understand a word of what was going on in the bar. We got our own little section of seats & a little table… and that’s where you dance. There’s not like a big dance floor where everyone just goes crazy. It was weird… and it took a LONG time for people to loosen up. I’m not a huge party girl… but it was about the mellowest dance club I’d ever been to. But on the other hand, it was a bar - there was music (a mix of live music & dance mixes – a fair amount of American Hip Hop), and eventually there were drunk girls dancing & a line for the bathroom. I knew *exactly* what was going on. Earlier in the evening before the rest of the teachers got there, I had been gossiping with the students. A couple of the girls have a crush on one of the teachers. They were also sharing their insecurities about their figures. I could so relate. It was all so universal.... so... I don't know, fundamental. As much as I love seeing how things are different here, it’s seeing all those things that make us human that really blow my mind.
I know it’s been all sunshine and rainbows from me for the past month… but I kinda think reality’s going to start creeping in around the corners now that the course is over and I have to get down to business. I’m still going to aim to have more fun in life, to say “yes” to more, and generally get as much out of this experience as possible. And if I’m unhappy for any length of time I’ll know it’s time to change things up – either internally or externally. But for now, life is good and I’m very happy.
* In case you were worried, I was pretty drunk, but the teacher driving me wasn’t. He had, in fact, talked me out of riding with the student who’d driven me there as she was a bit tipsy herself.