Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kuhn Deeo again

Bunny and Bobby are off to Vietnam for three weeks. After that they'll spin back through Thailand for a few days, then they're off to Russia and across through Europe before flying back to the States. I'm only a little bit jealous. All of that back-packing would be a bit much for me. But they're a couple of crazy kids... so more power to them.

And I'm back to being kuhn deeo (person alone). It started immediately. I stopped in at this new restaurant next to my apartment to grab some bottled water. Literally the moment I stepped into the place, this man sitting there started the "Hello, where you come from?" conversation and asked if I wanted to eat something. I said I'd eaten already, and he made the "oh, kuhn deeo?" comment. This is one of those cultural things I just can't adjust to. Thai people simply don't do things alone. I'm an anomaly.

One of my (intermediate) students mentioned visiting his girlfriend in Chiang Mai over the last holiday and I asked what he did.
Student: "Stayed at home."
Me: "What? Why?"
Student: "No car."
Me: "Um.... they have songthaews there... and tuk tuks... and taxis."
Student: "Maybe with my girlfriend, but she was working - no day off."
Me: "So, you didn't go to Doi Su Thep?"
Student: "No."
Me: "You didn't go to the zoo?"
Student: "No."
Me: "Did you go to the old city?"
Student: "No."
Me: "Are you fucking kidding me?"
Ok... I didn't say it like that. But I did tell him I'd spent a month in Chiang Mai and explored as much as I could within my budget and communication abilities. He just seemed to think it was normal that you would travel 900 miles to a whole different city just to stay at home watching TV for a week if you didn't have anyone to go places with.

The thing is, I understand, I *totally* get it. Going all over the place is not nearly as much fun as going with friends. But I guess I got to a point in my life where there just weren't many other people around who wanted to do the same things I did. I had to decide that I could just sit around moping, or I could get off my ass and do the things I wanted to do anyway. I think it's obvious which choice I made. Honestly, doing things on my own is probably only about 60% as much fun as doing them with someone else. But still... that's 60% more fun than sitting at home just wishing I were out and about.

There were supposed to be two or three new teachers to replace the ones that are leaving in May... but so far each one has cut & run at the last minute. This not only will I be friendless for a bit while they try to hire new teachers (fingers crossed for some cool 30 something Aussies), I'll also be insanely busy this month, covering all the extra classes. I guess that's okay though. Keeping busy will distract me from my lack of social life, and my (hopefully temporary) lack of a social life will let me save up some money.

So that's my thrilling & exotic life for the moment... eating fried rice alone and teaching, teaching, teaching.

TAG: Code Watermelon


marissa said...

one thing i like about going places and doing things alone is that i don't have to worry about whether someone else is having a good time, wants to eat what i want to eat, is getting bored, etc. i can do absolutely exactly what i want to.

Melissa said...

I experienced traveling alone when I went to London during college. At first I didn't know what to do with myself and found myself rushing from place to place senselessly. It took a while to adjust to the idea that I could do anything I wanted without having to take someone else into consideration. It's nice, but also overwhelming.

Bezzie said...

YOu won't be Kunh deeo for long. I hate jobs with high turnovers like would be depressing no matter what country to see them go.

Rebel said...

Marissa & Melissa... I do really enjoy getting to do my own thing. But it's still more if I have one or two people around to do things with.

Bezzie - I hope not, and yeah the high friendship turnover is a bit tough.

Michael5000 said...

I love traveling alone. My prenuptual agreement with Mrs.5000 states -- well, it ~IS~, really -- that I get to travel by myself once a year.

Jonathan said...

I also am not one to travel alone... but this recent trip to Indonesia and Malaysia changed it.

I actually, most of the time, loved travelling by myself.