The Sun Also Rises

The Sun Also Rises, a book by Ernest Hemingway that I read in my undergrad, and also a piece of scripture from Ecclesiastes 1:5:

The sun also rises, and the sun goes down,
And hastens to the place where it arose.

And of course, the reason I say such things is because today marks one month since my arrival in Bangkok. Wow!

I’ve been thinking about how remarkably true this is over the past few days. One thing that we can always, always count on is the passage of time. The sun will rise and the sun will set. A new day will come.

[Some thoughts after one month]

What was I thinking?

  • I’ve already re-packed some clothes that I brought that are completely unsuitable, ie – anything that’s not loose and light
  • I worked at a shoe store before I came here. A smart cookie would have bought shoes. I did not. And my feet aren’t dainty like most Asians
  • A flat-iron? Are you serious?! Sometimes I wonder why I bother with my hair dryer. Blowing hot air on my face only speeds up the time it takes for my make-up to melt off
  • Make-up. Really?! My beauty supplies have been reduced to chap stick and mascara

I can look forward to the fact that it’s only getting hotter. Every time I comment on the heat I’m reminded by my colleagues that this is winter. “Just wait until April!” they say. “It’s unbearable!”

I wish I brought:

  • Some good books. I did bring books, but mostly biographies and non-fiction stuff. I’d like a nice, easy read for my seaside vacation
  • DVDs. I know what you’re thinking – that I could buy some ripped “just released” movies from a stall on the street dirt cheap,  buuuuut…I just don’t believe in that. It’s tempting though
  • My running shoes. Cuz sooner or later all this yummy food is going to start having some negative effects on me…

From a dream…

asian girls

Last summer I was looking at my friend’s photos from Thailand on Facebook, and I thought to myself, When am I going to go to Thailand? I whispered a prayer that it would be soon.

A few days later I hung out with my dear friend Kathleen between the ceremony and reception at the wedding of some university friends in Toronto. Kathleen told me she was planning to study in Singapore for a semester starting January 2011 and then travel Asia for a few months after. Naturally I got really excited and asked if I could tag along. My hope was to go to Thailand as a journalist visiting different safe homes and red light areas and even interview ECPAT while in Bangkok. Ha! How ironic. Anyway, this is me being Asian as we pose for a picture in the parking lot at the church.

…to reality!

IMG_0552

And this is Kathleen and I posing for a picture in Bangkok at a restaurant in Ari!

After the “reality” set in that I wasn’t going to land that sweet job I thought I deserved, and instead, ended up working at a shoe store, I took an honest look at my finances and scratched Thailand off the list. It was just going to have to wait. But I suppose it really didn’t have to wait at all, did it? In fact, it happened sooner than anticipated.

Kathleen was one of the first people I told when I was offered the job. I also told her that I was pretty sure I was going to turn it down. But then of course, she knocked some sense into me, “Haven’t you wanted to go to Thailand for a really long time?!”

Though I like to consider myself adventurous, when compared to Kathleen I’m actually rather tame. This girl has travelled all over Canada, lived in Yellowknife (NWT), Malawi, most recently White Horse (the Yukon), and now she’s in Singapore (and you can read all about her adventures here)! Kathleen visited me in Bangkok at the beginning of the month and she graciously helped me unclog my sink. And believe me, it was disgusting.

I visited Kathleen during her work term in Yellowknife back in February 2008. Cuz really, why not go to the artic (kinda) in the dead of winter? I couldn’t resist.

Yellowknife

Well, the sun has set here in Bangkok. And tomorrow it will rise again. It’s time to prepare for a new day. I will leave you with Brave Saint Saturn, “The Sun Also Rises.” Props to you if you remember this song!

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