April 29, 2012

Giving context is exhausting

A few days ago my best friend in this country (and the one who got me the job that brought me here) quit her job and left the country. I know that I will see her again soon, this summer most likely, but it is quite a blow to my emotional happiness to lose my best friend here. Now, nobody in this entire country understands me quite as much.

She had the same cultural and educational background as me. When I talked about Thanksgiving, I didn't have to stop to explain turkey and cranberry sauce and casserole. When I mentioned Jeopardy, she knew exactly what that was and what the theme song conveyed. We could talk about politics without stopping to explain filibuster or what politics in America really means. We even had the same misconceptions of this new country and were forming our new perceptions together.

We had the same history for a year in NYC before our time together here. We went to the same university for grad school and took most of the same classes, which means we both approached our jobs with the same attitude. We had many mutual friends that we could reference with ease. We had spent enough time together to know one another's life stories. And we had so many times together that we could reminisce about situations similar to a myriad of things happening here.

It gets tiring to explain yourself to others. From my habits like refusing to take photographs to my history with different boys du jour, she knew it all and didn't question it. I miss not having to give context for the things I want to say. When she was at the airport, one of my last texts to her was "I can't do this without you." And I'm afraid there's a bit too much truth in that statement.

April 19, 2012

So much remains the same

Today is Thursday, which is the start of our weekend here. (Friday is the holy day in Islam, thus we have to have Friday off, thus Thursday is our Friday.) I'm currently waiting for a friend to pick me up. I'm also currently procrastinating some chores that could easily be done while I am waiting... but they won't be.

Contrary to popular belief, life in modern foreign countries often ends up very similar to life in the modern country one comes from. I still am happiest when the text message on my phone comes from a boy. I still spend all my free time at home in bed, on the computer. I still enjoy dinners with my girl friends more for the gossip than the food. I still end up too busy on the weekends to really catch up on sleep. I still don't ever have quite enough money. And I still procrastinate doing my laundry.

The brands are different though. It's annoyingly difficult to find the brand of face lotion I prefer, so ever since the last one was taken from me (while going through security in Thailand) I just haven't used any face lotion. And contrary to popular belief, there really hasn't been any noticeable difference.

April 14, 2012

Remind me to work on that

Tomorrow is Sunday, which is our Monday here, which means that today is that dreadful time at the end of the weekend when all that lies ahead is five days of work.

Yesterday my friend was playing that game where you ask questions along the lines of "who would you pick if you had to be stranded on a desert island for a year?" I talked about this guy I had an absurd crush on for all four years of university. She also asked what our biggest wishes in life were. I said, without hesitation, "To be rich." And when she asked what age we all wanted to be married at, I rolled my eyes and said with sarcasm, "25." Because when my best friend and I made plans for our lives, at the mature age of 18, that's what I had decided.

In 8 weeks, I turn 25. I don't actually plan to marry next year, but I do strongly associate the age of 25 with maturity. That is the year I feel that I need to stop messing around with my life. My things should be in order and I should feel prepared to handle all sorts of situations. 25 is the time I should really start to achieve my goals!

Unfortunately, my goals have never been hazier...

April 09, 2012

Land of smiles

I was in Thailand last week. To everyone who asks me how it was, I say that it is a beautiful country. It is a beautiful country. It is also full of tourists. We lost a ton of money before we caught on to the bargaining game that lowers prices to a quarter of what was originally stated. Thai people are very good at catering to their tourists. They're also good at keeping their own culture by knowing exactly enough English to sell you something, then switching back to Thai for everything else.

It exhausts me to think of all the things we did. Two boat tours, which included snorkeling in absurdly shallow water and canoeing through absurdly low-roofed caves. A "Thai fantasy" show. Bungee jumped and then shook for a good half hour from the adrenaline. My boyfriend almost crashed the scooter we rented. Saw a ton of other people who had actually crashed and had to wear patches of gauze. Saw a woman(?) shoot darts out of her vagina. Watched more than one lady boy hit on my boyfriend. Multiple massages and a foot scrub during which I flinched continuously from my ticklishness. Ate a grasshopper (crunchy) and a silkworm (grossly mushy inside.) More seafood than I can remember. And many, many hours on the beach. I am now toasted to a golden brown.