Same Same... But Different

Soundtrack: You're Beautiful by James Blunt with a fade into I'm Yours by Jason Mraz

People always told me that going back to the mission after the mission is strange. Not good, not bad- just strange. Amen.

My first day in Thailand was the eeriest- I rode the SkyTrain and walked down Sukumvit 23 like it was nobody's business. I ruled these streets (and by ruled I really mean kindly and with zeal invited others to come unto Christ) two and a half years ago and I'll do it again. I had my companion, we were busy on errands, I may have even been wearing a skirt. But wait, where am I and what am I doing? Shopping for clothes, checking into a high so hotel, and scoping out cute backpackers? I may have done all of these things as a missionary (cheap markets, Cactus after the break-in, no comment) but all of the sudden I'm just a tourist, expected to do all these things. Identity crisis ensues.
Dr. Page on the Skytrain
It is amazing to me how much of Thailand really is the same; just as I remembered it but dug up from a deeply buried memory bank once I see it, hear it, smell it, whatever. Lots has changed though, whether by time or my relationship to it as one without the badge.

Running list of some observations:
- Crazy traffic at all hours of the day or night -- it gets worse after 9:00pm!

- Top 40 hits in taxis, restaurants and on the street. When I was here You're Beautiful was played multiple times a day. I have heard it twice since I've been here-- Jason Mraz- I'm Yours has taken over the streets, sometimes on repeat

- Pink, blue and purple taxis -- now haggle with you for fares! It's a fight every time to just get the meter on.

- Spicy spicy spicy -- my tolerance has decreased

-Talking to strangers -- I'm really good at asking about people's families and what they believe in. I guess just plain asking for directions to tourist places is okay?
-I LOVE NAYLUANG -- and that will never change (though the current government spins in circles)
-Church in Thai: such eloquent-sounding speech for announcements (esp. in Asoke thanks to Bishop Sarawut's killer bass), the beautiful sacrament prayer, wai's between friends upon a late entrance, being called up on the spot to bear my testimony -- A half different congregation and testimony as a visitor

-Cheap food -- BKK on the street, was about 25 baht a plate, now 35 is cheap

-I speak Thai -- I guess better than I used to. I've had about 5 people ask me if I'm half Thai and another 5 or more tell me they thought I was Thai til they saw my face. There couldn't be a better compliment.

-Cute boys hanging around downtown -- that I get to flirt with :) (not the guy in this pic, please)

-Biking -- in gangs?


Raelle said...

I hate that you are in Thailand. Reading all this makes me sad because I may never go back.

Anonymous said...

When you're having fun, I'm having fun. Thanks for your enchanting words and for being my daughter. MK

Lauren said...

Oh the Cactus... we should have asked to stay longer! Best night in Khon Kaen