In 2010 my brain was collecting like crazy. I was doing some university courses, one of them on Thai Language. I was so involved. I remember learning the Thai alphabet in the food court of an old mall with flashcards ( more like flashpaper ) I had printed off, with an ice coffee beside me and crumbs from a jelly donut. It’s amazing the results when your brain is actually turned on. I had a Thai friend who helped me with the pronunciation. I was also running daily and eating only a noodle a day. I felt incredibly healthy ( no kidding eh, a noodle?! ) and young and probably the slimmest I had been since I had been out of highschool.
Fast forward three years and here you have a woman who has forgotten some, if not all of the Thai alphabet and says the wrong word for boy in Thai.
Last night while walking around the village, a Thai man asked if my baby was my brother or sister. ( in english ) I thought he just meant boy or girl so I responded in Thai ‘pee chai’.
‘La?’ he exclaimed, looking at my son. Which is ‘really?’ in Thai.
It was only after he walked away that I realised I had just told him Zeek was my older brother. I meant to say ‘ poo chai’, not ‘pee’. And I also thought, maybe he didn’t realise it was actually MY baby.
Anyways, that got me thinking.
That maybe I refrain from going out and interacting and being social these days for more than just the reason of having a child.
Because I am embarrassed at the lack of Thai I know.
Because my brain has been turned off and I have placed myself outside of all things Thai, that all the Thai I ever did know is mixed up and muddled in my head and so that when someone asks me if my son is my brother or sister and i think they’re asking boy or girl, i respond with ‘ my older brother’..
I know a lot of Thai. I used to know more. And I haven’t been having conversations or really putting my brain into high gear to remember and to listen and to catch certain phrases. I’m letting it all slide by. And this all probably stems to the fact that I know we will be moving in less than two years. My brain is half way in Canada already and it’s like I’ve given up learning anything more about this culture. Which is sad in a way. Sure we won’t ever be living here again, but- it doesn’t hurt to learn for the present.
I doubt I’ll make the come back. I am too focused on the human being I am raising in this world. Which is okay with me. There is just more understanding to the reasoning why I haven’t been out there utilizing my Thai.
We can all admit. Funerals just suck.
I haven’t found anyone that likes to go to them.
But they happen and we know that to go is the right thing to do.
I’ve never been to a Thai funeral.
And it just so happens that neither has my husband.
It also just so happens that his fathers’ is the first one we attend.
and it sucks.
More than a Western Funeral.
It wasn’t written down in his will but he had repeated to Morgan and his Thai wife that he wanted his funeral held at Wat Phala. Not Wat Ban Chang. ( Wat – Temple ) This was one thing he was adament about.
It was his dying wish basically.
It makes me cringe, it makes me almost hate her.. for having the funeral at a different temple.Because it was more convienent for all her friends to get to… It disgusts me and enrages me and Morgan and I stand to the side after continually stating that it is not what he wanted. But that doesn’t matter because he is dead now and the Thai’s don’t quite care about the dying and there last requests.
And so there we are, where we shouldn’t be. And the body arrives in a little patrol pickup truck. and men get out and they carry Martin with blankets over his body, onto the wooden table at the front. He lays there for 4 hours while we stand around and sit around and while Morgan and his step brother and sister and friends and step mom take water from a bowl and pour it into their Fathers hand- which was forced open 10 minutes prior.
I do cry here. And I know I’m the only one that is.
The body is just there. and thats what i can’t get over. I can see his boots sticking out the whole time and his right arm with all his bracelets sticks out too.
It disturbs me and it is mainly just because it is not what I am used to.
It is not how we deal with the dead.
But in the end, it really is all okay because I am here in Thailand and this is their way and I have to respect it reguardless of what I’ve known.
I hope that when you come across something in your life that makes you want to reject or to ‘uninvolve’ yourself just because it is what you are not used to, that you don’t.
I hope that you put on your guts and go through with it.
For respect, for strength, to be better after it’s all said and done.