Cat Nightengale, 129 YinD
The small victories- any victories, really- are so important here. I get irritated, frustrated, lonely. But when all is said and done, that’s not what matters at all. It’s me, emotionally exhausted, biking 20 minutes to school to listen to music and draw with my kids.
Hula hooping and dancing to music only I know (but they still groove to, with me, in solidarity).
Jumping up and down ferociously to Lump by The Presidents of the United States of America!
Hooping to Like A G6 by Far East Movement, The Cataracs, DEV.
Drawing my student’s abstract face portrait to tunes by Lady Gaga, Max Frost, and Maggie Rogers.
Answering as many questions as I can understand in Thai, including:
“Where is your house?”
“How can you hula hoop like that?” and
“What countries have you been to?”
It’s two solid hours of bonding and then packing up to leave and my bicycle won’t work. Someone (unidentified) has played Nintendo with my gear keys. Not cool, bro. Bike-fixing is not my strong point, admittedly. The kids all rally around me, trying to help fix it. Getting dirty, with no luck. The whole time they spent trying to fix my bike was their free time to play. That is love.
My counterpart calling his friend at the Tessaban to come get me after I called him. He told me he’s still in Bangkok and cannot come get me, but he still made sure I was taken care of. That is love.
My coworker from the Tessaban coming to pick me up and driving home slowly so my bike doesn’t fall out of his truck bed (since the back gate wouldn’t close). That is love.
My boyfriend telling me that I’m a bad@$$ for living here when things are rough. That is love.
My PCV friend throwing out an “I feel you” and a “That happened to me yesterday, ugh!” That is love.
All of the dishwashers, high-powered indoor washing machines, and freedom of my own motorized transportation couldn’t teach me all that I have come to learn from living in Thailand. That is perhaps, the greatest victory yet.
That, my friends, is LOVE. ❤