i have too much paper

and not enough paper.

i’ve written down so many things during my travels, hoping i won’t forget what it feels like to be here, wherever here is. i’ve already forgotten so many things, but i want a place to remember.

i’m thinking, maybe i can use this blog as a dumping ground for the scraps of paper in my journals that were never meant to be journals. a way to simultaneously publicly and privately remember. hope you don’t mind, mom and dad….

from thungsong, last year; sometime around the time i was leaving:

thailand is loud. there is a dog that unmistakably sounds like a seal, who lives somewhere outside my window, and when he makes his barking sound all the other street dogs invariably decide they want to be like seals, too.  the cat next door, however, sticks to meowing and meows for food whenever she can.

my peaceful walk to school is never completely peaceful because the uniformed school children riding in big gray buses and the long-sleeved workers riding in the back of trucks shout ‘hello!’ at me and wave.  i, in turn, disrupt the occasional hen and chicks on their morning walk, too, whenever i see them out, by yelling “hello” and pretending to chase them.

i decide to ignore the trucks that move slowly and play advertisements loudly. after four months i’ve almost grown an immunity to the motorbikes beeping their horns so you’ll know they’re there, although the occasional one still surprises me, i no longer think they’re beeping at me because i’m white.  the geckos still make clicking sounds but their calls have started to sound less like their names and more like “let go – let go.”

maybe it’s just me, but i happen to like the bar down the street that plays live Thai pop rock hits every night. it makes me happy to think that there’s a birthday every night, and the Thai version of the birthday song is the happiest one i’ve heard.

the king’s anthem blares from loudspeakers and radios every morning at 8 am. the school bells chime every hour. back in june, my neighbor played ‘waka waka’ every mornin around 7. like i said, thailand is loud.

on my walk to school i smile at the silent things: the purple flowers that bloom in the morning and are closed by the time i walk home in the afternoon, the distant big mountains, and the clouds that make the morning air seem cooler and make the sky above just a little brighter. thailand’s quiet beauty exists, but i’ll remember it for the loud things.

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