It’s officially October and I am celebrating by writing this cozily in a coffee shop (Luckin not Starbucks! haha). I should go sit in a coffee shop when I need to do work on my laptop more often, I feel right at home! Although I generally avoid going anywhere near a computer outside of work hours, I have actually gotten weirdly used to the 8 hour shifts sitting behind one. This did not seem possible at first.
My favourite part of my routine here right now is Muay Thai and reading (fiction). The instructors at Muay Thai are so kind, encouraging and often, quite goofy. Even on days when I don’t feel like dragging myself all the way there and back (takes just over an hour), I always have the biggest smile on my face by the time I arrive and start interacting with them. As far as reading goes, it is really nice to be able to relax with a good book at the end of the day. I have always been a reader but since starting at Uvic, I have not had much time to read for pleasure. Sivalai place, a different apartment building owned by the same landlord, has a significant library of English books so I go there every two or three weeks to grab a new one!
Another thing that I love is hanging out on my rooftop. You can see the whole Bangkok skyline from here and it is so beautiful. I like to bring my speaker and my quilt to sit on (it’s too hot to every use on my bed) and just hang out for a while listening to music. To be completely honest, I have had a few dance parties up there. On that note, here are some Stevie Nicks lyrics that I think all of us CAPI interns can probably resonate with,
There are days when I swear I could fly like an eagle 1
And dark desperate hours that nobody sees
My arms stretched triumphant on top of the mountain
My head in my hands, down on my knees Sometimes it's a b***h, sometimes, it's a breeze
There is nothing quite like dancing around to Stevie Nicks and singing “I swear I could fly like an eagle” when you are on the windy rooftop of your Bangkok apartment building! These lyrics are an important reminder to everyone (whether doing an internship in Southeast Asia or not) that highs and lows are just part of the journey and they should be equally embraced. During my lows I have learned a lot about myself, and for that, I am very grateful.
The summer months flew by but September has been a bit difficult for me. Perhaps this is because it feels like if the summer is over, then so should my time here. Or perhaps it’s because fall is starting back home and that is my favourite season. Most likely though, it is just because life here has slowed down, and with my flight home being so close, its hard not to be hyper aware of the date. Overall, I am doing very well still and am looking forward to my last month here but my longing for home, and my people, has definitely been more prevalent.
Last month I went to Phnom Penh for the weekend (visa run) and this was very special to me as last time I was there, nearly 5 years ago now, my dad passed away. Going there for a visit was a goal of mine as soon as I knew I was going to Bangkok. I knew it would probably be emotional, but I wasn’t sure if this would mean lonely or not. I was pleasantly surprised with how heartwarming it was instead. I was there over the weekend so that may have had an effect on the energy of the city, but I really loved walking around in the evenings and just being amongst the people. Walking by the children playing games on the street, couples holding hands, dance/fitness classes, and dads pelting their kids with ice cubes, made me feel uplifted. Even though I was walking around alone, I felt surrounded by love as everyone around me was connecting and laughing with their people. It was rejuvenating. Plus… I got my first tattoo!
As this will be the last blog I write from Bangkok, I wanted to give a shoutout to my lunch crew:
P’noon: Thank you for all the food suggestions and for clutching on to my arm anytime we cross the street… or get too close to the street.
Or: Thank you for your immense help with everything visa/phone bill related and for all the laughter we have shared in our “English classes” 😉
Michelle: Thank you for the deep and personal conversations about cultural differences and for Indian food dinner dates.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Egb0_TtT0xE ↩︎