So two planes, one wrong visa form, one long ten hour bus journey (the bus was called “airbus” which I assume is because of how much freezing cold wind the air con blows at you the entire journey!), one conversation with a Thai school boy, witnessing one horrific road accident and a tuk tuk ride later I’m finally here in Chiang Mai.
To elaborate a little bit, when filling in my arrival form for my visa was when I realised I was completely alone, to be specific it was when I didn’t know the difference between a chartered and scheduled flight (I still don’t, so if someone could tell me sometime I’d show much appreciation in hugs and smiles!) It’s probably the first time in planning this entire trip that it’s hit me I’m doing this by myself, and definitely the first time I felt scared. But after the lovely smiling Thai guy at the desk laughed at me for my entirely wrong form and then gave up explaining and just let me into the country anyway (I think I made it pretty clear I wasn’t a threat to society! Turns out puppy dog eyes will get me everywhere) I’m pretty sure I’ll be alright.
This feeling was reinforced by the Thai school boy on the bus. After trying desperately to explain to the driver the air con was far too high and I missed not being able to feel my fingers the boy caught on to what I was saying and tried to explain to the driver what I was saying in Thai. Weirdly, the driver just walked off in the opposite direction to the dial talking to himself (I could see the dial the entire time by the way, it was just taunting me). So despite that being a failure I continued to speak to the boy about where we’re both headed, the weather and how cold the bus was even though I couldn’t speak a word of Thai and he knew about 5 words in English. Given I still class that as a conversation, I’m even more sure that I’ll get more out of this trip than I ever imagined.
If those two lovely people weren’t enough to remind me why I’m doing this, the road accident definitely was. Luckily I didn’t see the dead body splayed across the road, just his bike and his shoes but it just reminded me all the more how short life really is. For all the doubts and trepidation I feel about anything and everything I’m doing right now in my life, I’ve never been more certain that the time is now, and now is right on time. I’m glad I didn’t leave this journey until a tomorrow that may never come.
Currently I’m staying at the Travel-to-Teach rep, Laura’s apartment and moving to the volunteer house tomorrow. This should’ve happened today but I have terrible jet-lag and woke up at like 3pm! Oops! But none the less, I’m meeting my fellow volunteers tonight when everyone goes out so I’m pretty excited. This is obviously of course if the torrential rain keeping me indoors right now ever stops. If I wasn’t sure what season it was here, this rain is making sure I’m 100% certain it’s the rainy season!
My waterproof mascara and umbrella (yes, I brought an umbrella, and yes it’s items like this that are the reason I can barely lift my 15.1kg backpack) may take the risk anyway. What’s a little rain eh?