Challenge: Getting on a Plane and…

I haven’t lived with my parents for more than a summer since I was 17, but for the past week or two, I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night, completely disoriented, thinking that I’m in my childhood bedroom.  It takes me a few minutes to realize that I’m in Bangkok and that those lights outside the window are buildings, not stars, and then it takes me a few more minutes to settle back into uneasy sleep.

My bedroom at my parents’ house is tiny. It’s literally the width of two twin beds, with enough space at the end for a dresser and a bookshelf. The wallpaper, which I picked out when I was 10, is little-girl pink, has little flowers all over it, and is pretty hideous, let’s be honest. The sun comes blaring in full-blast in the mornings, warming the room up and making it impossible to sleep late. My mom bought a day bed for me when the room was transformed from her sewing room to my bedroom, and now I always bang my head or smash my face on the railing when I turn over in my sleep.  It’s a cozy room, to be sure, but not exactly comfortable.

And now I’m crying. Because when I dream about being back in that bedroom, it means I’m so homesick that it’s crept into my sub consciousness, that it’s invaded my brain so deeply that the only way it can come out is at night, when I can’t block it out.

Denial, people. It’s not just a river in Egypt.

Why I’m really crying, though, is because I know it’s time for me to leave Bangkok, to leave Thailand.

Not for a visit.

For what I’m calling “an indefinite trial period back home” because that makes it easier to deal with.

Denial!

It’s been a long time since I cried about leaving a place. I lived in Japan for a year and a half and when I left, I was like—“See ya, suckers!” When I left Maryland again after having been there for five years (eight years total, including my previous time there), I felt relieved.  And this may sound heartless, but it’s been years since I cried about leaving my family. I’ve come and gone enough that it’s gotten less difficult to handle, relatively (ahahaha! Relatively! Ahem).

So why am I leaving Thailand, if it upsets me so much?

Ugh, that’s not an easy question. All I can say is that it feels like it’s time to leave. I didn’t come here with the intention of staying long-term. “Neither did I!” protest my friends who have been here for years and years. “You can stay forever, too!”

Yeah, I could, but when I see myself six months or a year in the future, it’s hard to see myself here. It’s hard to see myself not here, too, though. Gah.

The thing is, this has been one of the best years of my life, by far. Maybe even the best. I’ve had some incredible ups and downs (and I learned to use clichés for good, not evil!). I spent some time wallowing in the mud and being depressed and miserable and hating life, and I spent some time being happier than I can ever remember being. That’s okay; that’s how life goes. I mean, you take the good…you take the bad…and then if you take them both, there you have the facts of life.

I hope that if they remade this today, they would allow Jo to have a girlfriend.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the most amazing people I’ve ever known, grown closer to two of the best men I already knew, and had a year of mostly being a lady of leisure who lunches.

I originally came here because I needed a break. Or something. Basically, I wanted to live abroad again, and Brock and Josh were coming to Bangkok, so I joined in on the fun. I had no particular interest in Thailand, really. I would have moved to, I don’t know, Somalia, if that’s where my best buds were going, but I am thankful that they have more sense than that.

Thailand, and Bangkok in particular, is one of those places that gets to you, in both the positive and negative way.  I love being here. What’s not to love?

1.2.

3. “This woman (Note from Megan: That’s ME!)  certainly has every right to exist, even exist in Thailand, where she is predictably ignored by all males, farang and Thai (and it drives her NUTS!)…And bitches like this (she’s not even hot by any stretch of the imagination, so I can only imagine the gross creatures who would actually hit on her…but still…) wonder why normal guys flee their Western countries for Thailand, so they can actually meet women and DO something with them…??” –Excerpt of a comment from a loving anonymous commenter on a loving anonymous Thai forum (Dear Sir: You are right–I do personally wonder WHY you couldn’t get laid back in your home country! Clearly you have a sparkling personality!)

4.

Erm. Okay, okay, clearly the nostalgia has already set in. Obviously, there are plenty of things not to love, but I’m trying to be positive! It’s the new and improved Megan!

What it comes down to is, for now, I feel like I’m ready to be back in the United States for a bit. Maybe I’ll be back in Thailand in a few months. Maybe I’ll write everybody and say, sheepishly, “Oh, uh, hey guys, remember me? It’s Megan…yeah…I’m coming back…” And Melanie and Eric, who have been my gracious hosts for the past couple of months, will be like, “OH CRAP. Um, our second bedroom is full! Of…uh…cheese…or…and our Netflix is…broken…wow, look at the time! Gotta run!”

It could happen. Really. Not the part about Melanie and Eric (I wouldn’t believe they would allow Netflix to be broken, for one). The part about me coming back. What if I get home and hate it? Wah!

In any case, as I said, I’m calling this “an indefinite trial period back home” because if I tell myself I’m leaving Thailand FOREVER, I will have a serious freak out.  If I think how I have been living in the same city as Brock and Josh for 8 years (more or less), and how I will soon be very, very, very far away from them, I start to feel the need to curl up in the fetal position and whimper my way through the afternoon.  I got over leaving my family in Missouri a long time ago, but Brock and Josh have been my family-away-from-family for a long time. Now I’m going to have to leave them, and I don’t know how I’m going to do it. Well, by plane, clearly, although a cruise ship could have been a fun alternative, now that I think about it. What I’m really concerned about is how I’m going to leave them and maintain my sanity. (SHUT IT!)

But I’m leaving. I’m really doing it. Does that sound like I’m trying to convince myself? I think I still am.

When I told my buddy Dwight that I was leaving, he said, “Yeah…you’re going to have to start practicing talking about this like it’s not a death sentence.”

So: Oh my god! Ponies and unicorns! Hooray! I cannot wait to get back to the Land of the Free!

And I shall make a Jello cake, and it shall have Cool Whip on top, and it shall be delicious.

I reserve the right to return to Thailand at any point, though, and I also reserve the right to leave the US and go somewhere else, at any point. You have been warned.

Also, I’m preemptively apologizing to everybody back home, because there will be some point when, despite myself, I go to a Thai restaurant and say, “YOU WANT ME TO PAY HOW MUCH FOR THIS?!” And then I will mutter under my breath, “This isn’t even authentic. Bunch of crap.” And then it’s entirely possible I will try, like a total dbag, to speak to the waiter in Thai, and will then find out the waiter is Korean. And then you will all hate me for being pretentious and obnoxious. I’m sorry!  If it makes you feel any better, I will also be hating myself.

Details:

It’s kind of unclear what I’m going to do with this blog. Since I’m not going to be in Bangkok, it might be odd if I were to continue writing about, you know, being in Bangkok. I’ll be writing on this site for at least another month, though, as I still have incredibly important things to say and stories to tell. I might end up rolling everything over into another blog, but I’ll keep you posted. I’m sure you’ll lose sleep over it in the meantime.

In case you were wondering, my plane leaves here in the wee hours of the morning on August 17. There will be a see-you-later party (NOT a goodbye party) at some point, and if you ever wanted to meet me out for a drink and tell me how awesome/horrible I am, now’s your chance! Lunch? Coffee? Let me know!

When I leave here, I’m flying first to San Francisco to visit some cheese one of my best, most awesomest friends (you can’t have her–she’s mine!), then flying home to Missouri the day before my birthday! East Coasters, I’m planning on heading your way in early September.

My final plan is to settle in Denver, where my sister, brother-in-law, and a couple of my best friends from college are. I’ve been wanting to live out there for a long time, and I might as well give something new a try. Again.

60 Comments

Filed under Living Abroad, Thailand, Trips

60 responses to “Challenge: Getting on a Plane and…

  1. Amy

    Seems like I just started reading your blog and now you’re leaving! Well, it was quite a fun ride. :) I’ll probably follow you over to the next blog you start – Denver Reality Smackdown? Best of luck in your future endeavors. :)

  2. Wahhhhh! Say it ain’t so. Think of us other foreign lady bloggers in Asia — we need other funny girls to represent and, you know, prove to everyone that we have “every right to exist” (even in Thailand! where I hear getting the “right to exist” by dbags on online forums is kind of tricky to come by).
    Okay, so I do understand your decision. I’ve been very homesick myself lately and wondering if this whole living abroad thing is really worth it. (Luckily my blog name would still be easy to justify if I did move back to the States because I’m pretty much going to be a scaredy cat wherever I go… although I may have to move some place that really petrifies me… like Detroit.)
    But I was kind of hoping we’d be able to meet up in Asia while we’re both here so we could start our reality TV show (we were going to do that, right?). I already thought up a name: “Bitches Like This.” (Thanks dbag forum guy!)
    Have a safe trip & I look forward to reading your posts from the States. They better include lots of potato chips. (Duh. Like I need to even say that.)

    • Hahahaha! Right, the paperwork to have the right to exist is hard to come by here!

      I’m super, super sad to be leaving, but I’m ready to be back in the US for a bit. To be honest, I don’t know how long I’ll end up staying, so we can totally do a reality show and it can totally be called “Bitches Like This”. It will be on either Lifetime or Oxygen (that still exists, right?). If we’re REALLY lucky, Oprah will pick us up for a season!

  3. You’ll have to come to Australia to visit ;)

    -Rick

  4. carrie

    To the troll commenter, clearly he/she has never seen your fantastic rack. *IN* a shirt, that is. ;-)

    Congrats on a wonderful year in Thailand, and best of luck on your new adventures! please keep blogging! And I hope to see you when you come this way in September!

  5. jeff gestewitz

    nice blog. Wish I would have known you when I was in BKK.

    Jeff

  6. Nooooo. I need me some more smackdown. If you insist on leaving Bangkok, then you need to smackdown wherever you go and write about it.

    So many people — like anonymous hater — NEED to be assaulted with your sense of humor. Although his example does show that some people have no natural sense of humor without proper guidance. Therefore, I suggest that from now on, you put a laugh track in your blog, or give a written cue like “insert laughter here” so the dumb people can realize it’s funny.

    Also, it’s weird because I’m leaving Seoul on Aug. 18th (a randomly chosen date) and I have two friends who are coming to Seoul for jobs on Aug. 17th and 18th. I wonder what’s up with the mid-August upheaval.

    • I will try to put the smackdown on wherever I go.

      A laugh track on a blog could be a genius idea. WordPress, are you listening? Seriously, though, I hate when I have to point out to people–I AM EXAGGERATING. THIS IS NOT FOR REAL. Dear Humor Impaired People: Stay away from my blog.

      So, I’m actually going to be in the Seoul airport on Aug 17 from 9 a.m. until about 4:30 p.m. Thought about contacting you and seeing if it was worth it to leave the airport, and if we could meet up, but…you’ll be super busy!

      • Mwahaha. Someone once told me I should start off my posts by telling people that I was being sarcastic so they wouldn’t get offended. I was like, “Umm, yeah, that’s not really how sarcasm works.”
        I second the laugh-track idea. But I would like the laugh-track to be the sound of me cackling at my own stupid jokes. You know, so if people don’t find it funny at least they’ll find it creepy. Whatever. I win either way!

        • Oh gawd, that would be awesome. “Warning: This post contains sarcasm. When I say, ‘I LOVE it when people are rude,” I don’t really *mean* it. I am using sarcasm for humor. This is when you should laugh.”

          And please, for the love, put a creepy laugh track on your blog. T

  7. I too enjoyed this blog. Do you know of any other Bangkok based blogs that I can waste time at work reading?

  8. PS!

    How selfish of me, thinking only of how *I* am going to miss reading this blog!

    I wish *you* all the luck for your future!

    • Oh, thanks, that’s really sweet. :)

      By the way, I always enjoy reading Greg to Differ, Leap Feet First, Women Learn Thai, Paul Garrigan, Thailand Land of Smiles…those are the ones who are mostly in Bangkok and the surrounding area. Enjoy!

  9. Nooo, your leaving before I even get there. happy I didn’t place the order for a carton of marmite crisps to be sent to your flat. I just listened to your podcast on BP and was looking forward to meeting you in thailand, but alas it was not ment to be. I look forward to your next blog.

  10. Wow. This was a bit of a shocker. But you’ve picked an amazing place to return to so there is that.

    I was in Colorado for two years. Great weather. Nice people. Almost Californian but not quite ;-)

    Don’t be such a stranger, ok?

  11. Sad to hear you leave Bangkok – who will I stay with when I get there? oh well, couchsurfing seems like a safe option…anyway, have a safe trip, you’d BETTER start a new blog if this comes to an end (hardcore fan, that’s me), when you are in San Francisco think of me (or not, it’s your choice :) ) and send me an email with a new address I will send the bracelet to (it’s finished, and I’m leaving for Italy this Saturday, returning on the 19th)….take care Megan and looking forward to read you/about you very soon! :)

    • Awwww…thanks, dude. I really appreciate all your comments and support.

      I will definitely think of you when I go to SF! Let me know if you have any tips for me!

  12. At the first sign of winter, you know, no sunshine, no humidity, patchy dry skin, and worse, no phat krapao gai on the streets of Denver, you’ll be back and I’ll have my cursor poised to click on Bangkok Reality Smackdown, Part Song!

    All the best though, Megan. Going to miss your sarcasm! (Humour impaired reader note: NOT sarcasm!)

    • Thanks, Rick, I appreciate it!

      I fear you are right about the winter in Denver. I really missed the winter this year, but I bet I’ll be bitching about the cold when I actually experience it!

  13. AK

    I always enjoy seeing your blog posts pop up in Google Reader, so am sad to see it (possibly) end. But you know what you need to do. Good luck!

  14. “…I reserve the right to return to Thailand [the U.S.] at any point, though, and I also reserve the right to leave the US [Vietnam] and go somewhere else, at any point. You have been warned….”

    Uh, are you, ME – living in a mirrored universe right now? I mean, I’m presently feeling precisely the same ambivalence – but in reverse!

    Ah but that’s the thing about “changes”. Many folks are afraid to make them/upset the status quo, ‘cuz they somehow think their choices are irreversible. Nonsense. If you find that Denver doesn’t suit you (though I once lived there and it remains my 2nd favorite climate – 2nd only to my beloved PNW) – you can just jolly-well shift back to Thailand or…wherever.

    Leastwise that’s what I keep reminding myself, as I sell every blessed thing and buy a ONE WAY ticket to some g-forsaken rice paddy in Vietnam.

    Oh and about this (your) blog…

    Yep, I would definitely “lose sleep over it”. So don’t even THINK about not rolling it over or whatever.

    “You have been warned…”

    • You’re so right, Dyanne. I have to say, this year I’ve learned to start to embrace change. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s becoming more comfortable. Things are temporary, for the most part, in our lives. So if I don’t like it wherever I am, I can leave!

      And YES, if you don’t like your rice paddy in Vietnam, you can leave. Why not? There are rules people say we should follow, but…why?

      I have really enjoyed writing the blog! Gonna try to figure out a way to keep it going. Thank you! :)

  15. Merrie

    Megan! I’m sorry you are sad about leaving Thailand, but so glad I’m going to get to see you soon. Linsay and I have friends that just moved to Denver — we will hook you up with them. Safe travels and let me know if you need a place to crash in DC in September.
    -Merrie

    • Yes, the more friends, the merrier! (Oh, ha–and your name is Merrie…)

      I can’t wait to see you and hang out! I think some skeeball will be in order!

  16. Jess

    What a beautiful, funny post. Oh, right. That’s how you always do. I just get pleasantly, erm, pleasanted? when I read your posts for the first time. You will HAVE TO keep on blogging. If only so we can keep up with you in your next adventure(s). You have people depending on you! It’s about us! It’s always about us! Thank you for taking those of us across the pond along with you for your smackdown-age. I know I write for a lot of people who say we learned with you, were so happy for your good times, laughed with you after the craziness, and wished irreversible bodily harm on that troll. Did I write that last one out loud? Whether this is temporary or a new city is in store for smacking around, you can always count on those of us who love you to be cheering for you from the wings. :)

    • Damn, Jess, you made me cry! Thank you for always being so supportive and encouraging and for always being there for me. See? Now I’m becoming too sentimental!

      And guess what? I’LL SEE YOU SOON! :)

  17. Oh, my! Go away for the weekend, and return to find out you’ve got the steamer trunk all packed-up, and are ready to begin your Next Great Adventure.

    I’ve only been reading your blog for the past several months; even in that short time, I’ve notice your writing sort of tighten up, and become more focused and accessible. Even your photographs have gotten better. It’s always a pleasure to “open up” one of your new blog posts, and be entertained and informed, and to share in some of your weird & unusual [not being judgmental, mind you!] activities in Chang Mai, southern Thailand, or Bangkok.

    Regardless of whether you continue this blog, I hope you continue to write. Your writing voice is quite distinctive, and you have a great instinct for writerly (?, literary!) humor. People would pay to read your stuff.

    Okay. So. Wishing you safe travels, and good fortune in Denver. While you may be “Bad Farang” to the Thai taxi drivers, your readers will forever remember you as the girl who wrote that award winning “Bangkok Smackdown” blog.

    She was so funny. I wonder if she’s still writing? Maybe if I google “Megan, Smackdown”…

    • Ken, I don’t know what you do for a living, but it must involve being SO NICE that you make people cry ALL THE TIME. Thank you for the kind words and the encouragement. And, dang, I need to figure out how to make some money from this!

  18. i look forward to reading the rest of your posts. btw, i worked in a sushi joint where the owner was vietnamese, the best sushi roller was from hong kong, and me (the dishwasher) and the cook were filipino! no one in the japanese restaurant was japanese!

    • Thanks, Mack!

      It seems like most Asian restaurants, at least in the US, don’t have people who are actually from that country. That’s part of why being in the US is awesome. :)

  19. Holly Harwood

    Ah, gutted…I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. I’m moving out to BKK literally as you leave. Thanks for all the words of wisdom (will definitely be keeping a pack of wipes in my bag and have printed off and laminated the photos of how to squat to keep in my purse for reference…) and for making me feel like my big scary move isn’t such a big deal!

    Good luck back home! And keep blogging please.

    holly

    • Oh, sorry to hear we’ll miss each other! I’m glad I could be of some use. And Bangkok really isn’t scary; it’s big, but it’s manageable. Good luck! And let me know if you have any questions or just need to vent! :)

  20. Lance

    What a sad day this is. As a long time subscriber to this blog, I need to say now (as I should have said before) how much I have enjoyed reading your take on things. I am grateful for the work you put into this, and I am going to really miss reading Smackdown.

    Best of luck, wherever your path takes you. For selfish reasons, I will remain hopeful that is someday takes you back here.

  21. Marlee

    Denver will be awesome!! Not Bangkok….but still awesome. We’re excited to have you back.

  22. John Rambo

    BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN
    Why American men should boycott American women

    http://boycottamericanwomen.blogspot.com

    I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

    American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

    This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

    BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

    Are you a man who is interested in marrying indian women? Please visit Indian-Wife.com, India’s 1st International Marriage Mail Order Bride Site:

    http://www.indian-wife.com

    • This. Is. Awesome.

      PLEASE, people, don’t visit the site. We don’t want to drive up the traffic; I just thought this was so hilarious I had to let it through, as he’s just spamming all sorts of blogs. Apparently it’s just that boring ol’ drivel that American women are whores and prostitutes.

      Hooray for being immature, selfish, arrogant, and ESPECIALLY mentally unstable!

      • jess

        I look forward to being fat, un-learning how to cook and clean, and being whatever ‘unchaste’ means. We are a very non-diverse country, so I’m happy that I know now what all American women are like so I can save myself some time from making friends with any more of them. I mean, WASTING MY TIME on arrogant, self-centered, so-called ‘women.’

    • Wow…I think I’ll take your advice, Megan, and give Mister Rambo’s website a “pass.”

      Rambo needs to loosen up his headband…the lack of blood flow is impairing his reasoning & thinking. [seriously, this guy OBVIOUSLY has some ISSUES]

  23. Megan, you certainly picked a nice place to have your break abroad and I’m sure Thailand will miss you. Re: #3 Back home we call those blokes, bogans ;)

  24. Too sad that we won’t be hearing any Thai stories anymore … I’ll miss your smackdowns. But, I know you’re doing the right thing for you so that’s good. :)

    I just hope you do decide to keep on blogging … even if it’s somewhere else. I mean, dude, you’re one of my favourite bloggers. You can’t just stop. :P

  25. Big hugs and lots of luv…perhaps our paths will cross again? Keep in touch or at the very least, shoot me an email when you stop stuffing your face with cheese and baked goods, etc.

  26. and don’t forget to visit my blog often and leave thoughtful and witty remarks.

    and – well, miss you, xxoo

  27. Oh noo, you already left! I forgot about the exact date, thought it was next week :( Hope you had a safe trip and hope to read more smackdowns of wherever you end up being/staying. Xx!

  28. Just read this post! Can’t believe you’ve left already. I hope you’ll keep writing from Denver since I really enjoy your blog! It actually makes me laugh out loud quite a bit :) Anyways, all the best!!

  29. Wow, I could never live in the US again. Hate it every time I go, and I’m American :)

    I’ll be in Thailand the rest of my life likely. 10 years and counting.

    Good luck to you though, although if it was me I wouldn’t do Denver. Been there, done that, hated it. 6 inches of snow the first day of SUMMER. No thanks :)

    • I’m actually loving the US (although I’m in the UK for a bit now…). Really. It’s so easy to live there! I think maybe if I had gone back home during the year I was away, I might have felt different, but…nope. USA! USA!

      Yeah, I’m going to give Denver a try. I’m actually really excited to have snow and cold and all that!

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