Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Leaving

leaving

In less than 24 hrs, Thailand will be a finished chapter. Honestly, I never thought I will love and enjoy Thailand. I even had some doubts whether to accept the job offer before, as my primary target then was to work in European countries. After knowing nothing about my application in Netherlands, the agency asked me if they can present me to one of their clients in Thailand. Verging on desperation, I said yes. And as they say, the rest is history.

I had my initial impressions of Thailand and as days passed by I learned to embrace, understand and appreciate the country. It had lots of similarities from the Philippines, thus, my adjustment period was only a week or so. I gained lots of friends, visited places, explored some Thai cultures and experienced escapades I only read from books and heard from other tourists.

When I left Japan, I wrote about my ‘firsts’ in the Land of Rising Sun. For the Land of Smiles, these are my ‘firsts’:

a) Driving a car – I am not afraid to say I’m a late bloomer when it comes to driving. I finally drove a car at the age of 30, LOL! An accomplishment on my part. I will surely miss our Toyota Vios.

b) Golf – I always thought of golf as a sport for rich and well-off individuals. Here, you can play all you want fro 200 Baht only. We tried and later I realized, I just don’t have an interest with it. Yeah, I know, I can’t hit the ball, that’s why.

c) Parasailing – Flying on air while being pulled by a speedboat is beyond awesome. The occasional dips on the blue water made it doubly exciting.

d) Driving a motorcycle – Glad it was automatic. I almost fell down on the way up but I was able to manage holding on to the motorcycle. Thanks to the locals who were on their way down for assisting me.

e) Live Show – I heard about it even before going to Thailand. And for curiosity’s sake, we went there. I was even picked to hold a balloon during one of the performances.

f) Bath Tub Massage – no further explanation needed. Its quite self-explanatory.

g) Drunken Bowling – I normally don’t drink while playing bowling. See my strikes while under the influence of alcohol. Oh, and I got my first injury here too.

h) Tennis - I played a couple of games when I was in Japan but this is the first time that I scared. Scared that I thought I lost my eyesight after the ball hits my eye! And the very same day, I twisted my ankle. It happened two days before going home.

i) Sunrise to Sundown Photoshoot – Thanks to Davis and Dong for inviting me and Caloy to join them. It was a rewarding experience. No hints of tiredness during that day. But on the following day, LOL!

j) Target Shooting – I held a gun once but firing them and almost hitting bull’s eye, I thought I can shoot!

k) Cambodia – first time to cross a country via bus. I will never forget this experience even I have to speak in English for three days!

I know there are still lots of first time experiences but time is running out and I have to post this blog before I leave Thailand.

How about my work? Well, work is work. I gained a lot of knowledge this time, from my supervisors to my fellow engineers. I hope I was able to share a bit of my knowledge to them too. They were very helpful. There may be arguments, discussions but after shaking them off, its all fine.

Oh, and how can I forget the friendships I established here. My fellow expats are my immediate family here. Even the fact that some were from different companies but when we got together, its always a grand celebration. That’s was just one of the few things you will experience as an expat. The locals were also very warm, helpful and friendly. Damn, I will miss them so much. I can’t really describe how they made me feel loved and respected. We shared jokes, and we didn’t care much about the language barriers. I have high respect for them too. Shout outs to the Vietnamese engineers too. They were equally friendly and accommodating. Thanks for the rice wine! Special thanks to my other foreign friends, you know who you are and you have touched my life too as much as anyone else.

Goodbyes are a part of our lives, after all life is just a series of hellos and goodbyes. As I packed my bags, I will bring the memories of Thailand. It will be forever a part of my life.

end

sprints toward
a spirited horizon

once embraced,
a reassuring promise
disappears

swiftly,
the curtains
of emptiness,
offer only
waves of desire

at day's end
drifting and alone
yet relaxed

home
once again

/totomai

One of my favorite Thai phrases, Rak Sa Sook Kha Parb, Chook Dee Na Took Took Kon!

Maraming Salamat Thailand!

/totomai
05/21/08

18 comments:

  1. grabe mai... mamimiss ka tuloy namin... take care d ka namin malilimutan..

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  2. weee, sinong umiyak kanina? hehehe

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  3. @lav, thanks din po. hope to see you then sa sunod na mga panahon hehe.

    @ai, haha sino kaya ang umiyak sa airport? weeeee

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  4. @tukayo, oo nga, new chapter. di ko pa alam kung san..

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  5. A learning experience for you. I wish the very best for your future!

    end of the world for me

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  6. Such experiences are always rewarding. And good fuel for the creative process.

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  7. Hi Totomai, I very much enjoyed reading your post. I liked its sincerity, warmth, and humour. I plan to read your blog in its entirety. It sounds like you had a wonderful time in Thailand,maybe one day you will return to 'reread' this 'chapter' once more. Take care. DavidM

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  8. Although I am only a regular visitor to Thailand, I can fully understand how when living there, its culture, its people and its atmosphere can get under your skin.

    Thank you for a really interesting read.

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  9. Totomai,

    We take something from the places, the people and everything we come across in life no matter how briefly those moments, the time spent. In return we, too, leave something in us in them and life is never the same again.

    Reading your post prove this to be true. You have a lot to take home with you from your brief stay in Thailand. They are your added tools to contenue your life after this. You will go on.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

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  10. Sawadee Thailand and Bati taggapin Philipines(hope the dialect, spelling and meaning are correct)
    But farewell to the 'old' and welcome to the 'new'. The next chapter(s) may prove even more interesrting.

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  11. tomai,see you soon sa pinas,hehehe..

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  12. @guatami, thanks.

    @anthony, yes, indeed.

    @David, thanks. yes i fell in love with Thailand quickly, lol

    @keith, yes, i wanted to go back soon to Thailand, maybe this time as a visitor

    @jeques, i know you can relate to this one since you are an expat too. thanks man

    @stan, im not sure about the phrases but maybe they're correct hehe

    @mamang, when ka mapuli?

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  13. I really enjoyed the poem that ends this post -- and wow... how exciting the adventure that is this new chapter of your life! ;)

    And -- do not give up on golf. Until you master the basic skills of the sport, it is impossible to grasp the beauty that can bee this sport. For me, it is time spent deeply in touch with myself. There is much to be learned about one's self in the context of a round of golf. Difficult to comprehend until you invest in the challenge to at least learn the basics.

    I highly recommend you read "Golf In The Kingdom" by Michael Murphy. It is a unique confluence of fiction, philosophy, myth, mysticism, enchantment, and golf instruction.

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  14. well it sounds as if you have plenty of wonderful memories of your time in thailand,, and what a good thing that is..

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  15. @rob, sometimes, at the end of the day, its still good to go home. thanks for the advice about golf, i still find it difficult but ill try to find the book :-)

    @paisley, yes i have lots.. and i hope i can keep them and wont forget them easily hehe

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  16. Such wonderful memories..it definitely must be hard to leave.. Good luck for your future

    The Journey Home

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any thoughts to distill?

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