Down and out in Chiang Mai

I got a real kick in the guts yesterday morning and completely deflated upon impact. It was so bad that I burst into tears in front of my workmates at the lunch table – I’m sure it was a shock for them to see me just crumble like that. It was certainly a shock to me – I opened my mouth to say, “I’m having a bad morning” and suddenly the floodgates opened. I thought they handled my tears really well, especially given we don’t know each other THAT well yet…and they all encouraged me to just let it all out because it was “good for me”. It’s given me some food for thought about how Thais handle emotions – I will have to ask my Thai teacher tomorrow for her thoughts about how people deal with emotional displays here. Well, it would seem.

I guess I could write about what happened but it’s too long and complicated and of course I would be biased – but let’s just say that break-ups are not easy, even when they are for the best. (Don’t worry, I’m not talking about my other half who has been a total rock!) Broadly speaking, I’ve been lucky in that I have had extremely civilised relationship break-ups – but the couple of friendship break-ups I’ve had have been awful. And this one is no different.

But endings are also beginnings, and I guess it’s life that often when you move on to another phase, you lose people along the way. Even though it may hurt like hell, it is sometimes necessary. 2010 has been such an incredible year for me and the only people who should be joining me on the next part of my journey are people who wish me well. This bad experience has made me feel so grateful that there are many wonderful, loving and amazing people in my life that I have the good fortune to know and care about. Thanks so much to you all.

It’s probably not surprising to learn that it’s people that really move me and inspire me which is why I constantly seek out connections, and always make room in my life for others – because I am often and amply rewarded. So even though I take a long time to get over pain because I give so much of myself to others – I will continue to keep an open heart and not let bad experiences get in the way of letting people enrich my life. I’ll take the risk of being close to others.

Although I felt down by the time I got through a very long day at work, I dragged myself out of the house to meet up with a few people at a very chilled farang bar called Zoe in Yellow in the old city. I even decided to walk there which took more than half an hour – but I figured it was a good way to find interesting places on foot.

Zoe in YellowBy the time I got there the walk had done me some good, so I introduced myself to the owner and talked to him for a while, before befriending two young female British backpackers at the bar, chatting to them for ages – while practically sculling a large Pineapple Mojito which went straight to my head. I really understood in that moment why people become alcoholics – it does make the pain go away, though of course it’s only temporary – which is why you then have to drink again, right?!

Zoe in Yellow has a vegetarian buffet on offer on Thursday nights and it wasn’t bad – a nice change from Thai food. But I may not have done it justice because I didn’t have my usual appetite. I’ll have to give it another go sometime. I met a friend of a friend of a friend for the first time and it was great to meet her and I LOVED her Canadian accent. I also met up with one of my Aussie friends, a really nice guy who comes from the same part of Sydney as me – and at the end of the night he gave me a lift home on the back of his motorbike. That was the first time I have actually ever ridden on the back of a motorbike and I didn’t die so I conquered one of my fears last night too!

The music they played at Zoe in Yellow was a nice change from the covers they play everywhere – bar music here usually means lounge-style covers. The other day I even heard a Bjork song covered this way which completely stripped the song of its soul and turned it into muzak. Very odd.

It will take me a while to get over this latest bout of hurt, and it’s made me realise that even though I am thousands of miles away, my life isn’t that different to my life in Sydney, sans family and friends. Which is a weird thing to say given my life couldn’t be more different. But what I mean is that I’m essentially still the same person I was before I arrived – I still feel and think and love in exactly the same way that I did before. No matter where I am in the world, I will still be me. And I think I can live with that.


3 thoughts on “Down and out in Chiang Mai

  1. Hi Sheila!

    I discovered your fantastic blog quite by Facebook-chance! It’s so good to see that you’re blogging about all of your experiences over there in Thailand. IMHO, a good travel blog definitely makes the world a much smaller place. :)

    I’m sorry to read about your feeling terrible lately though. :( I hope there is some solace in knowing that there are people out there who read your posts and really do care (me, for one). I hope you feel better really soon.

    Marc tells me he’s visiting you some time in the next year. I’ll look forward to hearing/reading more about your time in Thailand.



    1. Thanks Michael. I’m feeling better despite the current setback am continuing to find (new) things to be happy about. I don’t think I told you but I read some of your blog posts from your recent travels – but I didn’t realise you had a WordPress blog. Just had a quick squizz – it’s very interesting! I actually have on the backburner a website about the use of Web 2.0 in health promotion, we should talk about all of that sometime. Yes Marc will come next year and I am really looking forward to it. Hope all is well with you and say hi to Fe for me too. Hope all the wedding prep is coming along nicely! x

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