This is an entry written in small sections as I went through the week.
It has been a month since I have posted here on my blog. I got slammed (from my perspective) with work. But I managed to survive. My partners are back in town … and my feeling of relief was beyond palpable. I was listening to music and even singing the morning my partner was going to be back in the office … luckily none had to hear it. And I’m heading out to Hong Kong later this afternoon to meet some friends for a Christmas dinner.
I’m in what passes for a Business class lounge at the airport in the Philippines. A bunch of American travelers are nattering away next to me. All heading back to Texas I believe. Trading travel and upgrade stories and counter-bragging (being ostentatiously modest) about their varied elite flying statuses. How sad. And of course, all traveling on their company’s dime. I’m so grateful that I’m not in that hamster race any more. It would seem they are all involved somehow with a call center in Clark of some description.
I’m really looking forward to seeing my friends in Hong Kong tonight for dinner.
I just don’t know about this stress thing. I have certainly made progress – but I can get thrown for a loop quite easily. I take responsibility for myself but truly am not enthusiastic about responsibility for much else.
Ah well. I think, looking back over the last 3 weeks, that I handle things much better than I used to. Relatively speaking, I stayed calmer than I might have under similar circumstances a year ago.
So. Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia (another country to my list), then back to the Philippines for a couple of days, then off to Argentina for 67 days.
I’m really looking forward to chilling out in Thailand for a few days. Will still be working but it will truly be remotely. Writing – maybe studying my Spanish again before I head back to Argentina. Drawing again? Practicing my typing.
I hope Cambodia will be a pleasant experience.
The dinner with friends at Frites on Wellington street was fantastic. So good to see them all. Noisy as usual in Hong Kong. They wanted me to stay an extra day to have another home-based Christmas dinner, but unfortunately, I had an engagement in Thailand that I couldn’t postpone. I actually had a few drinks. I am such a lightweight now when it comes to alcohol. About one is my limit 😊
So, the next day another day of travel and into my favorite hotel in Pattaya. I can feel fatigue crashing in. This always happens when I go a long time with no break from work. When I finally get away from it, I come unwound. But was able to meet my friends for dinner that night and that was very nice.
As I was getting my bags from the carousel in Bangkok airport, two foreigners got into an ugly verbal exchange over pole position at the belt. One young, one old. How incredibly stupid of them. Very distressing for all around them, and if they had only realized, they looked incredibly juvenile and out of control. My faith in the human race is such that I’m rarely surprised by such behavior. I still replay it in my head wondering if I should have said something .. but I'm sure the the best way was just to stay out of it. Why do people have to be so stupid?
It has now been 3 days and I’ve settled in, going to the gym every day. I really do like Pattaya. I don’t do the nightlife anymore, but I like that it is there in case I ever change my mind 😊. But I find my life here very peaceful. There is a ton of places to eat, it is easy to get around (even during high season), and a great place for people watching. I have finished 2 articles already for TCK Town (the other web site I write for once a month) and I hope to catch up on my writing for this blog.
I’m not a materialistic person (and certainly not religious) but I find Christmas is my favorite time of year to reconnect with people I care about. That is my sweet spot.
The weather here has been delightfully cool … in the 60s and 70s … Highly unusual for Thailand.
Had an accident a couple of days ago. Was standing at the side of the road and I got hit a glancing blow by a truck that took a corner too fast. The mirror caught me in the back and I got thrown to the ground. But no serious damage, just a long scratch on my back. And I didn’t even flip out. Yay to meditation! But I must admit, I did flip the fast vanishing driver a vigorous finger.
Found a great sauna place here in Jomtien. Full of older Russians with lots of tattoos for some reason. Tried ice pools for the first time. I’ve turned into a real fan of the hot / cold cycle. Get really hot in the sauna, then a bracing dip into freezing cold water. To paraphrase the book I will review later, it seems to exercise one’s cardiovascular system. It leaves me feeling incredibly braced, and, although the evidence is not all in yet, I think it is helping lower my body fat percentage ever so slightly by increasing my BAT (Brown Adipose Tissue).
It has been five days since I left the Philippines and now, my anxiety attacks have fallen off sharply, and my sleep is getting better. Huge sigh of relief.
Now a week since I left the Philippines. I may have gone off the rails a bit here, but I’ve enjoyed it. I am constantly re-discovering myself. I haven’t been able to concentrate on my writing at all like I wanted to, but I guess giving myself a week to unwind isn’t all that excessive. When I’m not buried in work, I find I am a bit lonely (that is not self-pity, just an observation). But I would still rather be alone than with someone … unsuitable. I still find contentment in solitude and enjoying the small things in life. A cup of coffee at dawn, people watching, reading a good book, conversations with friends.
All in all, I think it is great to be alive, have good friends, and be able to travel as I do. And I’m very grateful for it this morning as I finish my post for the week. Now … off to the gym 😊
And a final note … I have to learn to not feel guilty for being happy and unstressed. Hard lesson for me to learn -- but I'm working on it.
A happy holiday season to everyone. May you enjoy good times, good friends, and the warmth of the season.