The hustle and bustle of Hua Hin, this quintessential tourist town with every corner catering to farang, is actually quite relaxed (I was expecting a frantic Bangkok pace). I was able to enjoy Hua Hin under the guise of a teachers conference. Invited to attend a restructuring of how my nursing college creates lessons for students, I was told to go explore instead. My coordinator very resolutely stated that I wouldn’t be able to understand the lectures anyway, so what would be the point of me staying?
So, explore I did.
I couldn’t wait to get to the beach! I wandered down to the sands and was fixated on the trash, debris, and lifeless sea creatures that scattered the tide line. Oiy. Supposedly the winds and rain that pummeled the coast the night before was really nothing, something that’s a way of life, that you buckled down and rode out. The Thais were busy fixing, gathering, and telling the Westerns that there would be no food because it was all swept away, but, please, take a seat and enjoy the sun. Which I did.
Sitting, contemplating, not fully/
comprehending, and lost in thought encompassed / my morning and afternoon /
until I had to break free of my mental stronghold–
there is only the sum of what has passed / never of current circumstances / and certainly not of what
exists in the future
The rest of my Hua Hin trip comprised of a visit to AsiaBooks, an international bookstore, where I picked up a book on Buddhism and spent way too much time in the fiction section. I also stopped by the Cicada Market and meandered amid arts and crafts, food and clothing. It was a lovely evening, where my Thai co-workers ushered me around, throwing out their opinions on the live band that was playing and getting me to repeat as many Thai words as possible. I made them laugh incredibly hard when I butchered a pronunciation, invariably changing the meaning of the word (did you know the word for ‘beautiful’ is also the same word for ‘f*ck it’; it just depends on your intonation), which then led them to goad me into repeating myself, thus resulting in more stomach-holding, bent over, peels of laughter.
I finally feel like a member of the team.