Ups... Downs... and sh*ty moodswings...
There's an English cliche, over the moon. It means deleriously happy, the way you feel when you've just done the biggest, best or most exciting thing in the world ever... A couple of days ago a friend back in England e-mailed me saying that he was 'over the moon' about a package I'd posted to him. I dismissed the phrase as a cheesy cliche. No one gets that excited about a new pair of trews, especially if they're as lairy as the ones that I'd sent over to him... The parcel itself was 3 months late. I'd almost forgotten that I'd sent it. I was almost as suprised as he was when he received it, when I saw the e-mail saying 'thanks.' Thanks for what ???? I thought...
Then, this morning, one of the yellow shirted cleaners stood in front of me, holding a big, even yellower box. 'Kair-reeee' she said, handing it over. I was stunned. It was for me. No one sends me parcels... ever. In the 3 years that I've lived here, its the first one that I've recieved.
The box itself was full of chocolate, not English milk chocolate but real coco laden Swiss and German stuff. There was a note alongside it too. It was from my friend B, now teaching French in Austria. She wanted to say hi and to let me know how she's getting on. I loved the note. I've read it 3 times already. I don't get letters that often. Almost everyone I know that I keep in touch with likes to e-mail, MSN or send me beers, hugs and punches via facebook. So, whenever I do, I like to sit down with a nice cuppa (yeah - I know... a real English cliche...) before I read it.
After reading the letter, I counted the chocs. 2 Advent calendars, 5 bars of hazelnut milka and one large box of those strange german nutty things you only ever see in England around Christmas time. 3 months ago, when B first left for home, she promised that, one day she'd send me some chocolate through the post. I said OK, not really believing that she was serious about it, and that, one day, she actually would.
5 minutes after reading the letter and opening up the rest of the box, I was still sat staring at it all. There's no way I'm going to manage to eat my way through it before I move out next week. Some of it's going to have to be given away. But the feeling, of surprise at receiving it, of shock at the sheer ammount of it, and of total bewilderment that she really meant it when she said that she'd send it over to me was awesome. I felt fantastic. Like my friend P, when he finally got the bright blue cotton trousers that he'd been waiting months for , I felt "over the moon..."
The buzz I got from getting my first ever (chocolate filled) parcel and such a nice letter stayed with me until lunchtime. But, like all highs, there had to be a low... It was just a question of where and when.
I had a couple of errands to run today. The first was to go to my old work. I'd some chocolate (English stuff this time - 2 advent calendars) that I'd brought in Woolies in Sheff, and planned to give to the cleaner's kids. The last time I'd met up with her, I'd forgotten to bring them with me, so I arranged to pop into my old office and drop them off there.
I said hi, left the 2 calendars with her and went to say hi to some of the guys I used to work with.
There was one guy that I wasn't expecting to be there. We used to be friends, good friends I thought, but the last couple of months it's been pretty awkward. And, what makes it even worse is that I've absolutely no idea why. It's almost like he has a split personality. One day, he's friendly and chatty on MSN but, ask the wrong kind of question and he'll disappear (literally) for weeks at a time... Nowadays, whenever we speak in person, it's all fake smiles and forced politeness. You can sense the tension on both sides.
His team works shifts, and normally has to wander between several different rooms, so, the chances of him being there, and being sat at his desk when I came by were pretty slim.... Or so I thought... I was chatting to one of my friends when this guy strolled in. He looked right at me then quickly looked away. As soon as I saw him I felt awkward. I said 'Hello.' Nothing.... no 'hi', no 'how are you' not even a smile in return.
I'm not used to being blanked. It's the kind of thing that immature teenagers do back home. As a 33 year old, having another 30 something make a show of pretending that you no longer exist borders on the bizarre. But then, Thai men and emotionally immaturity go together like roast beef and yorkshire pud.
Tne thing I didn't expect was how crappy it would make me feel afterwards. This morning's chocolate high vanished, killed by a single stare.
My plan for this afternoon was to meet my friend N. We'd arranged to meet in Siam, as she had a meeting around there earlier that morning. As I took the Klong San Saeb boat, my mood lightened. There's something about zipping through the neighbourhoods that line the canal that always cheers me up. There's always something to look at. Kids playing on the narrow concrete walkways, women washing or preparing food, soi dogs. Even the people on the boat, gagging, covering their mouths and noses or pulling the plastic sheeting as high as it will go in a vain attempt to avoid the smell.
I was back to normal by the time I got to MBK. N and I chatted. She's a bit down at the moment. Like me (before I went back to England), she feels stuck, enjoying her job, but feeling that she has no real future here in Thailand, and no real idea about how to get one. Future for N, means a good job, a career path that will, in future, allow her to provide for her parents instead of the other way around.
I enjoyed talking to her. It's always great to sit and chat and catch up. She also seemed more than happy to take care of my big fat book collection when I move out and head off upcountry next month. But, there's something about talking to my friends when they feel down, when they talk about a situation that there's no easy way out of. However upbeat I feel when I first start to listen, by the end of their stories, I can't help but feel sorry for them, and fairly down too.
An 'Up' again...
It was getting late, and was dark by the time that I left. It had gone 6.30 and I needed to make sure I would make the last boat back to Ratchadamneon Ave. I had to get that boat. It rarely takes more than 20 mins to travel to Banglampoo from Siam by boat. To wait ages for a bus, then sit, waiting even longer in stationary traffic for the best part of the journey would be madness.
The boat arrived, already full and I squeezed into the tiny gap at the end. As I said earlier the Klong San Saeb boat always lifts my mood. By the time I'd walked across Pinklao bridge (looking at Rama 8 bridge at night is another definite 'up'), and was walking down my street, thoughts of the chocolate mountain, waiting in the fridge for me, helped bring on another up...
And yet another...
P came back from China today. She's one of the exchange students who lives in the building opposite mine. She's only been here a few months, but I like talking to her, and have missed seeing her around this weekend.
One day, so many moods... Thai friends sometimes complain that I'm too sensetive (noi jy, oon air... etc...) but I kind of like my mood swings. I love the ups, and try not to let the downs get me too down. If I had the choice... be a nice, smiling Thai who can keep their emotions under control at all times or an honest but moody bitch. I'd go for the moody bitch anyday.
|Create Date : 27 พฤศจิกายน 2550
|Last Update : 27 พฤศจิกายน 2550 23:29:41 น.
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