Roi Et, Poor Internet, the Life of a Celebrity and Playing in the Rain

“I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes / And just for that one moment I could be you / Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes / You’d know what a drag it is to see you.” – Bob Dylan

I haven’t been blogging much recently for a few reasons.  I took another mini vacation last week.  Monday and Wednesday were Thai holidays, so I took Tuesday off, giving me a five-day weekend.  I went up to Erin’s site in Roi Et.  The internet at my office has also been sketchy, which is never cool with me. Many Thais don’t seem to realize Americans use the internet to work.  When they refer to internet use they say, “len internet,” which translates to “play internet”.

Another reason is a lack of ambition. I may officially be in my first down during Peace Corps service. Every volunteer goes through this. It’s not so much a depression, but I’m tired of the cultural differences. I’m tired of my lack of privacy. By privacy I mean to lead my life without it being questioned. It means I want to go somewhere without being stared and pointed at. When I said every volunteer is a star, I meant it. I understand why celebrities get tired of signing autographs or getting their picture taken.

Yesterday I decided to walk to the restaurant for lunch. As soon as I made this decision I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it quietly. Thais don’t like to walk more than 60 consecutive seconds. Before I could get out of the parking lot, I heard, “JJ isn’t riding his bike! Why?” Then as I walked up the road I was asked why I was walking. I told them I wanted to walk and they laughed. They someone else stopped and asked and then immediately told me to get on their scooter with them. For starters, I’m not allowed to ride on a motorcycle and they know this and secondly, the restaurant was within sight! After all of this a dog started growling and barking at me while its family made subtle noises the dog ignored. If I had a baseball bat and the dog was close enough, I may have given it an uppercut to the ribs.

I’m in a down, but no worries, I’ll be back. I’m generally an optimistic person with a touch of hidden anger for fun. School is starting again and soon I’ll be back in the classrooms teaching Thai kids that there’s more than white people in America.

The good news is the weather is slowly cooling.  The key word is “slowly”.  The days are just as hot, but many late afternoons and early evenings contain thunderstorms.  The cold winds that precede the storms are as welcome as a cup of hot chocolate during a Minnesota winter.

I was recently so happy for a recent storm, I decided to play in it.  After running around my front porch for 15 minutes in the rain, my usually cold bucket shower never felt so warm.  I took a few photos to record this historic event. Click on them to enlarge.


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