I was reading an article yesterday about how when we travel time seems to pass much more slowly as we really experience each and every moment of the myriad new experiences we encounter.
This is definitely true for me. Days and weeks seem to pass very slowly here (in a good way) as there’s so much new stuff to take in.
That said, just like a life lived anywhere, parts of my life here are starting to become more habitual. Here’s a few of my newly acquired habits, not sure that some of them are truly welcome but heyho!
This first one is lovely and I’m so glad it’s becoming a habit. Every morning I wake naturally sometime before 6am, throw open the door and go outside to do a combination of yoga, qigong and mediation in the fresh quiet air of the morning. I love this part of my day as it makes me feel alive and ready to take on whatever the day may bring.
I leave home every morning at 7.40am to walk to work. One of two things will occur on my walk. I will either meet up with fellow volunteer Zoe as I turn out of my lane onto the main road and we’ll walk together on one side of the street. If I don’t see Zoe, I’ll cross the street and this is where the habit comes in. No matter how many times I warn myself or how soon before the event occurs I warn myself, I walk into the same low hanging tree branch every morning that I walk down that side of the street. I don’t do it on my way home or when I walk down the street at other times of the day, but on my way to work it’s guaranteed.
I appear to be getting into the habit of favouring tuktuk drivers wearing pink helmets. As you may recall, Sophat’s helmet is pink and I’ve belatedly realised that in each of the tuktuks I have chosen to take this week the driver has been sporting a pink helmet.
Every day between 9.45 and 10.15am I pop out of the office for Tensese (can’t wait for elevenses as lunch starts just after that and I’ve been up since 6 anyway!). I buy a super strong iced coffee with condensed milk and walk back to the office to drink it while I work.
Every morning between 10.30 and 10.45am I finish the above coffee and develop indigestion as a result. One day I may learn to slow down – but not any day soon is my guess.
I go to bed between 8 and 9pm each night, wake for a pee between 12 & 1am and spend at least 15 minutes psyching myself up to go to the loo before I step out of bed torch in hand to head to the bathroom (in case you’re wondering, there’s no way I’m walking around in the dark with cockroaches on the loose and as the light switches are in the wrong place I use the torch until I reach the bathroom).
I have a number of locals that I say ‘hello, how are you?’ to every day. These include Huong the security guard at the Ministry of Fish, the lady who sells petrol in coke bottles on the corner by the afore mentioned Ministry of Fish, a random white guy who sits on the mini fishpond outside the Ministry of Fish waiting for god knows who (I haven’t got as far as asking), the motorbike and tuktuk drivers who hover in lane 6Z (even though they are always ‘too busy’ every time I ask them to take me somewhere) The poor security guard who sits on an office chair outside the ATM near my office and the lovely smiley girl who serves me my indegestion inducing coffee every day.
Walking anywhere in the city I hold onto my bag like my life depends on it having been scared out of my wits by expats and locals alike sharing horror stories about bag snatchers in the city.
Having had a few more unwanted visitors of the 2 inch long black and brown indestructible insect variety, I’ve become a warrior. I have made it my personal mission to use every natural remedy known to man to make a visit to my home so unpleasant that these guys will think twice in the future and bugger off next door.
And the final habit I’m kind of developing is this one – sharing my new life with you. It’s not always easy to know what to say and some days it doesn’t happen, but when something comes up I enjoy creating a story out of it for you to savour. I only hope you enjoy reading it too!