By this time tomorrow, I'll be at a hotel near the airport in Bangkok.
Even though the days and the weeks seemed incredibly long, when I try to wrap my head around the fact that I've been in Thailand for five weeks, well, I just can't believe it.
I am so very ready to leave. Psychologically, that is. I have yet to tackle the packing project - deciding what I'm tossing/donating and figuring out how to fit my new stuff into my bag. That's tonight's fun.
Here's some reasons why I'm excited to go home:
1. I'm getting 4 mosquito bites a day on average.
2. It's been in the high 90's in the daytime and the high 80's at night lately. I fell asleep in a spread-eagle position last night on top of my sheets and woke up sweating.
3. I haven't been able to use the bathroom in five weeks, aside from that glorious experience at Siam Paragon last Saturday, without battling ants or mosquitoes or both the entire time I'm in there.
4. Sean and Oscar have both found cockroaches in their food in the last week. All meals are served family style, so it wasn't so much "their" food as it was "our" food.
5. We wash our own dishes here at the outdoor sinks. That's not the problem. The problem is that they haven't had soap to wash the dishes for most of the last two weeks. So the plates and utensils we're using have been "cleaned" only by running them under cold water.
6. Lunch yesterday featured fried anchovies and fishhead stew. I was being eyed from all directions.
7. I've read four of the eight books I got last weekend.
8. My nephew looks all kinds of cute and I have yet to hold him.
9. I've got presents for my family, and I'm excited to share!
But, then again, here are some reasons why I'm glad I stayed here:
1. Last night I told the community class that I was leaving for America on Friday. This lead to my being mobbed by all of the kids and grown-ups who wanted me to write my name in their notebooks. Then one kid wanted my email address, so they all wanted my email address. This was interspersed with requests for drawings, too. It took 25 minutes to appease them all!
I bought some treats for them today in town, so I can give them something before I go. Last night, Nook, one of the students, brought each of us teachers a cone made of a huge bright green leaf. It was filled inside with long, yellow, delicious-smelling flower petals.
2. This morning, Phra Karn gave me a CD-Rom about meditation, a laminated picture of the founder of this wat, and an amulet of the Buddha. He said the amulet was for protection for my journey home.
3. Eunice bought me a bag full of mangosteens today. Man, they're tasty.
4. I had a private meditation session with Phra Bart today. He tried some new things and although I didn't see the sphere, I didn't feel as stressed about about that fact as I usually do in meditation. In short, I felt much more willing and able to try again. That was nice.
My last community class starts in about 45 minutes. Then it's home to a dinner of Ramen noodles (I'm guessing I'll fall back on my cabinet supplies again, since lunch was not too good today) and the packing project. I have my last meditation session at 7:00 tomorrow morning, my last class with the monks/Eunice, lunch, and then some sort of good-bye ceremony for Sean and me. (I'm the only Anglo/volunteer flying home this weekend, but Sean is spending his last two weeks traveling around the country so he's wrapping up his meditation studies, too.)
Then I bid farewell to my friends and the wat and haul my suitcase on the #78 bus to Bangkok.
I'm hoping the hotel I'll be at tomorrow night will have some kind of internet so I can keep you posted. I'm also hoping they can hook me up with a Thai massage, since that's the one thing on my list that I haven't done here yet.