Marking Anniversaries

Bangkok Skyline
The view of downtown Bangkok from my office window

I don’t have a track record of remembering anniversaries and important dates. These days, you don’t need to, thanks to Facebook and Time Hop. All you need to do is put up a post about it and it’ll remind you every year ‘On This Day’.

Very Convenient.

However, I have been trying to be less rubbish at it. I read somewhere that we are potentially the only species on the planet who’s aware of the passage of time and that just blew my mind. We know time flies, we know life is fleeting, and if we didn’t know any better, we’d just be stuck in a routine where one day is just like the other. I understand now, more than ever, why people get into knots about remembering anniversaries.

Today I have been in Bangkok and at this job for a whole year. If I didn’t take the time to look out the window and take stock of where I was standing right then and what journey got me there, would I be giving life the credit that it deserves? Just thinking back to when I first got here and how life has changed in the span of only 365 days makes me speechless. Even when everyday seems the same, you’re never the same person you were when you first started.

Life is never dull and constant.

Sometimes, to appreciate the true complexity and beauty of life, and your own transformation to the beat of the seconds hand, you just need to take a step back and really look.

Life is an amazing journey!

A stormy evening sky in Bangkok
A stormy evening sky in Bangkok

Happy Anniversary Bangkok. You have been challenging and eye-opening, you have been a comfort and infuriating. In not being home, and in sometimes being the exact opposite of comforting, you’ve raised me to be stronger, better, more resilient. In kicking me out of my comfort zone every single day, you’ve made my life throb with excitement! Thank you for a wonderful year!

Country-less

<rant>

It’s sort of tragic to think that since my country and that of my boyfriend has placed so many restrictions on us being together that we’ve had to ‘flee’ to a country that was not even on our Top 100 places to see before we die list. We’ve made the best of it and the country has been very kind to us but it isn’t home. 

And employment opportunities for both of us are limited aka I hate my job and his 5-4 teaching job leaves him with no energy for anything else. 

You may say I’m nitpicking but when you’ve moved countries to be with each other but only get to see each other for 3 hours a day, it sort of defeats the purpose. It doesn’t help that we only came here to buy some time before we moved somewhere more permanently. Time, unfortunately, doesn’t change visa rules and no matter how much I beg the universe, my passport isn’t likely to transform itself into a free-pass to the world. 

For the sake of doing something, and this time in a more desperate rage, I am shamelessly sending out my CV to every country/agency/recruiter. Gone is my fear of rejection because after a few degrees of it, you stop feeling as disappointed. 

I’ve also been spending hours day-dreaming about giving up everything and becoming a volunteer recluse in some island or forest where visa rules only come in the way once a year. 

In the growing intolerance in the world, I wish countries would view people genuinely in love not as a threat but as people who could genuinely make a difference. Happy people are less likely to spread misery? 

Sigh.

</rant>

P.S. If anyone knows anyone who will hire a third world girl with mad skills, willing to relocate ANYWHERE in the world that will have me, let me know 🙂 

You know you’re Indian when… (Part 1)

So we’re not exactly your typical Indian family, that much has always been clear. But when Lex came to visit, it gave me the chance to look at our lives from his English eyes and because of that perspective I was able to see how thick the green, white and saffron (not orange obviously) flows in our blood.  Google “Ways to tell if you’re Indian” and it’ll tell you, you need to sound like this guy

Thank you. Come again.

While we fail in this area (except when dad says things like arse-tralia, ocation instead of vocation and naa-dull instead of Nadal), there is actually a growing list of what makes us Indian.

1 – Long, emotional goodbyes:

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We have a lot of trouble letting go. Even an old mug that leaks is only replaced after paying our respects to it. And when you’re travelling, even if it only to your aunt’s house in another city, you can only leave if there are over 5 people to see you off and receive you when you come back whether you are travelling by bus, train or flight.

2 – We never throw anything away:

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Yes, we eat that much Chinese!

Broken china, Pepsi bottles and take away containers included. Perhaps it’s an unwritten rule that you never throw away anything that is gifted or that has been of really good use but no matter how much I have tried to get my extended family to either re-cycle or throw away their old stuff, including buying them new and fancier crockery, they only get put in those infamous show cases.

3- Our house is a shrine:

Like all Indians, we have a “showcase” bang in the middle of our living and dining rooms filled with things that we don’t need, never use and those that keep you up at night with their stares. And since we’re catholic, most of the presents we receive which are then hoarded makes it feel like we could kill Damien Omen even before he enters our house.

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See? I wasn't kidding.

I better put all these back before mum either hunts me down with her rolling pin or sets her cobras on me! 😉