It’s been almost a year (10 months now) since we left home in the Midwestern States of the good ol’ USA. A lot has happened, a lot has changed, and there’s been a TON of adjusting going on. The first time we lived in Thailand (in 2005), we were only here for 6+ months, were not yet married, and didn’t have a lot of the daily life tasks that we do now. So, when we returned this time for the long haul, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Sure, we knew basic Thai culture and what it would be like to live in this particular country, but as far as daily life as adults (rather than student interns) went, we only knew it would be an adventure.
It’s been a bit of a struggle for us living here in Lopburi, but we’ve done our best to really focus on the pros – the victories and positive things – in our thoughts, blogs, and everyday conversations. There is only a small group with whom we discuss the cons. I think it’s better that way, ya know? With this system, we are able to vent, share our frustrations, and receive advice from those closest to us while being motivated to continually look for the blessings in each to day to share with the rest. God has blessed us so richly with the ability to deal with and adapt to our constantly changing lifestyle, and for that I am really thankful. I much prefer living my life on the bright side. Wouldn’t you agree? After all, we’ve got a roof over our heads, food on the table, and are physically able to get out of bed everyday and take care of ourselves.
That being said, we’ve received questions from friends lately about what it is that we miss from home (aside from goodies that they want to send us from the States – yeah, for that!). It’s kinda weird how random things just kind of pop up in my mind when I least expect it. Seriously, I can be walking down the street in 100 degree heat and blazing sun, headed to buy a bag of tomatoes in the market, and suddenly I’ll see a kid with a fancy looking notebook and start thinking about Hobby Lobby and all of the crafts I used to make for our home with supplies from that store. Ha!
So, what is it that I miss from home? Well, besides the obvious – family & friends, holidays together – here’s a little bit of what’s come across my mind in the past several months. My intent here is not to depress you or make anyone feel bad for us, rather I hope it might help bring you joy as you seek to appreciate these things in your own life, as well as give you an idea of just how different the way of life is on our side of the world. And hey, maybe the next time you enjoy one of these, you’ll think of us and say a quick prayer. That would be awesome.
So, here we go, in absolutely no particular order at all. I’m typing as I’m thinking….
- Distinct seasons – we have hot, hotter, super hot, and wet hot. Our coolest season is equivalent to a Midwestern summer. The sun is also, according to my own highly scientific analysis, roughly 150 times larger and closer to us over here. 🙂
- Grocery stores (when available) laid out in what I would consider a logical manner.
- A real toilet that does not require a bucket & bowl to flush.
- Furniture – you know, like a couch or an armchair.
- Windows – yeah, we’re in a middle unit rowhouse with one small window set downstairs, and one window upstairs.
- A cool wind / breeze – Lopburi is often referred to as the “city where the wind doesn’t blow.”
- A kitchen.
- Water you can use from the tap.
- Grounded electricity.
- Being able to speak with the people around me without practicing everything in my head 10 times before saying it.
- Not being stared at everywhere I go.
- Hearing crickets at night and birds in the morning – we live in a “concrete jungle.”
- Listening to rustling leaves – no trees anywhere near our house, and not that many in our city either.
- A roof that completely covers the house.
- Not being sweaty all the time – TMI? Hahaha.
- Knowing where to go & what to do naturally.
- Washing machine.
- My old pup, Lily.
- Having a car.
- Shoes that aren’t flip-flops. (Although I do absolutely LOVE being barefoot/wearing sandals all the time, I do miss wearing some nice ballet flats or occasional heels.)
- Cheese & bagels.
- Radishes & spinach.
- Smelling good.
- A real shower and/or bathtub – we have a hand shower on the wall next to our “toilet.” Haha.
- Cold weather.
- Scented candles, in the evening, with a cool breeze bringing the smell of Fall in through the windows.
- Having barbecues.
- Grilling food.
- Incandescent light bulbs.
- Grass/ lawns.
- Insect control – the ants here do not march two by two, they come in full armies. 🙂
- A piano close by.
- Singing at 628 or in the band on Sunday mornings.
- Speaking English.
- Having a “home” to settle into – this is our second housing already, and we will move again in July.
- Current events – what movies are out, new music, what’s going on in people’s lives, news in the States.
- Brook’s old man slippers.
- Water temperature control.
- Getting dressed up nicely & doing my hair – it’s not worth it in the heat here, as you get gross within 5 minutes. Ha.
… and the list goes on.
Life in another country really is a whole new ballgame, that’s for sure. Everything that was once familiar is gone, and it’s like learning how to live all over again. It truly is an adventure every single day. And we are blessed. Each time I think about something miss from home, it gives me the opportunity to relive the memories that I’ve made in those places, doing those things, the people that I was with. That’s a huge comfort. Even when times are rough, I have good things to look back on, and the hope that all will continue to work itself out in the end.
Perhaps next week, I’ll fill you in on some of the things I believe I’ll miss from Thailand when we get to come back to the States for the first time.