Hello everyone! My name is Cecille and I am a Filipina living in an idyllic mountain town in upstate New York. So much has changed since I moved all the way here, uprooting my life and career in Asia, to marry my soulmate and partner in crime, Ian.
New home. New furbabies. Two DIY weddings in two countries. Personal struggles. Family tragedies. Career shifts and a budding new business!
Has it really been over five years? Time flew by, it’s incredible! So once in a while, I like to go back and revisit how and where it all started. This was my blog from 2012-2013 while living in metropolitan Bangkok and chronicling my new found love back then. Read on, if you must. Our is a pretty classic digital age story:
Boy, meets girl (online, of course), flew half way across the world for a first date. Then a crazy, whirlwind, magical (and sometimes bureaucratic ) adventure ensues!
Waking up was surreal. It was the morning after my arrival, and I’ve had far too little sleep. Not that I’m complaining; it was a memorable night for sure, first with my arrival in Thailand, followed by the hours spent getting to know the woman I had grown so “virtually” close to in the flesh. Not that only “the flesh” was involved in this process – sure, we had figured out pretty quickly how wonderfully natural it felt to kiss each other, but after 4 months of courtship with a whole planet between us, simply being in the same room as each other felt amazing. After hours of cuddling and conversation, my exhaustion finally overtook my excitement, and we gave in to sleep….for a few hours, at least, until I woke up starving and in dire need of some breakfast.
And so, we headed down to eat at the breakfast buffet in the hotel restaurant. As we ate, it became apparent to me that everything about this was surreal – the feeling I had upon waking wasn’t going away anytime soon; here I was, in the midst of what had only been a fantastical daydream just scant months prior. I remember the mix of emotions: a sense of achievement, for turning a “what if” into reality, the pioneering excitement one feels when just discovering a new and unfamiliar land for the first time, and of course my feelings for Cecille, this larger-than-life woman who was in fact a little bit smaller than I had imagined her…but also, more beautiful than pictures or a webcam could convey. I was excited: excited about the coming 2 weeks, the places I would discover and the sights I would see; but even more so, excited about the prospect of spending these 2 weeks with her, and what could develop as we got to know each other more.
Breakfast was quite satisfying, but I was nowhere near feeling well-rested…but this was OK, because Cecille and I had the foresight to keep our itinerary clear for this first day. We knew I’d be jetlagged, and that touring Bangkok and Thailand would be much more enjoyable if done with adequate rest to mitigate the jet-lag of my global traverse. We headed back up to our room, only venturing out to acquire more take-out Chinese food from the restaurant around the corner when our bellies demanded the attention. Otherwise, it was a day of intimate relaxation, frequent cuddling, and simply getting used to the idea that we were actually in the same place at the same time. In short, we shut out the outside world and lived in one of our own creation as I recuperated.
We woke early the next morning, and I felt refreshed and ready for adventure. Our first stop? The quintessential tourist destination of any Bangkok tourist: The Grand Palace! After another satisfying breakfast, we hopped into a taxi and headed to our destination. This ride was my first opportunity to really see Bangkok, alive and in daylight. Naturally, the first thing I noticed was the humid, sweltering heat! I was sweating instantly, but I wasn’t surprised – this was to be expected in a tropical location. I was thankful for the A/C in the taxi, and while we rode, I held Cecille close as I gazed at the world outside of the window. Traffic moved in some kind of barely controlled chaos, which can basically be described as everyone goes at once, with yielding done only at the last possible instant. This approach remained consistent regardless of vehicle size or velocity – the large tour buses, motorbikes, Tuk-Tuks, Taxis, and tinted-window SUVs all vied for leverage, taking every inch of road afforded to them.
Also, Bangkok is a colorful city, from the fabrics being sold street-side, the numerous Buddhist shrines located practically everywhere, the hot pink or green taxis, to the variety of fresh fruits displayed by cart-vendors on every street corner. Bangkok is vibrant, bright, and alive….and it smells, too. Admittedly, not as bad as most underground NYC subway stations…and any city with a population of several million has its own unique “parfum”, that’s for sure!
Our taxi dropped us off near the Palace gates, and so we headed to the closest visible entrance. Although this particular gate was closed, there was a small crowd of people milling about the entrance. We surely looked like tourists as we sauntered up to it, and a Thai man with a somewhat official looking outfit approached us. He informed us in broken English that the Palace was not yet open to the public for another hour (1pm, we were told), but why don’t we just step into this waiting Tuk-Tuk for a tour of the area instead of standing around? He must have sounded persuasive, because within seconds I was following my usually headstrong and city-smart Cecille into a small Tuk-Tuk, which wasted no time in speeding off away from the Palace. Although I hadn’t really had time to react or question what was going on, as we were herded into the Tuk-Tuk I remembered something I had read online a few weeks before about a common scam at the Palace; men would dress in some semblance of “official looking uniform”, then lie to tourists about the Palace being closed for the sole purpose of sending them off on an overpriced half-hour “tour” in a waiting Tuk-Tuk. As we were already approaching the next intersection, it dawned on me that this is exactly what was happening to us. I turned to Cecille:
“Hey…why are we doing this?”
She shrugged her shoulders. “If the Palace isn’t open yet, then why not? You’ll get a chance to see some of the city while we wait.”
“I read on the internet that the Palace is open all day. I think these guys are lying to us.” The Tuk-Tuk stopped at a traffic light. “Can we just go? Let’s get out of here.”
Cecille didn’t argue or hesitate. Just like that, she just trusted me, even though this was now her city and I was the stranger; she grabbed my hand, and we jumped off from the Tuk-Tuk together, saying “No, sorry, we’re going now,” to the incredulous driver. With this simple gesture, I immediately trusted her more, too.
Still holding hands, we walked the few blocks back to the Grand Palace.
After locating the correct entrance, we walked onto the Palace grounds. We entered through The Phimanchaisri Gate, the main entrance from the Outer to the Middle Court. The Outer Court or Khet Phra Racha Than Chan Na (เขตพระราชฐานชั้นหน้า) of the Grand Palace is situated to the northwest of the palace (the northeast being occupied by the Temple of the Emerald Buddha). Not surprisingly, it was crowded with other tourists…just another day at one of the world’s most majestic Royal compounds.
Also, according to the Palace’s dress code, one could not go sleeveless. Thankfully, Palace staff operate a shirt rental for a nominal fee. My collared shirt was deemed acceptable so we went to procure a shirt for Cecille:
She wore it with style, of course!
We made our way into the crowded area near the compound of giant golden temples where The Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew (วัดพระแก้ว) is located and had a look around. We sat for a moment to plan our next move, and I took a quick video as I glanced around.
(Isn’t she sweet? Already contemplating a gift for my mother. 🙂 )
The Royal Palace is amazing, truly opulent. Everywhere I turned, there was something else fascinating to look at.
This one particular building was in the midst of undergoing some renovations:
Next, we checked out the scale model of Angkor Wat, and a nice young lady took what was for us, our first photo together
Then, Phra Thinang Boromphiman (living quarters for royalty) but the gates were being closed as we got there.
We also took some time to sit in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha located in the compound where the giant golden temples are. The interior of the Temple was even more ornate and glittering than what you can see in the other pics of the Palace, but unfortunately, there was no photography allowed inside. We spent about 15 minutes in there, in silent meditative reverence, taking in all of the shiny and magnificent details of our surroundings.
Then we went to Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat, which houses the throne room where the King receives ambassadors on the occasion of the presentation of their credentials.
One of the ground floor sections housed an “Arms Room”, a gun museum which displayed many antique guns from different eras and nations. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed inside, so I can’t show it off!
After checking out the guns for a little while, we headed over to the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles. It’s located in the Ratsadakorn-bhibbhathana building, and is described as such:
“The museum’s mission is to collect, display, preserve, and serve as a centre for all who wish to learn about textiles, past and present, from Southeast Asia, South Asian, and East Asia, with a special emphasis on the textiles of, and related to, the royal court and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.” – See more at: http://asemus.museum/museum/queen-sirikit-museum-of-textiles
Unlike Cecille, who basically gushed and wowed at every display of the exquisite Thai silk “haute couture” (gowns and dresses worn by Thai royalty), the museum itself was only barely interesting to me – but the fun part came after the walkthrough: an opportunity to be dressed up in traditional Thai garb!
I’m such a lucky guy…
Lastly , we checked out the Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations and Coins which is a museum of….you guessed it: regalia, royal decorations, and coins. Although it was interesting, by this time we were both getting hungry and I could tell that Cecille’s feet were starting to bother her again. I told her that I would change the dressing on her wounds once we returned to the hotel, but for now, why don’t we give our feet a break and sit down for a late lunch? We left the Palace grounds and headed across the street to eat at Au Bon Pain. Once we stepped into the air conditioned restaurant, Cecille repeated the caring ritual that she had began earlier that day – she brought out a hand towel and mopped the sweat from my brow. Since it’s always hot in Thailand, this is something that she would do more of numerous times, during this trip and the following ones as well. Every time she does so, I am touched; it feels good to be doted on in this way! 🙂
It was already early evening once we finished our meal, so we decided to head to the bank of the Chao Praya River to watch the sunset while we waited for a river boat to ferry us to the other side so that we could visit the Wat Arun (Temple Of Dawn) across the way.
After roaming the area around the Temple for a while, we sat together close by to relax, then plan our way back to the hotel. The nearest BTS (Skytrain) station wasn’t very near, so we decided to catch a Tuk-Tuk to get there. A minute or two before we got to the street, it started pouring..! Naturally, this made the Tuk-Tuk ride into a splashy wet adventure, our driver unfazed by the slippery road conditions. But still safe and sound, we made it to the BTS station, caught a train, and then a transfer to an MRT train (Bangkok’s subway) before arriving to the vicinity of our hotel. Tired, wet, dirty, and hungry – but nevertheless very happy about our day of exploration. Cecille often commented how lucky we were to have visited such a special and historical place, and having the chance to be able to get to know such an amazing country’s cultural heritage, artifacts and architecture up close. After hours of walking about, our eyes were satiated and we were done sightseeing for the day. Our stomachs however were feeling the other way around and so we stopped at our new favorite Chinese restaurant Chok Dee and grabbed some take-out for the hotel room. However, once we finally returned to our “base”, showering and eating were temporarily postponed due to other priorities… 😉
It’s A New Yorker’s State of Mind is a periodic contribution from Ian, Cecille’s devoted fiancé, about the developing story of creating a life together with his Muse – and the journeys, trials, and triumphs that come with it. Born and raised in New York, Ian enjoys travel both domestically in the US and abroad to Europe (and now Asia!). An adventurous spirit, a music enthusiast, and an avid reader, he’s up for writing about places to go, things to do, music to listen to, and books to read. Unadulterated and direct, IAN.Y.S.M. is a refreshing peek on the male perspective, a companionate “side window” into Ian’s POV from New York, and a fitting rendering alongside the lovely msglobalfilipina’s riveting entries. \m/
Thank you very much dearest avid readers from all over the globe! I feel privileged to have my words read by people of many cultures and languages. Thank you for welcoming me into your homes and hearts and for letting me share my stories. I do hope you’ve come to enjoy reading about our journey.
Just like its country code, USA is # 1 in readership. My future in-laws and my fiance’s friends have been doing a great job in keeping the American flag consistently on top of my statistics chart.
Not far behind is my home country, Philippines. Maraming salamat! Daghang salamat! Madamo nga salamat! Kababayans, I am deeply touched by your continued subscription. I miss our country a lot and this is my way of keeping myself rooted to my Filipino heritage. I am a proud Pinay and I will raise our banner wherever I go.
Filipinos are a “global people” and this is also reflected in my stats; my family and friends read me from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, Middle East, Japan, Hongkong, India as well as Thailand where I currently live.
I also extend my greetings to my Southeast Asian neighbors, A.P-P. from Cambodia and Tita Totie from Laos. Please let me make a special shout-out to my fiancé’s relatives in Europe, too.
Speaking of Europe, Guten tag to my loyal mystery reader from Germany. I don’t really know anybody from there so in my mind I have named you “Hannah” from my favorite movie “The Reader” set in post-war Germany. You sure are a big boost to my viewership. Thank you and please keep it up 😉
Also, a big Thank You to my random readers across the globe who have stumbled across my blog via google, wordpress, or facebook referrals – I hope our stories have inspired, enriched, or at least amused you 🙂 We’re glad to have you all as our guests, our dear interested strangers!
Have you ever pondered doing something so big and risky that you grit your teeth at the thought of actually doing it? Have you ever imagined yourself breaking free from convention- a total disregard for the so-called rules in the pursuit of pure bliss and happiness?
At one point, I hadn’t yet; but on that night, things were about to change. After all, they say that the ultimate pleasure is reserved for the daring and brave.
I was about to break barriers and if I died doing so, I would have had to at least been properly groomed and dressed. Hence the time spent in the bathroom and deciding on my accessories.
I decided to ditch my nude platform heels and go with the gladiator sandals of the same color instead. In my condition, I knew flats would serve me best. I wasn’t able to imagine how else I could carry my luggage. I had my bags packed because we were supposed to tour Thailand together for two weeks.
I checked the time. 10:45 in the evening. His plane must be taxiing from the runway now. Please Lord, let him be in one piece – I shuddered at the thought. Or maybe it was just the cold air coming out of the taxi’s air-conditioning.
“Kob kun mak na kha”, I thanked the driver as I handed over the bills. We were parked right in front of the airport. He helped me with my luggage and again, I waied* politely.
I had knocked back two 500mg pain killers earlier and I barely felt the wounds on my feet. “I got this”, I told myself.
How symbolic, I thought: for every struggling step I took, they somehow represented each hardship we both had to hurdle to finally get to where we are now. We had arrived at the moment we had both been dreaming of for more than 100 days. I had rehearsed this moment in my head a thousand times. I was prepared.
I checked myself just in case. That night, I had made an effort to fix my hair. I even put on a bit of cheek blush and swiped cherry balm onto my lips for good measure. I was wearing my yellow dress too, just as we had talked about. I had the knot of little pink flowers in my left hand, as promised. I told him it was my identifier. He thought it was silly, as if he wouldn’t identify me even after all those photos and video calls.
I studied the flight board for a good 15 minutes. Air China Flight CA979 had landed. I knew I would soon be seeing him in the very Arrivals section I was standing in. “Any moment”, I thought.
“God, just stop fussing with your hair! It’s fine!” rebuking myself. I couldn’t have helped it even if I tried.
“Okay, okay, calm down…It will be okay. You’ve talked to him every day for four months. It’s just like seeing an old friend”, my head was spinning and it almost felt like….
Jesus Christ is that him??!!!?? NEW PALTZ NEW YORK shirt, black cap, big dark blue luggage like he told me, shoulder-length hair, awkward and looking like he’s lost or something…That was definitely him!
I took a deep breath, summoned my courage and walked to his direction. A meter or two away, he saw me from the corner of his eye and in them, I noticed an immediate flicker of recognition.
“Hi”, I gave him my sweetest, albeit, nervous smile.
“You’re very beautiful…”, his first three words. I could have died right there and then!
I may have blushed, I don’t exactly remember. It was all a flurry of activity around us and a million thoughts were racing in my mind. One moment I was trying to give him a polite handshake and at the same time he was about to reach for a hug. We ended in the most awkward one-arm squeeze. Whew!
The sparks weren’t exactly flying for the first ten minutes. I thought he was too dorky, for chrissakes!!! But I was intent on being a good host, however things would turn out.
“You must be hungry”, I observed.
“Yeah”, he said. Hearing the sound of exhaustion in his voice, my nursing instincts immediately kicked in and I felt like, at least for that moment, it was my life’s mission to attend to this man who had risked it all to see me, traveling all the way from Hudson Valley, New York.
“Okay, let’s go get you something. What would you like for now? Water?” I didn’t even really wait for him to respond. I took him by the hand and guided him away from the crowd.
He walked with me without objection. I was gauging him. He was just following me as if he would indeed be lost without me. Aside from obvious unfamiliarity with the place he was in, I wasn’t picking up any more signs from him. He was smiling but he was also quiet.
“What’s going on in his head?”, I wondered repeatedly. Over Skype, we were very sure we had a good connection. Walking side by side in Suvarnabhumi airport, our signal was as weak as the Wifi on the island of Koh Samed. I was scared for a second that we didn’t have the kind of chemistry we’d hoped for.
That’s it! I have got to do something, I decided.
“Hold on”, I led him to a halt right before the walkalator. “Come here”, and with that I gave him a big, tight hug. I melted in his arms as he readily reciprocated. Hmmmm…That’s better.
I smiled at him and told him we should keep walking. He looked at me in wonder. I was pretty sure he asked what the hug was for, but I didn’t respond. I just knew in my heart that I needed to do it. I had to assure him that I was there for him and that he was safe, even thousands of miles away from home. I owed it to him. Whatever the outcome of this two-week visit from a “stranger”, I decided to be good to him, as he had been a good “buddy” to me for the past four months.
Things improved after we picked up water and yogurt from 7-11. I was still thinking he was dorky but at least we were becoming chatty. I would tell him about my first impression of him a week later and he would react incredulously- both aghast and (playfully) annoyed at, to use his words, my “unfair and cruel” judgment.
The water break gave me a renewed vigor and adrenaline rushed through me for quite a few minutes. I almost forgot about my hurting feet until we started walking through the concourse to get a cab outside of the airport. We decided to take the public transport since the chauffeur service didn’t work out. While falling in line beside the taxi stop, I inquired about how his flight went, what he thought about embarking on this adventure, etc. Our conversation was interrupted when the valet lady inquired about our destination. It was our turn. I felt a twinge of embarrassment when I saw that somehow, we managed to get what was possibly the ugliest-looking cab in the whole of Bangkok (hehe).It was a pink Mitsubishi sedan that was also driven by a loud-mouth driver who kept asking for our personal information and our travel itinerary.
I normally chat with cab drivers, but at that moment, it was the last thing we both needed; there were enough things boggling my mind. I was anxious to finally break the ice between me and the man beside me. The distance that separated us for months was enough of a barrier to our affairs. I thought then: now that he was beside me, I wouldn’t let anything get in the way.
If there’s anything Mr. Cab Driver did, it was to at least loosen up the tension inside the cramped space of the car. We shared some small laughs and chuckles here and there as he entertained us with his chauffeuring adventures.
In the backseat, I slowly started feeling the exhaustion of the day. The cabbie’s sonorous voice and the fading whirring sounds of the city almost lulled me to sleep. It was past midnight. All I really wanted to do was to lay down somewhere and resign the stresses of the previous adventurous 12 hours. To follow-up on the contact I established through our earlier hug, I asked Ian to sit closer to me. Hmmm… his name rolled cozily off of my tongue, as if calling his name was the most normal thing in the world. I leaned in and laid my head on his shoulder. I felt the warmth of his chest against my back, caught a whiff of his mild manly musk in my nose, and listened to his intermittent calm and ragged breathing as the skin of his right arm very lightly rubbed against mine. He hesitated before tightening the embrace until I showed encouragement. He was responding to what was for us then a new means of communication. I realized this had been the only thing missing¬-the 4D reality experience.
I thought to myself that I may have felt awkward during the first few minutes with him but that this was probably just part of the adjustment phase. He was no stranger to me – I already knew his mind and his heart. Through the advances of technology, from thousands of miles away, I had the privilege to know his thoughts on life, love, social concerns, politics, etc. I knew the matters that he cared about and why he did. It may sound naïve to others who haven’t had this seemingly strange encounter but I knew in my own heart that I knew his heart even before he took that flight to see me.
And just like that, all thoughts of “dorky foreigner” went away. He was just himself again, only that now he was beside me and not projecting through a screen.
I allowed myself to relax in his arms. My phone wasn’t ringing crazily so my family probably hadn’t reported me missing yet. 😉
I remember how worried about me my mother was before I left for the airport that night. She was anxious about me meeting someone for the first time all by myself. Weeks before the meeting, she had repeatedly given me an unsolicited lecture on propriety as if I was a teenager; to which I always responded “Gosh, Mother, I am a 25-year old adult!” I guess mothers will always be mothers no matter how young or old their children are. I appreciated her advice but since I was already enveloped in this man’s embrace, it was quite clear to me that all resolve would fly out the window. Well, especially since my brain was a cocktail of dopamine, serotonin and quite possibly oxytocin. My resolve was weak to begin with, anyway. Needless to say, I was helpless against the cuddle chemical. Besides, snuggling in the cab is quite conservative if you’ve practically been “dating” for four months already 😉 Ha!
My mother’s greatest consolation was that he was actually a decent man and not a serial killer like her friends had warned her about. We did go to a hotel and not a mad house. But I guess to my traditional Filipina mom, both spelled trouble.
We arrived at the hotel, which was to be our home for the next three days. It’s a cozy little boutique hotel that was very accessible to transportation and was located right in the heart of the city. We were greeted by very gracious staff who attended to our needs right away. After registering at the reception desk, we were told we could go ahead and see our room. A member of the staff would follow suit with our luggage.
I was glad to be relieved of my baggage and was excited to retire for the night. I had a hunch though that we still had a long night ahead of us, no matter how tired we both were. Just like old friends who haven’t seen each other for a long time, there was an extreme need to catch up.
Ever the gentleman, he swung the door open for me. A spacious room with two single beds beckoned us. My instinct was to sit on the bed…My feet were killing me.
Ian just stood there, a few meters opposite me. There was deafening silence for I don’t remember how long.
“Pinch me”, I finally found my voice.
“You’re here! You really came here!” from me, a mixture of awe and disbelief.
“Yes, I did. I’m here”, he calmly said. It was almost annoying how he could stand so serenely a few feet in front of me while there was literally a circus inside of me. What he was thinking, I had no idea at all.
“Come here”, I said, gesturing for him to sit on the bed beside me. He was just a finger-breadth away from me now.
“Pinch me, so I’ll know I’m not dreaming”, I almost begged through a whisper. He refused. He said he didn’t want to hurt me. I insisted and finally I felt the skin on my arm in a gentle taut.
“Harder”, I challenged. Before he could protest, we both heard three consecutive knocks on the door. We both jumped up from being startled.
He opened the door. It was our luggage. I waited as he ushered the man to place the luggage in one corner. I thanked and tipped the bellhop before he left. Behind him, the door closed. As the bellhop walked away, he probably heard the door lock clicking. He was probably thinking about what lay ahead of the remaining 5 hours of his shift or other mundane details of his daily life. Perhaps he was even imagining breaking personal barriers in his own life.
We will never know. Because behind our locked door, Ian and I were lost in our own little world and bathing in- what would be-the beginning of the realization of our dreams.
*The Thai Wai: is a Thai gesture to greet or pay respect with palms pressed together in a prayer-like fashion accompanied by a slight bow.
I felt really tired, and my back muscles ached from staying up late the previous night. I got up from my bed feeling dreamy, as if what transpired the night before was indeed just a dream.
It was his call over Skype that had awoken me, and while I knew he was telling me something important, I found it difficult to shake my sleepiness off. Less than five minutes into the video-call, my eyes had begun to droop again and his words were only a mumble-jumble to me.
“So I cut my hair”, I very faintly heard him say.
“You what??” I jolted.
“I asked my mom to cut my hair, see?”
“Why?!”, I exclaimed in panic.
“Because you wanted me to.”
“Cecille”, I could hear desperation in his voice. “I thought you said I will attract unwanted attention over there and you don’t want that”.
Now I do remember telling him that. “I don’t know…I don’t know…I liked your long hair. I’m not used to seeing you like that!”…I seemed almost a child, unreasonable. I honestly didn’t know what I wanted anymore. Confused, tears started rolling down my cheeks.
“Oh, Cecille, please don’t cry.” He was almost pleading. “I have to go now, okay? My parents are taking me to the airport. It will grow back soon, anyway”.
It felt really weird for him to be consoling me then. He was the one who had one foot of his hair cut off and yet he was the one who was trying to make me feel better. I know he was kind of “attached” to his hair. He’s had it long since he was 11 years old. Looking back to it now, I thought it was frivolous for me to even mention the haircut. Of course, I tell him I never forced him, I was just…sayin’.
When we first started talking online, I didn’t really care about his hair. I thought it was hot and I was attracted to that mysterious side of him. As the day to our meeting drew closer, I became concerned. I think it must have been my conservative influence. Men with long hair are sometimes stereotyped as bad boys: wild and probably addicted to dangerous drugs! How ignorant does that sound?
Not all long-haired men are like that of course, but it was all about the image of it. I knew my family was going to meet him and I just wanted him to make a good first impression. I was like, “Who knows? We could end up getting married!” 😉 Little did I know, he was going to impress them anyway with his charms, his very polite demeanor and, as my father said, his outstanding table manners. But more on that later.
After sleeping a while longer, I got up to check my messages. I wondered if he’d left me anything before he boarded the plane. Boy, did he!
“Great! That’s all we need”, I muttered. A glitch right in the beginning of the two-week itinerary that we’ve been planning for months is a downer, I thought. My nerves were already wracked at the thought of seeing him, finally in the flesh, after four months of relentless correspondence. I was on the cusp of being stressed.
I waited until 8am for business hours to begin so I that I could speak with the hotel personnel regarding his reservation. He was supposed to arrive at 11 o’clock that night so I called the hotel to let them know that he would be arriving the next day instead. The unexpected detour in Alaska was going to delay his flight for 3 hours. This also meant that he was going to miss his Beijing to Bangkok flight, the last flight for the day. He was going to sleep in a hotel in China, alone, and catch another flight to Thailand on the following day. I could imagine how anxious he must be, travelling halfway across the globe for the first time, to places where he doesn’t speak the language, while encountering these mishaps at the same time. The horror!
I smile at the thought of him making that gesture to see me. I’ve got to admire him for being so determined. I was actually sad that I had to cancel the chauffeur service I had previously booked to pick him up. I wanted him to at least be comfortable when he arrived, after all the stress of intercontinental flight. I asked the lady if they could move the booking for the following day but she said they were fully-booked. Oh well! I tried.
I decided to let the stress of the rescheduled arrival go. There was really nothing we could have done about it. I thought: it’s only one night. I was going to see him tomorrow. At 1pm, I went about with my other scheduled appointments: Last minute girly preps that, without getting into much detail, included a nail spa. I would later reap the fruits of my tortured labor when he says the very first words that came out of his mouth upon seeing me. 😉
It took me several hours to finish and when I was finally settled in the couch, checked my messages again. Lo and behold! He was online and was typing to me, possibly as fast as he could!
“I’m in China. We did not stop in Anchorage”
“Will you be able to pick me up?”
“Uhhh…I changed my plans for the day. I’m here at my mother’s place”. Yeah, I forgot to mention that!
“……….” Nothing from him. It said he was typing.
“Oh!” He finally replied. Goodness! What was I doing?!? I must be freaking him out!
“Of course, I’ll pick you up!” I typed in haste. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to do it in my condition.
“Okay. Boarding now. I’ll turn this off”, he said.
I sent a quick goodbye then his little green circle was gone. I exhaled in desperation.
Now what? Decisions, decisions.
I jumped up from the couch, picked up my backpack from the floor, and began packing haphazardly.
“Where are you going?”, my mom wondered.
Silence. You can almost hear the wheels turning.
“I have to go, Mom”, almost a whisper.
“Back to my place”,
“But your foot!” Right! I forgot to mention that too. I had stepped on something earlier. I needed minor surgical intervention and my two feet were bandaged. Did I mention it was painful? I’d been downing pain killers the whole day.
“I’m okay Mom, I’ll be fine”. She was observing me as I was cross-checking my stuff with my list in hand.
“I thought you’re staying here tonight.” I didn’t respond.
“Just tell me what is it, okay? So I’d know.”, she prodded…I was worrying her.
“It’s Ian. He’s arriving tonight.”
What ensued was an exchange between a worried mother and a stubborn daughter who will do what she wants, even against advice.
“Will you at least let your brother take you to the airport?”
For all of my life, my family and friends were always there to support me. I’ve always had people to consult with for all of the major decisions I’ve made. But as I said, it was not an ordinary day.
So today at lunch a co-worker from the table across asked me if I’m pregnant. “Cos you know, you gained weight”, she said.
“No they didn’t!” was my fiancé Ian’s reply when I called him later (I skipped the courtesies and immediately launched into “They asked me if I’m pregnant” in my best Oppressed Cecille voice).
“Baby, are you crying?”, he asked when I didn’t answer.
“No” is what I should have said…Instead, I said “Yes”, lobbying for sympathy. (Well, I was feeling bad, okay?)
“Don’t mind them, Baby. They’re just jealous of you because you’re beautiful and sexy”. (Oh yeah, my fiancé is awesome, isn’t he?)
See, when you have somebody telling you that, you don’t really care if you gain a few pounds. This isn’t the first time the girls at work have said something about my weight, but I never really minded them. I know that I’m healthy and I’m secure about my future husband’s attraction to me no matter what.
Today, I’ve decided that I’m sick of co-workers picking on my weight every chance they get when I don’t even give a damn. Jesus Christ, I’m 49.5 kg at 5 feet 3 inches. Is that so bad?
To be honest, it’s indeed a jump from the 45.5 kg I weighed at the same time last year. But it doesn’t really bother me much. Well, until last month when I couldn’t stop saying: “I’m fat”. I seriously thought that I was beginning to have body-image issues. I took a beating when my co-workers’, with their prying eyes, started to notice my weight gain. And boy, did they remind me every day!
I once took the lift carrying take-out dinner. This girl I ride the shuttle with every day came in and commented that it’s already 7pm and that I should have eaten dinner before 6pm! It doesn’t end there: I have girls knocking on my door asking me if I want to go to the gym. When I’ve wanted to buy a chocolate croissant for dessert, I’ve had to sneak out to the bakeshop, making sure my colleagues didn’t see me, or risk being told “Ceciw, you eating again?!? Khun Ian see you, he say: What happened to you? Now you are uaan (Thai: fat)!”
Sigh! It’s exactly these kinds of “criticisms” that have been souring my mood. I’ve always been happy and confident with my body. Like I said, I don’t give a damn. But I guess that’s why: They want me to give a damn! Like really, telling me I should stop eating rice every day or else my fiancé would leave me for a skinnier woman?!?
As annoyed as I am, I really don’t blame them for the kind of mentality they have. It’s all the media bullshit they see in TV commercials, bus and train ads, posters, etc.
Have you seen Beyonce’s Cavalli ad?
In the poster, we see an extremely stylized image of the songstress to the point that her famous curves completely disappeared! Instead, we see B’s head on top of an exaggeratedly skinny CGI body with spider-like extremities that makes her look more abnormal than a Barbie doll.
Here’s the Skinny:Roberto Cavalli is the official designer for Beyonce’s Mrs. Carter Show. The poster is supposedly for the tour’s campaign.
Famous fashion designer Roberto Cavalli was, of course, widely criticized for the release. The photo was immediately removed from circulation after the slamming from fans, nutritionists, health advocates, feminists, etcetera. Cavalli’s camp had explained – and I quote: “the image of the gown (sic.) is a sketch and not a photo, and therefore it is only meant to be a stylized and artistic vision”.
I get you, Roberto, but you know that the damage is done.
Beyonce, of course, was reportedly upset about the whole fiasco just as she was when H & M airbrushed her swim-suit photos (to make her look thinner) and insisted the original/unedited versions be used for the official summer campaign. She is currently suing them for millions of dollars.
Speaking of H & M, this was a really ironic move considering that their April 2013 campaign featuring Size 14 Jennie Runk earned them positive raves and accolades.
24-year old Ms. Runk here is billed as the heroine of self-loathing women, especially teenage girls who suffer starvation, amongst other scary means of losing weight. She is said to be helping women feel better about themselves because she heralds real beauty and that she has “the body of a normal woman”. Ha!
While I admire Ms. Runk’s beauty and support her message, I couldn’t help but see this as a dubious stunt—big corporations preying on vulnerable women’s craving for approval from the mass media. Even Ms. Runk can be just a pawn in this giant scheme. I hope not.
But whatever, if it works for the deflation of the over-all insecurity of the female population and teen suicide rates, then it’s fine with me. Besides, whatever the billboard ads say is “trendy”, then that’s what is “trendy”. Ugh!
Obviously, trend varies depending on the market these companies cater to. The disparity between the message of Jennie and Beyonce’s H & M ads says it clearly: There’s the normal market and the other markets. Jennie Runk isn’t’ exactly labeled as just a “model” but a “plus size model”. Ask any beauty or fashion magazine and they will tell you that the normal sized- women are supposed to look like this:
As an advocate for women and a healthy lifestyle enthusiast, this issue has always been close to my heart. I have always found the popular standards of beauty to be ridiculous and unrealistic for most people. To condone this is outrageous and it sickens me to think how many women have suffered (and are suffering still) both emotionally and physically just to fit into the accepted “beautiful” and/or “sexy” category mostly perpetuated by selfish companies with vested financial interests.
But, why this sudden lashing? Well, because, I too have become a victim of this vulgar commercialism and I can’t just stand there and take it.
I live in Thailand- where girls eat garden salad for breakfast and have dinner before 6 o’clock in the evening, where women go out of their houses as if they forgot to put their pants on, flaunting their chicken-skinny legs! Here in Bangkok, a popular cosmetic hotspot, co-workers eye you with disdain every time you put food into your mouth.
I am not arguing that women should just eat with abandon and not care about their bodies at all. I say we should all take measures to ensure our bodies are healthy and that includes eating in moderation and proper exercise. Certainly not by skipping meals, or even worse, fad dieting. More importantly, on a bigger scale, the bashing has got to stop!
It’s not as if this is a life and death situation where one has to curb her diet or run the risk of gaining, whoa! unwanted curves! Yeah, because that’s really the worst thing a woman could have!
This obsession with these (and I say this with a bitter taste in my mouth) “standards of beauty”, of an ideal sexiness is pushing women to go to absurd lengths- pressuring them to achieve a figure that may not be healthy for them. By the way, these ideals are not only promoting malnutrition, they are also cultivating a culture of mean-spiritedness and superiority complexes in those who fit the criteria, and low self-esteem in those who aren’t welcome into the category.
I do know that some women are just naturally skinny and they don’t gain weight no matter how much they eat. I don’t have anything against them. I do think they can be indeed sexy too, but not just because of their vital statistics. There are a million things that can make a woman sexy: wit, wisdom, kindness, sense of humor, skill, perhaps? If I were a man, these would certainly attract me.
It’s very sad that nowadays, the art of husband-hunting has almost regressed to merely an aesthetic tourney. They used to laugh about women in the time of Jane Austen or the 1950s that had to be educated in art, literature, music, geography, science, language, home economics and the like to make a good match, when eventually they will be consigned to the home to attend to their men’s needs and look after the children. Well, at least they had to use their brains; these days, women only have to look good, wear a perfect smile, be a size 0-2 and they can land senators, business tycoons, heirs to fortunes, etc.
Lastly, these days women don’t really seem to try to look good just for the hell of it. When you hear people say “Oh you should do this and that so you can get a boyfriend” or “Oh you should be like this or else your husband will look somewhere else”, it makes you think, is it really all about attracting men?
I love it when my fiancé compliments me and this encourages me to try to look good. But also, I just want to look good for myself…just because it makes me feel good. Do you know what I’m talking about? I mean, these decisions about our bodies are ours to make and should not be influenced by peer or social pressure. It should also be about us!
Sweating it out, running around the park, and working my butt off in the fitness center? Yes, I do it because I want to. I know I have a responsibility to take care of my body. I do it and I will keep doing it – not because some damn commercial is telling me too or that I am afraid of Ian Weinstein abandoning me if I bloat.
CURB or CURVE? No! I am not letting anyone or anything decide for me whether I am “sexy” or not.
I believe that in every woman is an innate seductress, a charming maiden, an irresistible nymph, a goddess… no matter what her shape and size. We only have to claim that inner vixen…and tell her she shouldn’t be intimidated by whatever people around her say. Let her out, because she should be freakin’ running the world. Size 2 or not.
Every morning, my company shuttles me and other employees between our dorm and the hospital in which we work. Today, the driver was burning up the road like crazy, as usual. So I fastened my seatbelt and upon the “click” sound, all eyes turned to me. It seemed they all found it weird that I didn’t want to die yet.
So I sent the fiancé a message: “They all chuckled when I wore my seatbelt”.
To that he replied: “Oh f*** them! If the van crashes you can laugh as you walk away and step over their corpses.”
Me: “Yes, in sky-high heels!”
Him: “That’s my girl!”
Don’t get us wrong. We are not really mean people and we don’t really wish any harm to anyone. Quite the contrary, we are both frustrated by the lack of precaution some people have…..
I’ll give you the gory facts straight up.
Up to 26,000 people are killed in road accidents every year in Thailand, which puts the country in the 6th rank worldwide in terms of road casualties.
Between October 2011 and September 2012, the total number of reported accidents in Thailand was a whopping…wait for it…54,384!!! (1)
LIKE CRUMPLED PAPER.A distorted piece of metal that was once a commuter van
Between October 27th 2012 and January 2nd, 2013, in celebration of the New Year holiday, a total of 3,329 people were injured in 3,176 road accidents reported throughout the country. Meanwhile, 365 people were killed. I don’t know about you but this really creeps me out. That’s 365 bodies for 365 days of the year. What a morbid and unlucky way to start the year!
I am not very superstitious but I know death tolls as high as this can’t be good. While some say accidents are premonitions of things to come, to me, it’s rather the result of an action previously taken (or not taken). If I were to be so bold, I’d say it’s a reflection of the people’s attitudes towards personal safety and welfare. On a macro level, it teaches us a lot about Thai society’s disregard for responsible road practices and also, how they value life.
Maybe it’s the “Mai bpen rai” attitude that the Thais embody so well…
The site “Things Asian: Experience Asia Through the Eyes of the Travelers” provides us with a clearer understanding on the matter:
mai bpen rai, mai mee bpunhaa
The first phrase roughly translates to “it doesn’t matter”, the second to “no problem.” Together, they typify the Thai approach to life: don’t get bogged down by small obstacles, don’t worry, take it easy. Much to the dismay of Westerners, Thais employ these phrases even in situations that are dangerous, even life-threatening. (Westerner: “The house is on fire!” Thai: “No problem.”) If a Westerner protests, he is swiftly reprimanded with “jai yen” (calm ).
I admit, I had a little bit of this careless attitude when Ian and I were planning our trips all over Thailand. We both agreed that we want to travel and see the sights outside of the Bangkok metropolis. Our incessant dilemma though was: How to get there? Warnings about the Thai public transportation did not escape our ears.
I was born and raised in the Philippines and I have ridden practically all of the means of transportation there is, horse and water buffalo (carabao) included. So I wasn’t really scared. But Ian had never been to Asia before and I was worried about him. If there’s one thing I like about America, it is their strict adherence to road safety. That is what he is used to.
During our first trip to Koh Samed, I didn’t have a problem with taking a mini-van back to Bangkok. My idea was: hell, mini-vans cut the travel time by an hour. We’ll get to our destination faster than a bullet.
And fast it was. I didn’t realize how much of a terrifying experience it was for Ian because I was asleep and drooling on his shoulders by the time our half-crazy driver was playing “Catch Me If You Can” with his fellow motorists. Expressway Edition.
Halfway to Bangkok, I woke up to the sound of my fiance, calling on to Jesus like an old Catholic lady. My baby was sweating like a sun-burnt laborer, the small towel I put in his back was soaking wet…I realized, the passengers’ attitudes towards the drivers’ speeding is a very important factor in the perpetuation of this devil-may care behavior on the road. Inside the van, I looked around us and saw the locals were dozing off, even snoring, like it’s just another day.
I used to hear people say that if you can drive in Manila, you can drive anywhere, pertaining to the “kaskasero” (speed maniac) attitude of Manila/Filipino drivers. Ha! They probably have never been to Thailand! If it were in my country, the Old Catholic ladies would have already cursed the delinquent driver to hell and back! Speeding and swerving Bangkok-bound, no one even bothered to call-out the kon kap’s (driver) maneuvering techniques. For them, the faster the better.
I made a mental note: I would never put Ian through that kind of torment again.
On a more scientific approach, Ponboon et.al, of the Thailand Accident Research Center cited in “Contributing Factors of Road Crashes in Thailand: Evidence from an Accident In-Depth Study” reasons such as roadside hazards, cargo load, panic -like steering and driver age for the mounting accident rate.
For this article, I read the Land Traffic Act, B.E. 2522 (1979) proclaimed by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej himself. I don’t really know how the traffic authorities actually enforces these regulations (do they go on patrol, do they install checkpoints, do they penalize non-seatbelt wearing drivers or overloading of passengers, etc.). But whichever way they are doing it, I am not impressed.
My first-hand observations on the traffic conditions here are unbelievable.
Take this photo, for example:
This exhibits a simultaneous violation of:
Section 121 (500B). …………..The passenger shall ride at the back seat provided for the passenger, or in the side car.
Section 122 (500B). The rider and the passenger of a motorcycle shall wear a motorcycle helmet.
Section 43 (400-1000B)
No driver shall drive the vehicle:
* while being intoxicated by liquor or other alcoholic drinks
(I have no proof that Mr. Driver has been drinking but one must be surely drunk to make irrational decisions such as to carry 5 human beings, the 4 being children on a tiny two-wheel vehicle)
*with carelessness or recklessness which may cause danger to persons or property
* in a manner not normally practiced in driving a vehicle or while unable to see the way in front or at the back or either/both sides clearly enough for safety
*without thinking about the safety or suffering of other persons.
I am putting emphasis on that last line.
Safety issues which could potentially lead to suffering of persons should not be taken lightly. I do think there is a limit to when “sabai sabai” (could be translated into English slang as “everything’s chill” or “not a care in the world”) is appropriate. Adherence to road regulation is clearly not something we should be “chill” about especially when it could mean the lives of our fellow human beings…
Perhaps in the third world countries plagued by poverty, the lives of our fellow human beings have become so cheap that we don’t care if we lose…what’s the statistics again? 26,000 people every year excluding the unreported cases!
Surely, I am not the first person to make these observations. While researching for this article, I have come across lots of blogs and websites who are expressing the same degree of frustration as I have. Check out some of them:
As I read and discover more about the traffic situation, I realize I need to learn more. It seems, there’s more to this story than what meets the eye. Most of the blogs I’ve read focused on the motorbike problem. Some discussed the issue of traffic violations in general, detailing statistics, charting values of road accidents per type of vehicle, overloading, etc. The list is endless.
The facts are appalling but what I am truly puzzled about is the motivation. Why would these people subject themselves to this amount of potential danger? My impression was that the story is more about a sheer disregard for rules or safety regulations, an overly relaxed or daredevil approach in life. I mean, I would understand if a passenger cab driver does a 100-120 (minimum is 80) in an almost empty toll way. But speeding and swerving when other vehicles are also speeding and swerving is unacceptable. Especially when I tell him I am not in a hurry!!! Maybe he doesn’t care about his life but I do care about mine.
Once again, I wonder if it is only a true mindlessness or unawareness of the possible tragedies that lurk in the sidelines. I am doubtful because mindlessness is not a very Buddhist attribute. But then again, I could be just generalizing. Besides, reckless drivers are everywhere, not only in Buddhist countries like Thailand.
Despite my annoyance, I am still concerned about those speeding private vehicle drivers- those who race to death as if they don’t have families to go home to. How many children each year lose their mothers or fathers to drunk driving?
More so, I am very worried about the future of those children whose parents take overloaded public transport commuting to and from their workplace.
Those parents — do they pause for a while and contemplate what could be the consequence of their actions? Do they think for a second…hey, maybe if I ride this overloaded vehicle and something bad happens, what’s going to happen to my kids? How will my loved ones feel?
Maybe they never think about it because the forms of transportation they take daily are the only ones they’ve known since the beginning of their lives. Maybe they learned from their parents that taking overloaded “song thaews” is okay. “Riding the motorbike taxi without a helmet is okay; ask mother, she does it too”. Don’t worry. In turn, their kids learn from them and the cycle continues. It becomes a societal habit. It is integrated into the culture. It becomes a “normal” thing. That’s when it becomes a bigger problem-when we don’t realize the hazards plaguing us even when they’re already staring us in the eye.
While writing this, I asked various co-workers about what they think of the traffic problem in Thailand. More specifically, I asked whether they had an issue regarding speeding drivers in their country. 3/3 said “120kph is normal. In fact, that’s not too fast.” The nurse manager in the next department said “Oh! I’m not the only one doing that. XXXX does it too”.
I am no cultural psychology expert or road accident specialist, but I do have common sense. Most of the time, that is all that it takes to know that there is something wrong.
I believe the government of Thailand has recognized this issue too, long before I wrote this article. The Thailand Accident Research Center is incessant in their efforts to promote safety awareness. Or so their website says. Despite its prevalence, the government tells us the accidents have been significantly reduced in the last few years. I don’t know about that but the numbers mentioned above still look big to me.
A public problem becomes more relevant based on how it affects people across the socioeconomic spectrum. The Upper-class may not need to take public transport, their kids may not need to ride motorbike taxis to go to school. The rest rely on public transport drivers to take them to their destination. No matter the differences, tragedy can strike anybody. It is a great equalizer. Some motorists drive slow and steady. But a speeding car could hit them and cause damage to life and property. Little children crossing the pedestrian could get hit by drunk drivers. Even a careful driver who forgot to wear his seatbelt could die when he gets hit by a big delivery truck. What I’m saying: our individual actions affect not only ourselves but the world around us. Every little thing we do or not do impacts our lives in varying degrees.
Having said this, I conclude that in facing this dilemma, both government and people must do their share.
Individual motorists and even passengers can start by thinking about personal safety before turning on the ignition key. A perfect example is securing their seatbelts on. I often notice that public transportations such as taxis and mini-vans don’t have safety belts except for the passenger in the front. Tsk! Had Princess Diana worn hers, it’s possible she would be alive now. Who knows? Of course, regard for personal safety must be accompanied by a social conscience, a responsibility for one’s actions keeping in mind that a rapidly moving ton of metal could hurt or kill someone. Pedestrians must also be wary of what’s happening around them before they cross the street. They must use the right crossing or an overpass. Motor accidents also happen when pedestrians are careless and do not follow rules of the road.
On the government’s side, the solution, for Thailand, and likely also for the other developing Southeast Asian nations that have poor safety standards and practices, is a combination of boosting the existing public awareness programs and effective enforcement. Maybe the commercial campaigns, TV, radio, sopy and billboard ads depicting road responsibility as well as the horrible consequences of dangerous behavior messages aren’t coming across, eh? And seriously, somebody has got to penalize those speeding drivers and drivers who don’t wear their goddamn seatbelts. Even harsher mandates are necessary for securing children safely in vehicles.
If the above suggestions could be effectively employed, the state will reap the windfall created by punitive fines for speeders and reckless drivers, the revenue paying for the public awareness campaign and – who knows? Maybe some funds left over to improve the roads! (Though honestly, Thailand’s road system is waaay better than most countries)
The eventual result would be a decrease in accidents over the coming years, which translates to more lives saved. Less injuries, less health care costs…the benefits go on.
It’s been 43 hours since Ian left. I am still not ready to face my life…my life in Thailand, to be exact.
My thoughts keep repeating: I don’t belong here anymore.
I am at the point where my reality feels unreal.
My real life is in my fiancé’s arms.
I’m supposed to be cheery. This last visit marks the final leg of this K1 journey. In a few months, I will finally be with my love for good. We will never be apart again. But I’m not exactly feeling like Missus Positivus today.
I don’t feel like doing anything. I’m blaming it on the fact that after 10 days together, I got so used to Ian being here. I wrote him a poem earlier and in it, I expressed my melancholy…
It’s only hours from your departure
And even the skies in Bangkok
Cry tears of grief
Your absence has sucked
The life out of my city
I know…I know…I can be overly dramatic sometimes. Or hormonal.
There’s something different about this last visit though, aside from (but possibly related to) it being the last. I feel like this time I am bluntly refusing to feel all of the agony of longing. I cried so much before Ian even left, so maybe that’s why I didn’t have any more tears to spill after coming back from the airport.
Ah! The train trip back to the hotel – always the worst part of Ian’s every visit.
This time, I managed to scribble a note aboard the coach:
It’s 9pm and you must be boarding your plane now. I’m at the basement level of the airport, waiting for the next train to arrive.
I am safe. Don’t worry about me (although that’s impossible for you not to do). I’m a big girl and I will take good care of myself-I can handle it.
So this is it! We’ve come to the last leg …three exciting, exhilarating and extraordinary visits. We have definitely made tons of memories that will last a lifetime. I want to thank you, with all my heart, for everything you’ve done to make these visits possible. And of course, for all the things you did while you were here. You have made me feel very special in countless ways.
Absolutely special! Years back, I used to wonder: How do you know when the person you’re with truly cares about you and cherishes you? I never found the answers until I met Ian. I know now, even without putting so much though into it, I am truly deeply madly loved. I feel it in every word that comes out of his mouth, every little lazy croon of endearment, every single touch and breath…
I am secure. He makes certain I feel that way every day.
On my end, I am equally and irrevocably in love with him, powerfully so.
Have you ever thought of being in, or staying in a relationship just for the sake of it? Have you ever felt like keeping it the way it is because, after all, it was a good-enough set-up for you?
It’s not the most wonderful thing in the world. But some say, you won’t really know the difference until you are in a relationship where both partners are truly crazy and craves for each other, respects, trusts and values each other like they would themselves, admires and adores each other and expresses said admiration and adoration for each other through words, actions, etc. It’s elusive, this seemingly ideal thing I am talking about, but it’s not impossible to have it. It does happen to mere mortals like us. Once you have it, you’ll be wise enough to follow Christina Perri’s example:
“I will be brave I will not let anything
What’s standing in front of me”
The PA announced the train’s arrival to Makkasan Station…less than 13 days ago, Ian and I got off at this stop to go to our hotel. That place is special to us because it’s the same place we stayed the first time Ian came here. Being in its lobby, rooms and dining hall once more was reminiscent of our very first few moments as a couple…It was in this place that we first said the three little words that made us both the happiest people in the world that minute…
(more of this in TRUE LOVE TRAVEL LOGS…Coming Soon!)
20 minutes after my departure from the airport, I was still sitting in the little corner I found inside the train. I kept writing:
“Your plane is probably flying back now. I pray for a safe flight for you my love. Know that I am always sending positive thoughts your way.
Darling, I already long for you, even though we were together only a few minutes ago.”
It’s almost silly how I could miss him already when we were together only a few minutes ago. Silly, yes, but ironically it’s more sad than silly, how Farewells are.
You say goodbye with the promise that you will see each other soon…as if the promises will make it less painful. It doesn’t. But they give hope. It’s almost like grimacing a smile, or swallowing a bitter pill that you know would heal you and end your suffering…Thankfully, his farewell kisses (like the Pina Colada I had back when we frolicked on the beautiful island of Koh Samed), were sweet, full of promise, with a burst of salt from my tears…they were a reprieve.
“Parting is such sorrow, but your warm embraces and loving whispers are sweet sugar cubes to our otherwise bitter cup.”
But I know Ian and I know each other more than anybody else does. Our love transcends. I am connected to him and he is connected to me no matter how far apart: We are two photons entangled.
“I am pressing my lips, savoring the memory of your last few kisses: quick but passionate still, urgent but not any less meaningful, a public display which yet delivers a secret only our two hearts will understand…”
Yes. I truly believe you my love. We will see each other soon.