I’m a list person. For example, I’m now in my sixth week in Thailand, and today I made a list of vitamins I need to buy at the pharmacy tomorrow. (It’s necessary. Unless my staples of rice noodles, sticky white rice, plain old non-sticky white rice, regular mango, and green mango dipped in sugar are somehow, miraculously high in vitamin B or calcium. PLEASE let me know.)
But this post is about a different list. Right now, my internal clock — my sense of time and my own history — feels jumbled up into a shape-shifting, shiny, nebulous blob. In my head I feel like I left Denver yesterday, and that it is still April, but I’ve also had this crazy accelerated life experience of living in Thailand and can barely remember life before. Also, it’s June now. WEIRD.
Which made me want to write down a list of my favorite things. Because I miss very particular things about home, and I love very particular things about Thailand, and then there are the things that will always be on the list. That’s all – no need to call Oprah’s publicists.
My favorite things, now updated with new Thai favorite things:
Freshly cut pineapple. I don’t know why it seems so ridiculously hard to buy and slice a pineapple in the States, but it does.
When my sister and I sing the same song lyrics, at the same time, on accident.
Good, long talks in the dark. (By nightlight, by campfire light, by moonlight. Preferably in a sleeping bag and/or at a 10th Mountain Division Hut.)
Magnum Bars and massage in my apartment building. (Magnum Ice Cream Bar = 40 Baht. 1 hour massage = 150 Baht.) That’s right, for less than six dollars I can have both of those things. Every day if I want.
The fact that we’re spinning.
The moment when I asked my students to name all the musical instruments they could think of and the third one they came up with was the vuvuzela.
Colorado Microbrews. (If someone can figure out how to send me a Titan IPA, I will send you four trillion mangosteens in return.)
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. Every word of it.
A blister you didn’t know was there until you saw it.
These Bon Iver lyrics:
“This is not the sound of a new man, or a crispy realization
it’s the sound of the unlocking and the lift away.”
Knowing a little French, a little Spanish and a little Thai. In a mental scramble, I always pull out “Si” for yes. In Thai, this means “four.” Which makes me a crazy teachaaaa!
The all-at-once explosion of green on trees in Colorado in April, at the precise moment when you just. can’t. handle. anymorebrown.
The fact that you inevitably rediscover who you are in a place where no one knows you.
Freedom to choose. My profession, my breakfast, my friends.
s̶k̶y̶p̶e̶. Gchat video.
The way one of the Thai teachers, Preeda, says my name when I get to school each day – “Annnnie!” as if I just opened her front door with a giant basket of pastries on a Sunday morning.
When Savasana feels perfect: like the heaviest and lightest you have ever been.
Christmas stockings. My mom (Shhhhh! They’re signed from “Ho Ho!”) is the BEST at stockings. Here’s a peek inside last year’s: Kiehl’s shampoo, Trader Joe’s chocolates, snazzy socks, and a scarf from Turkey, among other awesomeness. Yes, I am 33. And I LOVE stockings!
lower case letters, used purposefully.
The fact that last week my extra class wrote me a note that read: “Teacher Annie is VERY VERY beautiful!” (This is an obvious choice but seriously, how could it not make the list?!)
Mango and coconut sticky rice.
It’s a good list.
Next time, I promise more actual teaching stories – I have plans to teach my kiddos to do a flash mob in the coming weeks, and I cannot WAIT to see how it turns out. I think we’ll be famous.
Peace, my friends!