One foot gets pulled out of the muck only to get the other one stuck. But I am getting to stable ground again, slowly. Something strange is happening to my brain though, I am making slips of logic in ways I never had in America. It feels like the halves of my mind are splitting in two. One side has it’s own agenda: it tries to be studious and receptive and on top of things. The other side seems to undermine it. My consciousness straddles these two strategies and is a little confused right now.
My first indication that something was off was when I went on a trip to renew my visa and I forgot the only thing I HAD to bring on the trip: my passport. That same week I got back, I made plans to meet someone for dinner. She calls me from outside my house asking where I am. I had thought it was a day earlier than it was and was still out of town. I have spending more money in the past two months than I had anticipated, so I started reining in expenses when possible. One change was trying to limit my daily food budget to an average of 100 BHT, about $2.5. I was doing well, even under this amount for a few days when I went out to a bar. I bought a beer and paid with three 20 BHT bills. Except one of the bills was actually 1000 BHT. At least I think I did this, my accounting hasn’t been the best. But I am fairly certain that I had a big bill in my wallet the day I went to the bar. The following day it was gone. But I am confused if what I thought was actually a 1000 note was actually a 20 note. The coloring is similar, especially in the dark. So it’s also entirely possible that I paid the right amount at the bar and was actually mistaking things in my wallet. At least I’m only mistaking money for other money.
Yesterday was fun. I invited a group of six friends to meet me at a cool bar in the touristy part of town. The bar is on the top floor of a four story building, with a retractable roof, mat seating, and a panoramic view of Chiang Mai. There are lots of bats flying around and the DJ spins cool, obscure tunes. Disparate friends came together and got to know each other. I was a conversational octopus. The only trouble of the evening was one friend who was coming crashed her bike and flew headfirst into the back of a taxi. Luckily, S. was heading the same route, saw her sprawled out at the accident scene and took her to the hospital. She is okay, except for some facial swelling and a busted nose. The night wound to a close when an obnoxious drunken Brit got into a pointless slurred argument with one of my female friends and almost fell off the roof. Is it wrong for me to have wanted to push him? Lastly, it had been raining. When I raised my helmet to put it on, I dumped half a helmet of water on my head. Despite my plan for otherwise, it had filled with water during the rain.
I went to sleep at three in the morning after a long conversation with a Thai friend. She was feeling hopeless and lost. She is a husk of a person, but on the surface things seem perfect. People’s expectations and perception of her are in conflict with how she feels about herself. It confuses and depresses. It makes her feel trapped. With this, I can empathize. And there are unfortunate things in her past that flavor who she is today, that hold her back from finding happiness. But I don’t know how to help her. I don’t encourage her alcoholism. I let her know that I care about her and want to see her happy. That is the most anyone outside her can do.
And again I am enraged by how the actions of a few inconsiderate people can so easily stunt someone’s growth.
Oh well, at least I have my music!