Tag Archives: Loy Krathong

“Home” for the Holidays

12 Dec

Greetings from Chiang Mai!  It’s been a while since I’ve written.  It’s been a strange and somewhat busy and challenging time for me these past weeks. Life, school and teaching keep buzzing by and I… I just had to take a break, or step back or something.  It seems that life is moving and changing in important ways and I am just doing my best just to roll with the waves.

I’ve had one big shift in my life.  I took a leap and moved off campus.  If you didn’t know, for the past 7 months I have been living on the campus where I teach.  In many ways this has been great.  It provided a safe place to land and a good place of support.  But as the months went on I started gettin’ that itch… for something a little different.  I started snooping around on-line sites looking at the many condo listings available.  I had a particular list of desires that, for the most part I wasn’t willing to compromise on.  I didn’t give up and finally… with the help of Indigo Chiang Mai Real Estate… I found something that I am really happy with. Hooray!

In truth, when push came to shove, moving off campus was a little daunting for me… leaving the comfort and security of the mother ship.  It was the quickest move I’ve ever had.  With a friend and her car to help, it literally took us about ten minutes to move all of my stuff in.  Gypsy life has its benefits.

A bathtub!

A bathtub!

After living in a great, but small room on campus with only a community kitchen downstairs… there are many delights I am now experiencing in my new space.  I have a kitchen!  It’s not fancy, but there’s a sink and a stove and it’s stocked with plenty of dishes and pans. This is not typical in Chiang Mai budget accommodations. It’s really great to cook in the comfort of my own space again. Also I have tons of great light! Which is wonderful since my campus room, while snug and private, was so dark that even my plant couldn’t survive in there. I had to put him out in the hall to give him any hope of receiving some real sunlight.  This had me thinking, if my plant couldn’t live in that dark room… imagine the impact it had on me!  Additionally, I now have a bathtub.  Not an easy thing to find in Chiang Mai…  and it’s not some scrawny bathtub, but a real bathtub where I can easily stretch out my legs.  Yippee!!

My happy plant hanging out near the sunshine

My happy plant hanging out near the sunshine

My plant and I are now both happy.  It was funny to notice how nervous I was moving out on my own.  But when I thought about it I realized that it has been about ten years since I last rented an apartment on my own. Over my past 5 years of international living, this is the first time I have rented a place and lived on my own.  So a new experience for me!  The last apartment that I rented “all by myself” was my modest but appreciated basement apartment that I departed suddenly with the flooding of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Since then I have lived with another, rented space in someone’s home, house-sat, visited and cohabitated… in a wide array of circumstances and locations.  I must say, it’s a nice treat to have a little corner of my own for a bit.

Living the "high" life... thankfully, on the 2nd floor

Living the “high” life… thankfully, on the 2nd floor

I am in one of the many high-rise condos flooding the city of Chiang Mai.  It is a little on the outskirts of town, quiet and laid back.  As I am… afraid of heights…. I am happy to say that I am on the 2nd floor.  A few days ago I visited someone who lives on the top, 15th floor.  He has sort of the “penthouse” apartment.  To get to his space you pass through a glass door onto an open air balcony before entering the apartment.  Just this little passage was enough to send my heart racing.  “Good thing I am on the 2nd floor” I thought!

At school we are now wrapping up the 3rd quarter.  It’s breezed on by with many holidays and activities flooding the schedule.  I have done my best to keep my go with the flow attitude required for any happiness or sanity in Thailand.  This week we are finishing up oral exams and the end of the week students will take their final test.  After tests we have just a few days of classes filled with some holiday celebrations until, happily, we are free for a healthy break.  Yes!

Some of my beautiful students all dressed up for a traditional dance

My beautiful students all dressed up for a traditional dance

Before you know it, the school year will be complete. Students take their end-of-the-year tests in first days of March.  Teachers stick around for a few weeks after to complete some administrative work… and then we are finished in mid-March!

It’s hard to believe the holidays are just around the corner.  I see pictures of folks in sweaters and scarves on Facebook and remind myself… oh, that’s right… it’s December.  While evenings and mornings are a bit cooler now, the days still typically get up into the high 80s or low 90s at mid-day.  But the terrible heat has softened quite a bit and truthfully the weather now feels just great.

With that, I will say good-bye for now.  I am enjoying a leisurely Saturday afternoon in my light, open space.  With the holidays coming, I am feeling grateful for a little “home” of my own.  How are these times and holidays unfolding for you? It’s always great to hear from you!

Featured image:  The lanterns lighting up the sky from the beautiful full moon celebration Loy Krathong.  It’s celebrated on November 25 and a highlight of the holiday season in Thailand.  It was a beautiful sight to see!

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