I used to be a very brave and courageous woman when it comes to change. Honestly. I can do whatever I want, go wherever I want. I like going to places, experiencing new things, etc. I don’t mind eating whatever is available for consumption. Noodles or bread? I don’t mind. Or sleeping anywhere so long I can rest my eyes and my tired legs. I remember the days when I had to sleep at Naga bus terminal because I missed the last trip to my school located at the foot of a mountain. I actually managed to sleep alone in that public place without worrying about what could possibly happen when I am wandering around dreamland. But that was many years ago. Sadly. Now, I am still up for traveling and all but I have to prioritize comfort above all things. I choose soft sleeper beds though they are way more expensive than sitters or hard sleepers when going for a long train ride. I choose hotels with big and wide windows over cheap hotels without windows at all. Seriously. Then the next thing I consider is security. I know, right? It should have been security before comfort but what can I do? I’m aging. LOL. Thankfully, I have learned to start caring for myself. I am a strong, single, and independent woman. I can take care of myself. (Besides there’s no one who can stay up and make sure I am safe when I sleep in public places. *Wink* Well, I used to date someone from college who was actually a big help because I didn’t have to spend the night alone in bus terminals. I’m glad he came. :D) I am so grateful that God has been keeping me safe throughout these years.
Since I was a little girl it has been my long term dream to serve God in different places. Feeling lazy and tired from studies, I decided to sign up for a volunteer teaching job in Japan. Everything went well with the application. However, I didn’t know that God had better plans. He didn’t let me go. He wanted me to finish my degree first and gain a teaching experience before serving Him fully. Equipped with diplomas and experiences, He sent me to South Korea after my grad school graduation instead. I thought of staying there for a year then go to Japan. I really wanted to go to Japan. Every single year I prayed so hard for God’s will in my life. I prayed if I could go to Japan but I guess my principals’ prayers were stronger than mine because I ended up staying in that same school for four years! Throughout those years, I developed a passion for Spanish/Portuguese/Italian. I was able to learn Korean somehow and so I thought I could be able to learn another language with Roman characters. I’ve been praying and praying for God to bring to Brazil or Costa Rica but he sent me to Thailand instead. Funny, right? Perfect place to practice the few things I learned from that Spanish crash course I took a couple of years back! Hehehe. So here I am. How’s my Thai? Man, it’s terrible. I literally put learning Thai aside. I can’t learn it. What? With those 50 something characters? I can’t. They look like snails to me, very complicated to write. I picked up a couple of basic expressions though that are very helpful in going around and getting to places, ordering food that no matter how many times I say “nitnoi pet” meaning “little spicy” I’d always end up looking for milk or ice cream while eating that Thai dish I ordered. BUT, BUT, BUT…Even with my broken Thai I can still bargain or ask for a discount when shopping. SERIOUSLY! Perhaps, I have already mastered the art of bargaining in Filipino, English, Korean, and even a little in Chinese (when I was in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Macau) that I am able to do it here too. It’s so easy actually. You just have to be really sweet, flash your brightest smile, and beg in a way that they cannot deny you. But don’t overdo it or else you’d look cheap or pathetic. Just be nice, compliment them, and befriend them.^_^ It’s been fun shopping here.
In short, my broken Thai is enough for me to survive in this land and I praise God for it. When words aren’t enough then there are pens and papers available for you to draw but if the illustration is not clear enough then it’s time for motions. 🙂 There are plenty ways to communicate.
And going back to the quote here, well, 10 years from now I should be happily married, have kids, pets, and a garden, live in a country (not too far from the city though), finished a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction or Linguistics, learned a new language, lived in South or Central America for at least a year, visited Italy…Ughh, the list can go on and on but for now I have to focus on praying for you know what already. 😀 As they said, “Shiela, you are not getting any younger.” Ughh, how I wish women don’t have to worry about that biological clock thing. Ggggrrrr….