Last year, almost on a whim I decided to leave London and everything I know and move to Thailand. DEPDC, an anti-human trafficking organisation said they’ll have me to work in their shelter in Chiang Khong, a small town up north. And so it happens that many months later, and barely a few weeks ago I landed in this strange land, once upon a time called Siam.
I chewed much on the idea of having a blog. As a friend put it, what is the point of writing for others to read? I’m sure Mark Twain would have sth smart and snappy to say about this. Me on the other hand… I don’t really know what is the point…
But what made me give it a go, is my unnatural desire to share this time (as opposed to see ya in a year or so usual me). Here, everything feels the same and yet… very different. Most expats (a fancy name for white rich(er) immigrants) hang out with other expats. No shame in that. We all want to feel like we belong. Which… is a bit hard if you’re 5.8 and extremely blond. And kopkun kha is as far as your local language skills go. But for now, I live with seven 14y.o local girls so I don’t have much of a choice. They’re all coming from different hill tribes Akha, Hmong. You know, all of those guys tourists in Thailand want to visit.
Who do I hang out with? Mostly my project leader so far. An extraordinary lady, passionate about stopping child abuse who wants to see women stand out. Take the lead, be empowered, be educated (pretty much all of those things my Gender and Politics course was talking about) while still always always covering shoulders and knees! She’s introducing me to everyone around. Similarly inspiring ladies, all running projects on human trafficking, HIV stigma reduction, poverty support – the whole lot. I mostly feel in awe around them, which might have sth to do with the fact that they barely speak English.
But anyhow, all this means that I get to experience Thai culture (and yummmm food! seriously it’s amazing) first hand. Experience all the quirkiness in all its splendour as a Romanian grown, England educated and overall world seasoned falang that I am.
So what’s to come is mostly an experiment to push me to find an angle in everyday life in an Asian village named Sathan (I couldn’t imagine this name if I tried to!!!)