Monday, November 17, 2014

Marital Strife

Why would you think we have internet? Whatever gave you that idea? 

I've been having one of those periods every expat is familiar with, which is inevitable, but is still frustrating when it comes along. Here goes: I am sick unto death of Laos. I would go so far as to say I kind of hate it right now.

Wait! Before you start telling me to quit my job and just come home...

The last thing I want to do is to quit anything. I don't want to quit my life or job here at all, and from a 30,000 foot view I know it's where I need to be right now. I am getting my grad work finished, getting experience, and getting to be with some of the best kids I've ever had the pleasure of teaching at the same time, on top of being surrounded by stellar support systems of lovely friends I've picked up along the road. It's just that if Laos and I were married it would be on the couch right now. And I'd be callin' my mama and complaining about how terrible it is. Maybe I would stay the night at a friend's and tell it I'll talk to it when I was ready. You get the picture.

Right now, all the things I normally find interesting and endearing are just annoying me, and the truly annoying things, the things you just kind of roll with when you are on your adaptable and always land on your feet expat game, are too much.

A short list:

Mosquitoes, why? Stop trying to kill me! Motorbikes, so over it, I just want to not get almost hit a kajillion times on my mile drive to work. Food, why do you make me ill and dizzy and why do you have random bits of plastic and too much MSG in you? House, can you have a real kitchen? Hospitals, why don't you exist? Dust, why do you exist? Dogs, why are you such assholes when I'm just trying to be nice to you? Roads, why? Just why, on every aspect of being a road, why? Internet, do you understand how to get to Laos? Do you need a map? Vientiane, why are you so expensive, do you not understand where you are? Checking account, why do you make me feel ashamed to be 31 and have one that looks like you? Health insurance, what is that? Men on the street, do you understand how creepy you are right now?

Okay, there. I feel better. Please understand that my job is wrapped up in my current country, and sometimes I just want to bitch about that situation without worrying you guys that I hate my life or "just need to quit and come home." Thus the marriage analogy- if one of you complained about your spouse, I wouldn't automatically tell you to divorce him/her. If you said your kids were stressing you out, I wouldn't tell you to give them away. And if you complained about a job you liked 80% of the time, I wouldn't tell you to quit. I'm still hanging solid at above 80% with my current situation, so it's fine. I also admit that there is a part of me that associates complaining about anything about Laos with being either ungrateful or not openminded enough to deal with it. It's okay to just say "This sucks." And there has been a lot of my saying that this week, so in the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to say it here. When I first moved to Vientiane and really super hated it (see: every single blog I wrote basically from August until November of 2013) I felt more free to say how much I disliked it. Now that I've loved so much of it, and signed up for another year, I feel like complaining about it at all ever will just result in a fear that I'm not in a good place.

I'm okay, I'm just frustrated because Laos right now. Next week I'll love it again, and love it even more after being so over it. Cycles.

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