Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Right Now in Laos: Backpacking Detritus, Much Needed Showers, and Planning Sessions

Meet Martin and Erica. We had great times making train curtain Vogue fashion shoots on the night train. I tried to convince Martin he'd make a great living as a prostitute in Bangkok. I reveled about solo travel with Erica as we gave each other "that's right, girl" eye high fives from her upper bunk to my lower bunk. I'll never see them again.

I knew exactly what I was doing when I went hard and booked a homecoming night train for Saturday. Rolling into Vientiane on a dusty Sunday morning less than 24 hours before I had to return to work, after 16 days of not working, is not normally my style. I like to give a bit of a buffer/comedown section to my vacation, where I check my wounds and my bank account and do laundry and reflect on what I just did and ease back into Teacher Style. Not this time. I wanted to wring everything I could out of this vacation. I am wrung. I am out. I am not quite Teacher Style yet. Mostly because all of my teacher clothes are dirty.


Meet Scott. Erica, Martin, and I all piled on his bunk while the cabin attendant made up our beds, before any of us knew each other's names. And then we had that train curtain photo shoot you saw above. I crawled into my bunk and listened to Scott talk about his plans while he picked Koh Phangan out of his beard. I fell asleep as he was talking and didn't see him in the morning to even say goodbye and thank you for the bedtime story. On down the track.

The last two days I've been in a daze, head swimming with possibilities, plans, and a fiercely focused motivation I haven't felt in years. But please be assured, that motivation is entirely within the intimate parameters of the inside of my skull, and does not in any way bleed out into my day to day life at this point. I haven't showered since Sunday night and it's Tuesday night, my backpack is flayed open and bleeding clothes all over my floor, my clean laundry that was rejected for the trip prior to my leaving is still lounging on my couch, water bottles and medicine bottles and errant socks and splayed open books skitter across my floor, and crumpled receipts and ticket stubs and notes speak to people and places that I just met and went to and already feel so far away. I am in the middle of this wreck, posted up at my kitchen table, one leg up and one leg down, stretching and working on my splits while I bang this pointless thing out. I should be cleaning, folding, hanging things, doing laundry, picking through all of those stubs and notes, but instead I'm researching those plans rolling around in my head, listening to music, ignoring how tired I am and how much I want to go to bed at 6:24, right this moment.

I wanna get with this, but I wish it looked like this at the moment. Get yourself together, apartment. I know we've been together almost two years, but try a little, damn...

My kids were an absolute dream the past two days and I'm reminded that I love them, truly. I'm finishing up my first Virginia Woolf book and the way she writes about the complexities of human interactions and thoughts is so perfect. On the ride to work today I realized with a start that my motorbike is slowly falling apart under me, surreptitiously, cautiously, but the rot is there and it's unavoidable and today I started thinking of ways to buy a motorbike I can actually take with me somewhere at the end of this contract. My motorbike is actually a solid model, but I had a vacation fling that has me wandering.

Okay, it's not really fair towards my dependable and steady motorbike, but I got distracted by this little hot pink chick in Krabi and all I can think about is glitter paint flashing in the sun and tight brakes and new tires. I'm only human.


I'm making some lists and schedules and budgets, and they look so nice all black on white and reflected off my laptop, and I hope they feel as nice to live as they look to read. If all knits together like I think it will, I'll be a very happy cat come June. Tomorrow is my first day back to belly dance and I can't wait. I'm researching training programs for weight lifting and aerial conditioning. I'm thinking of places I can hang a silk or a rope and practice dragging my ass up and down it until it's effortless. I'm imagining motorbike trips on weekends and friends coming to visit and more Lao lessons and reading  and writing as much as I can while I'm in one spot. I have big plans for my classes, pen pals to write back, pictures to sort through, Skype calls to make, grad school to register for, and lots of phone calls to make for financial things.

But right now I am dirty, sweaty, tired, and happily being lazy and forgetting all of what I need to do. That desire for sleep right this moment is pushing back on me and I'm giving in. The windows in my little corner kitchen are open and the fan is whispering dust into the air. The palm trees are curling green into each other, crowding their hands into the window and then fluttering back out again. I have a cold shower calling my name with fresh towels and a clean bed to crawl into with wet hair afterwards, with the palm trees sliding their curling green against the pane all night long until the birds wake me up with sunshine and another day.

I won't be long here. 6 months is a blink.

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