Well, it's been a long time between blog posts and a lot has happened - so much so that I don't feel compelled to write about all of it. But the two big events that occurred are the death of King Bhumibol and a vacation we took to the beach. The former being a huge blow to all Thais, both living here and abroad. The latter having no consequence at all to any Thai anywhere, but almost a necessity to our family.
To be honest,even these two big events I feel reluctant to write about because I don't feel like I can do either of them justice with my feeble attempt at writing. One event carries with it so much sadness and possible political ramifications for the entire country, but I, as a foreigner do not fully understand. So I believe I shall just stay silent on the topic and wish all Thai people my sincerest condolences.
The other event, our vacation, just seems unreal to me already. It seems so long ago and that we were gone for ages, though we returned only 3 days ago and were gone for 7. The landscape in Krabi Thailand is so different, so impossibly beautiful that we felt as though we were not only in another country, but on another planet. The karst cliffs that are one of the hallmarks of Krabi are magical to be near. I will share one moment as an example of what I mean.
One day we rented sea kayaks and paddled along the coast, along the edge of some limestone cliffs. These cliffs have stalactites all over them, as acidic water filters through and deposits minerals along the way. So you see caves inside the cliffs, overhangs that look like melted cheese, dripping into the sea, and some hardy vegetation growing where it can on the vertical face of these towering seaside drop offs. We spotted a tiny sandy beach that was isolated by the cliffs on either side and from behind, and paddled over to get out of the water and play in the breaking surf. Soon after we arrived, I noticed how water was falling from the tips of stalactites hundreds of feet above our heads, so that it seemed to be gently raining out of the clear blue sky. Staring up at the source, I saw that you could visually follow one particular drop of water as it fell and then catch it in your hand or on your tongue. What was even more amazing was that these water droplets seemed to be tiny packets of light because of the way the water held the sunlight shining on them. It was dreamlike in the best sense of the word. These types of magical sights were common during our week and transported all of us outside time and our daily lives into something altogether separate - very distant.
Returning home to Chiang Rai, we feel very strange to say the least. Everything is just as we left it, for the most part, and life continues on. It's been a struggle to get back into the groove - we are still trying. Meanwhile, we are missing friends and family back home worse than ever and are discussing how exactly to mentally frame our time here. How do we handle the down time? What do we focus on to make the most of this opportunity? It requires a lot of reflection and internal and external dialogue, but it's an interesting conversation!