Happy Father's Day! My parents always mention how incredible Skype is, with free international voice and webcam; as economists, they can't fathom how such an awesome service can be free AND make money.
1. Skype IS an amazing service.
2. Let's hope however they make money, they continue to do it while maintaining free international voice and webcam.
3. There is a four-piece band in the food court of the only mall in the city. They perform every night, and they are called the Music Faces. They cover a wide variety of American songs (in English), and I've seen them play probably four times now. I go to the mall a lot. Just like in the U.S.
Anyway, last night I was sitting alone at a table, waiting for the girls to meet me for dinner. The Music Faces broke into Somewhere Out There from Feivel Goes West. It's a song that conjures vague, hazy memories of preschool, day care, Mom, Dad, youth, carelessness, ages past. I almost lost it around the first chorus. It was my first serious homesick moment: sitting in a large, wide, white flourescent food court, alone, in a country far from mine, where a language is spoken that I do not speak, and hearing the only English words I ever hear, in a song from back home, a song about being far from home, alone, lonely. Violin strings, meet heart strings.
4. I cut my hair.
All right, schmaltz, play us out.
Well, I guess "homesick" isn't the word, is it? And if it is the word, then it's a misleading, imprecise one. I don't miss "home," per se; because what is "home," Mr. Robert Frost?
"Home is the place where, when you have to go there,/ they have to take you in."
Home is a place, a location, a city or town or building or room; and that is not what I miss or dream about here in Thailand. I don't miss the place, the "there," the "in," but the "they" who have to take you.
Sitting in that lonely mall food court, I did not miss Quaker Bridge, North Point, Town Centre, Times Square; I missed the familiar conversation partner across the table. Riding in a song taew down the unknowable unfamiliar nameless streets, I did not miss Banford Court, Prospect Avenue, Nassau Street, Route 1; I missed my passengers, carpool, street-crossers, pedestrians.
I won't do the masturbatory thing and list your names; it's much too PBS-Iraq War casualties. But you know who you are. If you are reading this Blog, I have problem seen the shadow of your face on another's here, and wished it were really you.
In English, to ask the question "Who is your home?" sounds absurd, but it is the question that I find being continually answered over my first two weeks.
Now don't take this post as a sign of depression, unhelpable loneliness, sadness, a strong desire to quit my job and return home into your arms; it's an impulse, but the truth is I am happy and content here, and I enjoy each day. It's only sometimes that the frustration and the longing creep up my throat. Otherwise I still wake up in an unfamiliar bed under unfamiliar sheets (my own sheets, don't get ideas) and am amazed that I have the opportunity to live in and quench myself with this country for eleven months.
Ah, fart jokes tomorrow. Also, my Class Day speech is online, for those of you that don't follow my Facebook Newsfeed with the fervor that my mother does: