I am not good with goodbyes. All sorts - goodbye to a friend, a place, a memory, a lover, a moment or a holiday. Probably it has alot to do with letting go, I do like to hold on to things that are important or makes me happy. And it never gets easier even as you get older. I spent many insomaniac nights thinking and reliving the days gone by - the friends that I used to have and known in school, the silly things that happened here and there, some random childhood memories (I drove back once to the neighbourhood that I grew up at, it just wasn't the same anymore), an ex boyfriend (whom I've been thinking about alot lately, I might have to do some PI work to find if he's still around, or even alive), people I used to work with, the good times and all.
This morning, I woke up before the sound of the alarm to find that the sky wept as I did a final round of packing. Need not to say I hardly slept much that night, it was after all an end to a glorious week of holiday that started out really mad with crazy drinking and up all night only to be resumed again the very next day. I was extra tired this time around as my stomach gave way (no idea why) even though I've been to this country for countless times.
The other half of the week was spent pretty much to myself as the group left and I was hoping to catch up on some sleep, on my books and just be by myself. It's harder than I expected it to be. Not doing anything, with no plans, and trying not to keep looking at my watch. But I think at the end of the trip, I somehow managed to take things easy. Spent obscene hours taking in afternoon naps, watching CNN, reading and hanging out by the pool. There was also alot of interesting places that I saw this time around and I throughly enjoyed every moment of it.
I remembered the last time I was here at the night market, I couldn't help but wished that I have all the time in the world to just sit back and chill like those people in this place called Villa Duang Champa. Of course, back then I didn't know what it was called. Luckily that place survived and just as beautiful as I remembered. The photos online doesn't do it any justice - it's white and majestic at night.
Other places worth mentioning is the trendy Mo'C Mo'L, a combination of restaurant, cafe and bar which served decent fare and music, the very cute and idylic iBerry Garden with its ice cream and cakes, albeit a lil overpriced for my taste, Tara Bar - one of those places by the river, hazy memories of this one as I was already 'gone' with way too many drinks, breakfast at this place called Bake & Bite - sitting right infront of where I stayed and the list just goes on. So it's more chill and eat rather than touristy and shit.
Then again I suppose I did my fair share of touristy and shit and all, the highlight of it besides buying way too many bracelets would be spotting the one or two ocasional shop that sells interesting items - one of them being this small corner stall called Rendeedesign which is absolutely charming. Don't expect to pay the usual generic pricing for their items, I like it because it's one of a kind and they are proud to be using local materials and labour and a small portion goes to charitable causes - now that is what I called a real bargain. Now I really wished that I gotten the jacket!
But I guess the most important thing that my friends wanted to know - did I get laid this holiday? I did joked that I really wanted to and looking at it now, it makes me wondered somehow that should some memories be better left unannounced and not naked to the world. With social media and ocassionaly oversharing, where do we draw the line? I remembered there was this ex colleague's wedding where she banned everyone from uploading pictures to Facebook, she compared that act to displaying her pictures in the street where everyone can look. To some extend, she is right.
However just to satisfy the cats and their curiousity, I did met up with an American English teacher who has been there for nearly 7 years now. While this trip is about learning to do more things alone, it was also equally as nice to have someone to talk to. There is something very - how do I put it, almost romantic old world about two strangers meeting in an exotic foreign land far away and connecting. The time was short but we had interesting conversation in between rain and all that. We talked local history, culture, design, love and everything in between. It's really interesting to hear the reality from a person who uprooted himself to move to a foreign country and sometimes it's not all that easy and pretty. I myself daydreamed of doing that one day in the future.
The last night, he took me out to a restaurant called Hong Tauw Inn which was very quaint. Again at the end of the night, it was yet another goodbye.
So, thats my holiday. I am very happy and proud that I gave myself a treat, something that I've never really do in the past . This was something that I've planned to do and was certainly the best 30th present that I can give to myself.
As for memories and all that, I was packing up and found a red pen and I immediately remembered it belonging to that certain gentleman. An accidental small momento then. In the past, I've always thought it is easier for someone to leave a place than to be in the place that was left behind but either way, goodbyes are not easy but life will resume and soon everything will be just memories that I will keep with me, to take out from time to time and to 'look at' and move forth in attempts to gather more, hopefully happy memories.
Photo credit: http://christao408.xanga.com/753911597/settling-in-to-chiang-mai/