Reflections: 6th month in Chiang Mai

Wow, we’ve been in Chiang Mai for 6 months now. Though out of these 6 months, I’ve been back to Singapore 3 times and going to be going back the 4th time tomorrow.

In my heart, I would say that I’m beginning to feel settled in Chiang Mai though I’m constantly thinking when is the next time I’ll be back. Well, I have to, since I really feel like Judah should have more time with his grandmother and great-grandmothers. But the reality is that it’s not cheap to keep flying, so after this trip, the next one is probably not so soon to come.

So my reflections of our 6 months here:

The first 3 weeks were difficult. The first 3 days were terrible. The first 3 hours were BAD. Well, I remember, we were welcomed into our friends’ place whom we would be house-sitting for these 6 months. Then we went off to get stuffs to help us get settled in, like bathtub for Judah, toiletries, diapers etc. Dinner and back home. But wait, upon the plane landing on the grounds of Chiang Mai, I burst out in tears – I’m really away from home and I want to be back! While talking to friends, I was really missing home. So, that night when I gave Judah a shower, I forgot to check the temperature of the water, it’s a new water heater to me and I had no idea how it works. The water was super COLD! Judah jumped in shock due to the coldness of the water and wailed so loudly. I hugged him to keep him warm while adjusting the heater and crying “Oh, I’m so sorry. It’s new, everything is new here. I’m sorry.” Then before I put him to bed, he cried again and I cried with him saying “Oh, I’m so sorry, you miss Popo, right? It’s a new place and you will get used to it.” The next few days and weeks, whenever I skyped with my family, I hated the times, because in my head, I was thinking that Judah must be thinking “Why are you talking to me, but not carrying me, Popo?” And that made me feel worse.

Until such a day where I decided I needed to stop these thoughts. I was portraying my own negativity onto Judah who probably doesn’t quite know anything.

Thankfully I was due to be back in SG in 3 weeks’ time.

Gradually this homesickness faded away, Thank God!

I would say my transition is not as difficult due to a few factors. One, being I’m not new to Chiang Mai. I’ve been here multiple times, though it was initially pretty difficult transiting my heart, rather than my body. The second consoling factor is that I have an intermediate grasp of the language. I can read Thai characters and use a few phrases to get by. So I’m not total stranger and alienated from communications. I just need time to be bold and brave to speak in Thai.

The third factor is that this is Tee’s home ground and there are already friends that we know to help us feel connected here.

Fourthly, we have a nice place to live in and feel comfortable while figuring out our own living situations at the end of the house-sitting stint.

Fifth, we were able to get connect with the YWAM ministry and establish things that we would like to be doing. Me with the FCM school and Tee with engaging local churches and Thai workers.

Lastly, our house situation is looking good and progressing sort of the way we want it. I just can’t wait to move in and have ‘a place of our own’.

The not-so-easy part is the insects situations here. I don’t know why but we have been attracting the L (I rather not type out the whole word for the phobia of it) and the Ant family. GROSS! I spent days and weeks and hours cleaning the same spots, only to see them again the very next minute. UGH! It’s either they die or I have to die to myself and be blind to them, but HOW?

So with that, I’m SO HAPPY and SO EAGER to be back in SG for a bit. No eyes to see. Not care about it for the time being! And when I’m back, in another week, my friends will be back and they can deal with the insects situation of their house. HEH!

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