Saying Goodbye

It’s noon on Saturday, March 9th.

We leave our home here in 8 hours, but for now, we are piled into my favorite pool cabana, soaking in the last bit of Thai sun. It’s hard to believe it’s been 8 weeks already, or that we won’t be back here for a whopping 5 months.
We’ve gotten so used to life here. From waking when we wake (usually 7-9am, but occasionally a little later), to 3 mile walks daily, to 3-4 hours a day by the pool, to working from our cabana.  Our days are usually the same, we just alter the days with massages or meals out, or maybe taking a trip up to Pattaya in the baht bus.
We really discovered a lot this time. The baht bus being one of those things. Being able to get to the city and back for less than a dollar, when it used to cost us $20, is huge.  We still rarely go, as we just don’t feel the need, but it is a fun little change of pace if we are feeling cooped up.  In Pattaya we can shop for knock off Louis, or watch a Muay Thai fight, or wander Walking Street to hear live bands or see Russian women selling pretty much anything on their body they can sell.  Or we can eat at a pub on the pier, taking in the lights of the city as they reflect in the ocean.  We can shop in the Foodland, or see a movie, or barter for lower prices on masks.
Mostly, we stay here in our neighborhood.  We’ve made friends here, most of who speak little to no English.  Still, we are friends.
Everyday, our security guard Neeyah greets us in Thai, and we practice our hellos and how are yous in both Thai and English.  She tries very hard to interact with us, and we’ve learned the most from her.  I told her a couple of hours ago that we had to leave today…and she said her heart was broken, but that she will wait here for us to return.  A similar situation happened last night, when we said goodbye to our friend Earn at the massage parlor. On Wednesday, we went with Earn and Pon to Walking Street, just to hang out and eat dinner.  It was surreal, but real.
We have friends here.  In Thailand.
We bought our last fried rice and schwarma at the Rompho Market last night. We took our last walk to the laundrymat and 7-11 this morning after breakfast.  We slept our last night, we will soon swim our last swim. So many lasts happening…it’s kind of hard to process.
We have 26 hours of flights before we get back to Texas, a whole world away from where I am currently perched.  I’m excited about seeing friends and family, and I’m equally excited to see what two months in France hold for us.  I imagine we will be halfway fluent in French by June, and practically made of cheese, but beyond that, I’m unsure of what to expect!  I doubt I’ll have any bit of tan left, but maybe this summer will allow me some more pool time to get it back.  I’ve never been this color before…it’s so odd to me. I catch myself looking at my own skin, confused, just about every day. I wonder if I’ll remember how to put on makeup, or curl my hair. I wonder if any of my old clothes will fit, as I know the ones I brought here are way too big now.  I wonder if I’ll have withdrawals from watermelon. I wonder if anyone here will actually miss me.
I know it will be missed by me.
See you in Texas, y’all.
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