1) My friends
God has really blessed me with some awesome and lasting relationships here in Thailand. The people at Compasio have become more like my family than my co workers. We love spending time together; eating, watching movies, playing guitar, going on motorbike adventures, going into the community, sitting in tea shops, and talking. We have an amazing time together.
2) My lifestyle
There's something so satisfying to living simply. I live in a one room house with 3 girls. We don't have a TV. We don't have refrigerator. We don't have a microwave. We don't even have a shower. But we have each other. (cheesy? sorry about that) We spend our evenings sitting in the living room, talking, dancing, and laughing. We walk to the market everyday to buy food to cook for dinner. We take bucket showers and hand wash our clothes. Sometimes we'll watch a movie on my laptop, but our best memories have been from just sitting together and enjoying each other's company.
3) Being close to Burma
Burma is full of heartbreak. Burma is full of pain. But, there is something so appealing about people from Burma. They have this light, this care free way of laughing and loving. They are endearing. I've never met people like this before. My closest and most dearly loved friends are from Burma, and even though we are worlds apart in our backgrounds and looks, they have welcomed me in and accepted me.
4) The Food
I have a plethora of AMAZING food in reach at all times. That can account for why I've gained so much weight. (lol) THAI FOOD. BURMESE FOOD. CHIN FOOD. WESTERN FOOD. MMMMMMMM
and it's so cheap.
want to go to Chiang Mai? Hop on a bus. you'll be there in 5 hours. it costs $6.
want to go to Bangkok? Hop on a night bus. When you wake up you'll be there. Only $10.
I rely on my trusty motorbike to get me around town. You can fit 2-3 people, though I've seen up to 5 people squished onto one seat.
6) The Diversity of my town
American. Australian. Japanese. Korean. Philipino. Karen. Chin. Kachin. Chinese. Burmese. Thai. Akah. Lahoo. There are so many people groups here! So many languages. So many styles. It's so fun.
7) The Mae Sot Garbage Dump
I know I know. You've heard about the garbage dump a lot but I LOVE IT. The people there are truly fantastic. They're so welcoming. I love going there and being recognized. I love being invited into someone's home to sit and chat. I would move there if I could.
8) The Beauty
It's rainy season right now. Everything is this unbelievable shade of green. The mountains of Burma loom in the distance and rice fields are in full bloom. Dark clouds threaten on the horizon and lighting rips the sky. Flowers bloom, bright and beautiful. I'm often stopped dead in my tracks by the beauty of this place. If you were to ride your motorbike 45 minutes out of town you would find a handful of waterfalls, amazing beyond belief.
9) The Markets
What do you want to buy? Clothes? Food? Flowers? Makeup? Precious stones? Live frogs and turtles? Go to the market. Mae Sot alone has the border market, Sunday market, Burmese outdoor market, Saturday walking temple market, Friday/Saturday highway market, and day time alley market. So what did you need again?
10) Familiarity and Community
Last time I went to Chiang Mai, I felt such a disconnect. I felt like a tourist. I realized how much I value being familiar with people. There are people I've never spoken too, but I recognize them as I drive down the road. I can smile and wave at people I know.
There's one woman who walks around Mae Sot collecting garbage. She's so dark, a Burmese woman descended from Indians. At some point I began to make eye contact with her as I passed her on the road. The eye contact turned to a smile, the smile transformed to a wave. One day I saw her sitting, waiting on a corner. I went to her a we talked for the first time. I bought her a water and yogurt and I learned about her life, her children. That's what I love about Mae Sot. Strangers become friends if you see them often enough.
So. There you have it. I have never been more satisfied or felt more complete in my life. I feel so competely blessed by God, that all I want to do is have my life be a blessing to Him in return.