Everyone says it’s super easy to get a job in Chiang Mai if you’re a white English speaking female, especially with blonde hair and pale skin. What they don’t tell you is its a little more difficult to get a job you actually want.
Before the Celta was even over, I was offered a job as a first grade homeroom teacher in an English program. But I had my heart set on actually teaching English, not just teaching in English. So I held out. And handed out my resumes at language schools. And waited. And applied. And waited. And waited.
And as my bank account dwindled and the job offers remained elusive, the old familiar pangs of anxiety came creeping up, threatening the simplicity of the vacation-esque life I’d been living.
And then came a phone call. Which led to a week of substituting. Which led to an offer of a permanent job. And then the floodgates opened and I received several other offers. As it turns out, everyone was right in saying it’s easy to get a teaching job in Chiang Mai…just as long as you’re prepared to wait a really long time for it. “Thai time” isn’t exactly punctual. But patience has its payoffs I suppose–I am employed. And at the end of my first week of teaching I was handed an envelope of cash in lieu of a paycheck…and boy did I feel like a millionaire. Having an income is really a marvelous thing.
Last week I moved from a dingy one room “apartment” to a house with 3 other girls. I have a proper room, there’s a living room and a kitchen (not that I will start cooking now, after 26 years, but I imagine I’ll take advantage of the microwave). It’s lovely. It is such a good feeling to have a place to call home, where I can unpack my suitcase and begin to feel settled. Chiang Mai has been home for 4 months but is only really beginning to feel like it. A job, a house…I’m a real picture of domestic stability these days.
The weather has been brutal the last several weeks, garnering infamy as the hottest summer in something like 60 years. For over a month it reached 104 or higher every day. I’ve just sort of gotten used to the idea of being covered in sweat all day every day. Once you’ve accepted that as your fate, it’s really not so bad.
But last week we finally got some relief in the form of a much needed rainstorm. Never has rain felt so beautiful as when it falls through thick layers of smoke and dust and finally clears the air for the first time in weeks. Doi Suthep, only a few miles a way, is usually obscured by haze, but in the aftermath of the rainstorm the gold facade of the temple sparkled clearly. Yesterday we had another rain storm, and I’m beginning to feel hope that the worst of the heat is on its way out.
My dear friend Lexi and her partner Jeremiah moved to Chiang Mai, and I could not be happier about it. Her birthday was last week and we celebrated with food and drinks and lots of laughter.
Despite the notion of a carefree life drifting around Asia many people seem to have, life is unsurprisingly no simpler here than it was at home. I still feel the same stresses and anxieties, still struggle with insomnia and worry. But as I realize just how beautiful my life here is, I work hard to put those things behind me.
I love living in Thailand. I am surrounded by beautiful scenery and the kindest people and am finally beginning to find my place here. I miss Seattle and my family there, but I could not be more confident that I made the right decision by moving here.
If you ever have the urge inside you to do something, especially something people tell you is crazy…do it. The world is too exciting a place not to go out and see it. And life is too long to spend it unhappy. In the words of my best friend Kate, “Go, be brave. Whether you feel it or not doesn’t matter.” After all, that’s what bravery is. Doing the things that scare the shit out of you. And those are usually the most beautiful things. AKA everyone should move to Thailand with me 🙂
So that’s my life lately. Enjoy this complimentary picture of my new roommate Aarin and our cat Tyrone. Who is without a doubt the weirdest cat I’ve ever met.