Christmas Mice

Last night was the annual ‘decorate the Lorensen house for Christmas’ party.  As we were unpacking all of the Christmas gear I remembered a poem I wrote a couple years back.

I wrote this poem referencing true events took place as we were decorating the house for Christmas about 4 or 5 years ago.

So, I hope you enjoy and that it puts you into the Holiday mood.


A Tale from Christmas Past 

 

‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through the house,

A lot of creatures were stirring–way more than one mouse.

The stockings were still packed away with great care

In hopes that when we decorate, they would still be there.

The children jumped up and down on their beds,

While Caleb lifted the box down from over their heads.

The girls were in the kitchen when Tracy lifted the cap,

I thought I could settle down for a nice Sunday nap.

When out across the hall, arose such a clatter

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Out of my room I flew like a flash,

Tore open the door and yelled, “Did something just crash?!”

Tracy looked at me with eyes big and a face pale like snow

And pointed directly at the creatures there below.

And what to my wandering eyes did appear,

Oh, a nest full of mice inside our lovely Christmas gear.

With their little naked bodies, so small and so quick,

I felt in that moment, that I might be sick.

Amid all the drama, the neighbor kids came

And we screamed and we shouted and each called out a name.

“Little cuties!” “Little Sweeties!” “Oh so innocent and new!”

“They’re vernon!” “Disgusting!” “Only one thing to do!”

“Get them out of the house–take them out past the wall!”

“Now drown the vile things—you must kill them all!”

As boys when given an adventure do fly–

And when they meet an obstacle, mount up to the sky–

So-up to the canal Geshem, he flew,

With a box full of mice in a makeshift canoe.

And then, in a twinkling, they were all set a sail,

And from the porch, Tracy and I let out a great wail.

Tracy covered her head and turned around

But I had to go look, so to the canal I bound.

Their little makeshift canoe was not made so well,

So I watched the mice drown into their wet, wet hell.

Head hung low, to the house I walked back

Tracy looked at me sad and continued to unpack.

But Caleb–He twinkled! His eyes, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow

And his beardless chin was all a glow.

He looked at Tracy and I with a smile

Saying, “They were mice, our house they would defile.”

“How can you two be so irrational,” he said,

“They were little vermin–they are better off dead.”

Red from crying, I went back to my room

I needed a minute to contemplate this Christmas gloom.

A deep sigh from Caleb and then he shrugged.

Tracy, in shock, just needed to be hugged.

As the day went on, we got back to work.

We hung the stockings and each started to smirk.

Before too long the smirks became even more

And by the end of the night, we were laughing on the floor,

Talking about the Christmas mice that came to town

Only to meet us and later each drown.

This story is finished, I hope it brought you delight–

Merry Christmas to all, and to all good night!

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The Bank

The last couple years of my life have been riddled with incidents of my temporarily loosing control of my emotions in public spaces.  While I am not necessarily proud of these moments, I can now, with time and space between us, see the humor of the situations. I have already written about two of these shining moments already (see here and here) and today, at long last, I will finish off the ‘How Samara Lost her Cool’ series.

So sit back, relax and enjoy this retelling.


setting:

March 2017

I had been working at Chiang Mai University (CMU) for about a year and a half at this point and it was eating away at my soul.  Being employed by CMU drove me crazy for a myriad of reasons, with the only solace being a mediocre salary and the end of the month.

This particular month I was preparing to leave Thailand for my three month furlough and was therefore very eager to receive my paycheck.  I needed to use the paycheck, in it’s entirety to prepay my bills for the three months that I would be out of the country.

 

conflict:

The usual date for the direct deposit of my paycheck came and went without my receiving any pay.  While this could (and should) be reason for alarm, at this prestigious university, employees not receiving their pay on time is common place.  So I was not yet concerned.

a week passed.  no paycheck.

In an attempt to keep my mounting concern at bay, I checked with my two colleagues to see if they were experiencing a similar situation.  Neither were.  Both had been paid.

While, still fighting to maintain my Wellbutrin induced tranquility, my unease began to grow. That Wednesday, I contacted the CMU finance department.

Upon talking with the finance department, I was told that my paycheck had indeed been deposited, to rest assured and that my money will surely show up in my account tomorrow.

Thursday. Nothing. Contacted the finance department, they said wait.

Friday. Nothing. Contacted the finance department, they said go talk to the bank.

By this point I was no longer calm.  But, this is Thailand. Things like this happen.  All. The. Time.

So, I went to the bank.

Not surprisingly, without having the deposit slip, the bank didn’t have anything to tell me–other than there had been no recent activity in my account.  The bank tells me to contact my employer.

round and round and round we go.

By this point, my mounting anxiety had begun taking over my body and rational thought was becoming harder and harder to muster up.  However, it is the weekend–the finance depart is closed.  There is nothing I can do, but wait.

Monday morning, I am back at the finance department.  I am once again assured that my paycheck was deposited and was show the deposit slip to prove it. This was slightly comforting.  I was again instructed to go to talk to the bank.

 

climax:

While I was incredibly irritated by the fact that it is again I that has to go to the bank and not a member of the finance staff, I concede and go.

(an interruption  from the narrator: while you are reading this story, please keep in mind that every interaction that is happening, is happening while speaking Thai, which regardless of my level of fluency, makes everything that much harder.)

I was able to remain semi-cool and ask to speak to a personal banker.  The banker confirms what the previous banker had told me before–this deposit had never been made.  However, this time, I had the deposit slip… so this answer would not suffice. A mistake had been made and it seemed very clear that the bank was at fault.

After much heeing and hawing, the bank concludes that the hour my check was deposited was the very hour that the branch in which the deposit was made, shut down; due to the closing of that branch, my paycheck was lost in the fray.

Ok. Annoying.  But an answer and slightly understandable.

The personal banker fixed the problem, reassuring me that I would receive my money by Thursday morning.

Now.

If this were a story about a normal human being, story would end here.  The resolution reached, the protagonist given an answer and be at ease.  A conclusion should follow.

However, this is not a story about a normal human being, nor is the title of this series: “Times when Samara was Rational in Hard Situations”.

Nope.

This, unfortunately, is not where our story ends.

Though I had been promised that the mistake had been nullified, I was not satisfied.  I was unwilling to understand why I had to wait three more business days to get my paycheck; I had already waited ten.  So, I insisted that they give my money, in full, right then.  For many bureaucratic reasons I wouldn’t listen to, that was not possible.

So, I told them to give me a 5000baht (about $170) apology gift.  I explained that this was 500baht for everyday that I had to be without my paycheck, amplifying the trouble it has caused me and my bills waiting to be paid.

I stayed seated at that bank for three hours.  When no solutions were found I encouraged the employees by telling them that I had a book and all day.  I was free to sit and wait for them to ‘do the right thing’.

Honestly, I don’t know what I was really trying to accomplish.

The bank employees–three different people–were scrambling for ideas to appease this belligerent foreigner and get me out of the bank, but I persisted.

 

resolution:

There was no resolution.

I stayed at the bank until closing time.  They were pulling down the chain links over the door as I left.

My paycheck would be assessable on Thursday morning and there was no ‘customer satisfaction fund’ to give me 5000baht out of.

So I left.  My paycheck came on Thursday morning. And that was that.

Still to this day I have no idea what came over me in that bank or what I thought I would achieve by staying there all day.  There were even times, while the situation was happening, that I could see the ridiculousness of my behavior, but it was if I was watching myself from outside of my body and couldn’t do anything to stop it.

The only excuse I have for myself is that I was really needing the three month furlough that followed this outburst.  Praise Jesus for that mountain in Greece.

 

the end.

 

 

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 แมงเม่า

I wish you didn’t have so much power over me 

I try to be rational

I try to stay cool

But as soon as you come in 

I lose all my senses

You swarm all around me 

Taking control

I react out of instinct

Covering what is precious

I try to regain composure 

Not draw attention to myself

But until you are gone

I am undone 

                  -แมงเม่า

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mini mini update

hi friends.

I just got an email from WordPress telling me that my domain has been renewed for another year (at the cost of $18…) and felt a little guilty for how crap I have been about writing and posting.

There are, however, at least three blogs spinning around in my head.  Usually when that happens, they come out as masterpieces, one after the other, so hopefully that will be the case.

I want to say a big thank you to all who came to the Resilient art show, read my poems and bought Cha’s hearts.  It was an incredibly vulnerable experience to have my poems hanging on the wall like that… for all to see.  I joked that it was the ‘Airing of Samara’s Dirty Laundry’ show.  I had a lot of anxiety about opening myself up like that, but was met with nothing but praise.

The plan is to translate the poems, add a couple more from Greece that I didn’t show and publish the collection.  I am guessing this project will take about a year or so, but I will keep you all updated.

Since the poems have been packed up I have been struggling with a little depression.  As I deal with depression on a regular basis, I know that this is a minor one and I will recover quickly.  I have been mourning the process of that show being finished.  I spent so much time writing, editing, crying and displaying those poems that it’s left me feeling a little empty and lonely now that the show is all done.

However, feelings are fleeting.  I am allowing myself to feel the feelings while trying not to allow them to master me.  Growth.

Today as I sat down to start writing curriculum, I opened my journal and found a couple poems that helped inspire the Resilient show.  They are all by Rupi Kaur, whom, if you haven’t read, is an amazing poet and really encouraged me in facing the fears of vulnerability.  So I have decided to share three of the poems that sparked my writing in Greece.  I hope you get as much out of them as I did.


your art

is not about how many people

like your work

your art

is about 

if your heart likes your work

if your soul likes your work 

it’s about how honest 

you are with yourself

and you 

must never trade honesty

for relatability

-Rupi Kaur


they have no idea what it is like

to lose home at the risk of

never finding home again

to have your entire life

split between two lands and 

become the bridge between two countries

-immigrant

-Rupi Kaur


my god

is not waiting inside a church

or sitting above the temple’s steps

my god

is the refugee’s breathe as she’s running

is living in the starving child’s belly

is the heartbeat of the protest

my god

does not rest between pages

written by holy men

my god

lives between sweaty thighs

of women’s bodies sold for money

was last seen washing a homeless man’s feet

my god 

is not as unreachable as 

they’d like you to think

my god is beating inside us infinitely

-Rupi Kaur


 

 

until I write again

samara

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แมงมุมยักษ์

You came in unannounced

I didn’t invite you

Didn’t ask for your company 

You came anyway

Stood watching me 

Mocking me in my ambivalence

But you messed up—

you made your presence known

and though I jumped

and though I screamed

In the end

It was your life 

That had to end

 

-แมงมุมยักษ์

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“Spider Bite” a poem.

I am going to die.

This is the end.

I got bit by a spider–

the pain, I cannot comprehend.

 

He bit my leg,

then out he came.

full of my blood–

leaving me lame.

 

Yes, he was pretty small,

but he’s poisonous I’m sure.

His butt was white, round and bulbous–

certainly there is no cure.

 

I’ve checked the internet already.

Thailand: Land of Poisonous Spiders Galore!

So, as I rest my head and die tonight–

know that I love you, forever more.

 

 

**based on real real events**

 

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The Police Stop

I got stopped by the police again today.

I prepared myself for it.  I knew it was going to happen.  I told myself not to let it get to me. That it’s just part of my commute to work.

Sometimes that self-talk works and I get through a traffic stop without opening my mouth.

Today was not one of those days.  I didn’t start crying like in the previous traffic police blog I wrote, but I did smart off.

As I was driving up to the traffic stop, I was surrounded by at least ten fellow motorbike drivers, however, I was the only bike asked to stop. This irritated me.  I knew why I was asked to stop and I knew it had nothing to do with my driving skills or obedience to the subjective laws.

Surprisingly, as I was asking the police officer smart ass questions, he actually admitted to pulling me over because I am not Thai.

This experience, once again, sent my thoughts into a whirlwind of justice and anger and then into empathy and mercy.

My first thoughts when this kind of stuff happens to me in Thailand, is that our  government needs to be big jerks when Thai people come vacation in the States–charge double or triple normal entry fees, pull them over for being asian, laugh at them when they try to speak English, etc., etc.

But, after a minute or so spewing in those nasty thoughts, I remember all the racial profiling that already exists in the States.  Maybe not towards Thai people, but towards black, Mexican or Muslim citizens and refugees.

I’m reminded that a lot of the inconveniences I have to deal with as a minority in Thailand are the same sort of inconveniences shared by the non-white population of my home country.

The racism and discrimination that happens based on the color of people’s skin breaks my heart. And while I am by no means an example of grace in the midst of shitty situations, I am grateful to be able to empathize with the minority.  It’s an opportunity that most white Americans will never have. And it sucks.

We can do better.

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A Successful Missionary

I know the internet is full of memes talking about how horrible the year 2017 was for everyone, and I don’t mean to add to the onslaught of negativity floating around, but, 2017 was rough.  Between finishing my master’s degree, navigating the nonsense that is Chiang Mai University and trying to maintain relationships, 2017 led me into depths of darkness and hopelessness that I had not visited in many years.

While taking up residence in these dark depths, it became increasingly difficult for me to wear the ‘missionary badge’ that I have worn the past five years.  Fiery darts of shame and guilt for not performing ‘well’ or producing the right kind of  ‘results’ shot into my psyche daily.  I believed I was failing Thailand, failing you, failing God.

In retrospect, what’s interesting about this, is that no one, not one single person, ever spoke this to me.  Not once did anyone tell me that I was ‘not living up to missionary standards’.  In fact, anytime I was brave enough to expose the shame I was carrying, my community and friends would do their best to contradict those toxic thoughts. However, I submitted to shame and chose to believe hopelessness.

I am proud to say that I have sought out help.  I have been seeing a counselor on a regular basis for the past couple months and have been taking measures to reduce the stress and anxiety that took over my being.  And, thankfully, I am doing much better.

One of the (many) assignments that has been given to me, is to redefine what a ‘good missionary’ is.  I am being asked to move away from the notion that my supporters and sending church are expecting thousands of salvations and reports of miracles in every newsletter, and towards a more healthy belief that I am in Thailand to share the love of God and that is where responsibilities as a missionary end.

So as an act of self love (and to complete an assignment), I am going to share some of the ways that I loved well in 2017.  Here are some of my successful ‘missionary’ moments from 2017.


1. The School of Promise.

I finished my third year as a teacher at the School of Promise and my first year of working with fourth grade students.  Fourth graders are much more emotionally aware than the first graders I had previously worked with, and the hurts and traumas of my students’ lives were much more pronounced.  While the advanced cognitive abilities of my students led to much more exciting class times, their age also brought a lot of emotional stress. This is not easy to navigate, but as we worked through conflicts and hurts, a safe and loving environment was created.  My students knew that I was a safe person for them and allowed me to love them amid their pain–all the while, teaching them how to speak English.  We had so much fun in that class and my students improved drastically in their English speaking skills (my thesis has data and statistics to affirm that statement).  Miss Samara’s class was a major success in 2017.

2. English Camp.

English Camp is a pretty fun part of the year for the students at School of Promise.  We do our best to give the students ample chance to run around and go wild in nature, as well as try to provide an environment where the students are able to encounter God outside of the classroom,  I was in charge of two devotional nights and decided to focus on the fact that God wants to talk to His children, regardless of how young, old, spiritually mature (whatever that means) or not you are.  Despite every logical cell in my body telling me that this is too hard of a task to try and facilitate, I led all 50 students (and 10 teachers) through a simple exercise in hearing God’s voice. God does not disappoint. I don’t have numbers to share with you, but I am not exaggerating when I say that many students encountered God that night.  The remainder of camp was full of students telling different teachers stories about how they (or a friend) heard God speak to them. Trusting my instincts and believing God would show up for these kids was a success in 2017.

3. Tonhom.

Tonhom is the one student that I have agreed to tutor English to as a side job.  Typically, when someone asks me to teach them English, I decline because most people do not want to put in the crazy amount of effort it takes to learn a new language.  Tonhom, however, is amazing.  Though she is only 12 years old, her English skills are far surpass most of the university students at CMU.

Tonhom is from a very well-off Thai family who, in believing it is the best thing for her, have filled every hour of her weekends with tutoring sessions.  Along with spending two hours with me on Saturdays, she also has Chinese, math, science, singing and swimming classes to attend. I have, therefore, vowed (to myself) to make our two hours together a time that Tonhom can have fun and be a kid.  We laugh so much. Through our laughter and silliness a bond has been formed and a level of trust established.  Tonhom has started sharing with me about hurts from her family, present disappointments and fears for her future, as well as the pain of her first broken heart.  The weekly two hour classes I had with Tonhom were a success in 2017.

4. Sunshine Studios

Sunshine Studios has been a consistent source of joy over the years and this year was no different.  Through, what I believe to be, your many prayers and my (maybe too) easy going nature, a very free environment has been created at Sunshine Studios.  The students come to art class, after a long day of learning, and all their walls of performance and perfection come down.  The students debrief their day, sharing their annoyances and disappoints, excitements and gossip.  I hear way more than I probably should, but it brings me such joy to know the students trust my confidence.  Of course, teaching this after school art class is not without it’s hiccups and 2017 was full of new challenges for me, but the consistency of art class remained.  The environment that has been created, and maintained, at Sunshine Studios was a success in 2017.

5. “Come See Our Art” Student Art Show

The fact that I have yet to write or share about the art show in November is a fail on my part… but I am supposed to be writing about successes rather than on failures, and the art show was a major success.  I was pretty proud of the first show in 2016, but this one blew it out of the water.  All but one of my students showed up and of the students who came, all but one of their families came with them.  Along with the students and families of students, many people from our neighborhood and community showed up.  We had five rooms with the students’ framed art on the walls, lots of treats and a live band.  It was a really awesome event and worth all the effort it took to make it happen.  The art show was a huge success in 2017.


This list was originally written for myself, rather than to be read by others. I was encouraged to reflect back on my year and list the ways that I loved people well.

It was really hard for me.

I had been so focused on the stress of the year, the ways that I felt out of control or that I was a complete failure, that I couldn’t see anything positive that was happening around me–and even because of me.  But once I shifted my focus, I was able to list at least 15 successes of the year.

So, as a new year has begun, I am going to try to focus on the positives.  I am going to try  to rejoice in successes, regardless of how seemingly insignificant they are.  AND I am going to try to write more about them.  I want to redefine what a ‘successful’ missionary is and to allow myself to be at peace knowing, that I am where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing: sharing the infinite love of God with those around me and creating safe environments.

Thank you to all of you who support me on this venture of love.  Thank you to all of you who have encouraged me to give myself a break and a little grace.  Thank you to all of you who (gently) pushed me to get help amid the depression that had taken over.  Your support, be it through prayers, emails, skypes or money, is what has kept me here and I am ever so grateful for it.

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The Drug Dealer’s Phone

In honor of my bffs temporarily leaving Thailand to galavant around the United States, I thought I would share a story.

But, as per my personality,  before I get to the actual story, I would like to give a bit a preface:

  1. Shortly before this story took place, my car (the same car that will be mentioned in the forthcoming story) had been stolen from outside of my place of residence.  Now, as far as car stealing stories go, mine was rather undramatic. My car was actually found before I even knew it was gone. Regardless, the thievery may have had a minor effect on the way I thought through scenarios.
  2. While I am (in my humble opinion) a highly intelligent person, I may sometimes, sometimes, allow emotions to dictate my thinking rather than rational thought. Sometimes.
  3. The Lorensens are gems of human beings.

The Story:

One night, after returning from an evening spent at the Lorensen household, I realized that there was strange cellphone in the cup holder of my car.

The cellphone was one of those old virgin mobile phones that you didn’t have to have a plan or a contract, you just bought a SIM card and paid for minutes–remember those? Knowing that this type of cellphone was only used by drug dealers and other not-so-innocent characters and considering that my car had been recently stolen by vandals of the same sort, I jumped to the completely logical conclusion that the strange phone in my cup holder belonged to a drug dealing thug who was clearly using my car as his office.

Obviously.

But, even though this was some crazy drama, it was late at night, I was tired and I didn’t feel like dealing with it right then. Instead I decided to leave the phone in the car for the night and resolve this situation the next day when either a) the drug dealer would return to his office and retrieve his phone, meaning there wouldn’t even be a situation to deal with, or b) I would call the police.

I had a plan. Everything was under control. I went to bed that night completely unfazed.

Meanwhile at the Lorensen household, Tracy couldn’t find her cellphone so Caleb called it a couple of times before they retired to bed, assuming that it was somewhere in their house and they would find it in the morning.

The next morning, as I was driving to work, the drug dealer’s cronies started calling the phone to make their drug orders and to plan their next heist.  The phone kept ringing and ringing and ringing. I didn’t dare answer the calls, or even touch the phone to see the name of the caller. I neither wanted my finger prints on the devise, nor did I want to be associated with these criminals.  Instead, I just let the phone ring. Each ring more thoroughly confirming my notion that this phone belonged to a no-good-sort of a person.

While at work, I called the police. With complete confidence, I told the police that a drug dealer involved in some majorly illegal activities had started using my car as their office and left their phone in my car. A few follow-up questions were asked and then they told me to bring the phone in.  I said I would come after my shift.

After talking to the police I called Tracy to tell her all about the exciting drama happening in my life.

She didn’t answer her phone.

At the end of my shift, sitting in my car getting ready to go to the police station, I decided to call Tracy again.  This was such a nutty situation, I wanted her to share it with me.  While I was waiting for Tracy to answer my call, the drug dealer’s phone rang again! The drama was continuing to mount!

Since I couldn’t get ahold of Tracy, I decided to stop by her house before I went to the police station.  I told her that I had tried to call her before I came over, but she didn’t answer her phone.  She told me that she hadn’t been able to find her phone since the night before.

me:  “Oh! Shoot! That sucks, I’m sure you’ll find it, it’s bound to be around here somewhere… now listen to this craziness… [I tell her all about the drug dealer’s phone…]

tracy: 

me: This is CRAZY! Don’t you think?!?

tracy: 

me: What?

tracy:  Can I see the phone?

And so, as I’m sure you guessed early on in the story, the drug dealer’s phone was actually Tracy’s phone. Apparently, even though my phone had already been in my purse, the night before, as I was leaving the Lorensen abode, I grabbed Tracy’s phone thinking it was my own. Because despite my prejudice towards minute-to-minute phones, I had one too and our phones looked incredibly similar.

And, of course, as I’m sure you also guessed, all the phone calls from the drug dealer’s cohorts, were actually from Caleb. Which I would have known, had I not been so scared of tampering with the evidence.

At this point, I would like to remind you all, that I had already called the cops and reported this phone, telling them that I was on my way with the evidence.  So I had to call them back and basically said, “um… never mind.”


So there you have it.

This is probably one of my more embarrassing moments, making it also one of my most favorite memories.  I still laugh to myself and blush when I think about how absolutely certain I was in my presumptions–when in reality, the only criminal in this story was myself.

Caleb and Tracy, bless you.

Thank you guys for still allowing my to be part of your team despite this story, despite my fondness towards jumping to worst-case-scenario conclusions and despite my overly active imagination.

Love you guys.

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The Traffic Ticket

This blog is the second installation of ‘How Samara Lost Her Cool’.  I hope you laugh and cry and laugh again.

Enjoy.


It is a universally known fact that the police in Thailand are corrupt.   The Thais know it, the expats know it, the police know it.  There is no escaping this truth.

One of the most outward expressions of said corruption is the ‘traffic stops’ that liter the city when the government is short on cash.  Out of seemingly nowhere, these traffic stops will pop up in various, tourist-heavy locations. The police manning these stops target westerners, Chinese and Burmese–checking for proper helmet usage, appropriate driver’s licensing and updated motorbike registration.

These stops become a part of life in Thailand. I have been pulled over countless times (as non-helmet wearing Thais zoom by), my only infraction being that I am a foreigner.  Usually I don’t have a problem.  I’m an avid helmet wearer, I keep my registration up-to-date and I am the proud owner of a THAI driver’s license.  Because of this, when (not if) I get pulled over, regardless of how much of an injustice I believe the scenario to be, I pull out my documents and am on my way in a matter of a few minutes.

Usually.


The day of our story, I had just left from a not-so-favorable doctor appointment.  I was driving to CMU, processing the health information, when I came upon a traffic stop (on the highway nonetheless).  I was not in the mood for this, but such is life, so I pulled over as directed and keeping my earbuds blaring, I handed over my driver’s license.

Now this happens All. The. Time. and is really not that big of a deal, but this day…thiiissss day, I noticed it was taking a bit longer than usual for my license to be returned.  Looking up at the officer for the first time, I realize that he had been talking to me, but due to Regina Spektor singing about lost wallets, I hadn’t noticed.

Whelp, it turns out my motorbike registration expired two days prior.  (shit.) While I knew the time to renew was approaching, I had completely blanked on the date and hadn’t realized that my sticker was expired.  Now typically there is a grace period for this kind of thing (at least there is in my head,) so I started entreating the officer for grace.

But, the fact that the curly-headed foreigner could speak Thai was just too astonishing for the officer, so instead of letting me go, he called over a second officer.

This didn’t look promising.

The second officer started serenading me with a series of very condescending, very childish Thai questions to test my ‘skills’ while the first officer held my license in his hands smiling on.


Well, as this series of blogs is called “How Samara Lost Her Cool,” one can only imagine that I do not sweetly answer the second officers’ questions like I (maybe) should have. No. I did not. Instead, I very clearly -in Thai- told the second officer “ห้ามคุยกับฉัน” (don’t talk to me!”) and demanded that the first officer write me my ticket and give me back my license so that I could be on my way.

Well that was just too freaking cute! The upstanding police officers just could not handle it and continued repeating “ห้ามคุยกับฉัน” “ห้ามคุยกับฉัน’ (“don’t talk to me” “don’t talk to me”) back and forth to each other.

I was shaking with pent up anger.

In the end, I found out that in Thailand, when you get a ticket, the police officers keep your license until you pay off your ticket. So, despite my demands my license was not returned, my ticket, however, was issued.

Myself fuming and the officers laughing uncontrollably, I finally drove off shouting “ฉันรักเมืองไทย” (“I LOVE THAILAND!”) as my tires squealed. This only made them laugh harder.

I got about 50 meters before I found myself crying so uncontrollably I was now in danger of getting yet another ticket for endangering myself and other drivers on the road, so I pulled over and cried on the side of the highway.

This was not a ‘pretty cry’ by any means.  Oh no. I had snot running out of my nose, down my face without anything to wipe it off and my mascara was decidedly not waterproof, so it was running down my eyes in the blur and black mess, intermingling with the snot.  I was a literal hot mess.

Thirty minutes passed and the tears kept coming. At this point I started to feel a little ridiculous and was actually laughing at myself while I was crying.  The tears, however, would not stop, so I did the only logical thing I could think of and started taking selfies.  This needed to be documented.

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^^ this is for your benefit.

So I just sat there crying and laughing at myself as I waited the storm of my tears out.

And you know what, I did eventually pull myself together and go to work.  I was fine.  I paid my $7 fine, renewed my registration and got my license back.

This was all just one big episode of Samara losing her cool.

 

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