Mai pen rai

I was thinking this morning about how I have been in Thailand for so long! I have seen so many different cities & towns, eaten so much good food, learned nit noy (a little bit) of the language and quite a bit of the culture, gone to 2 reggae bars & 1 cowboy bar (the locals love 'em!), met a few interesting people from around the world, and have felt so happy. Then I realized it has only been 23 days! I feel like I have been here for 2 months at least. So, time is a funny thing. 23 days is not a lot of time to feel "Oh, my super duper awesome friend Dasha is really not around", but I feel like "Oh wow I have not seen my family and friends in sooo long" (but I'm not sad, how can I be?! Have you seen my photos? :) ) Time is a funny thing. And when I looked at a calender today to figure out the next 4 weeks of volunteering, I felt like it would all be over so soon! On December 24th my mom will fly into Bangkok and it seems just around the corner. December 31st we fly to Cambodia and, really? Goodbye, Thailand? This is the only thing that makes me sad: leaving Thailand.

So, I come to a key phrase in Thai culture: mai pen rai. Mai pen rai means "it's cool", "never mind", "it's fine", "no big deal". A man spilled his cup of soda and ice on the overnight bus to Chiang Mai? Mai pen rai. My flash drive got a crazy virus and destroyed all of my graduate school essays in the blink of an eye? Mai pen rai (although at first I did mayyybe freak out a little). When you give me something and I say thank you (korp kun ka for women, korp kun khrap for men), you reply "Mai pen rai" - it's not really 'you're welcome', it's more 'don't even think about it.'

Well, time flies and in 6 seemingly short weeks I will be leaving this glorious country, but mai pen rai.

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