In only a few more days it will be my 2nd year anniversary of coming to Thailand… I’m nowhere near where I thought I’d be emotionally. I remember my first night here begging God to let me stay, now I find myself begging to leave.
I’ve been thinking about moving on for a while now…
because I’m bored with work.
because I’m lonely in this new area.
because of always having to pick my heart up when people treat me like dirt.
And tonight just felt like one giant nudge to get the heck out of here.
I’ve expressed on my blog before the struggles of being Black in Thailand, but tonight was something I never imagined would happen to me.
The bus was packed; I ended up having to stand and wait for a seat to open up. Mind you, I was having a great day: I worked out, had a good meal, bought a cute top, played Dance Revolution, and saw a movie by myself. I was on cloud nine, the happiest I’ve been in a while. At that moment I didn’t think anything could bring me down.
Sadly, I was wrong.
So, I’m standing there, squished between a number of bodies, with my three heavy grocery bags waiting for an empty seat. The bus starts to slow down to a stop when a girl begins to get out of her seat.
She pushes me out of the way, literally, P U S H E S me.
(For those who don’t know Thai culture, Thais are not aggressive people. Had this happened in China I wouldn’t care because that’s normal. One step further, had this happened in the city, I probably wouldn’t care either because in the city things are a bit different, but I live on the outskirts of the city–people are not like this, it’s out of character to push.)
So, yeah, the girl pushes me then proceeds to offer her seat to EVERYONE else but me, even though I’m standing right next to her seat, with my three heavy bags.
(For those who may argue, “Maybe it’s because she doesn’t speak English.” I’ve been here long enough to know that language doesn’t need to get in the way of kindness; there have been times where the Thai look at me and gesture to sit down. This is not a language barrier thing.)
Now, I’m so shocked I don’t even have words to say, even though there were a number of not-so-nice words that came to mind. The lady next to me must’ve been shocked too because she just looked at me as if she wanted to say, “You’re really not going to sit down? I didn’t sit. I just stood there, baffled.
What should I have done in this situation?
I have a list of advice people have given when I tell them about the prejudices I face living here:
1. Smile, they’ll smile back.
2. Forget about it.
4. Be happy!
Please, do tell me, which one would’ve been a suitable response?
When I finally got a seat I curled into myself and cried– it was the best response I could think of in that moment.
It was then that I realized the only person that truly, truly understood my pain was Christ, himself. He came down to his own people, people he loved and they treated him like dirt. Hated him. Yet, he stayed. Even died for them.
I’m not at all saying I’m Christ in the sense that I’d give my life up for the Thai, but in a small way I have. Two years of my life has been spent here, and none of it has been easy. I’m always having to collect my heart off of the ground and still smile, and still laugh, and still love this place and its people
Love even when people do hurtful things.
Love even when people don’t believe me when I say people do hurtful things.
Love even when people give me stupid advice about how to deal with people who do hurtful things.
It’s been an honor, I guess, to feel connected to God in this way, but I’m still human and have limitations. Tonight did more than just hit a nerve, it cut the last one I had left.
After two years I think I’m ready to move on, I can’t keep “dying” for a place that doesn’t love me back.