On August 20th, the plane from Suvarnabhumi airport lifted off, on a flight that would eventually land me in the fast-paced, “chendo”-speaking city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. On July the 5th, today, in the place where this year has started, can safetly say that this year has been a year of realization.
This year has been unpredictable, from drinking Yak tea and learning that Thai and Dzongkha is very similar to seeing that what you think and what the locals think may not necessarily mean the same thing in Argentina to experiencing the heart-pounding minutes after the American Dream got shaken in the form of the Boston Bomibings..
Now, having the time to reflect back, I’ve come to a few conclusions and realizations:
1) Forget Instagram. Live through your senses, not your lenses.
2)Sometimes, we impose what our own lenses on other people’s situation, making them more dire than they really are. Take for example the Guarani in Argentina. Many tourists think they are extremely smart and innovative when they see how much damage Westernization has done to the authenticity of the Guarani culture (I know I did). But we’re not them; how do we know?
3) There’s no point brooding. Bad luck is real; making yourself feel down is a choice. Spending the week before the end-of-year finals was definitely not one of my best moments, but then again, that’s the best place to be when you’re studying for a Bio exam right?
4) Don’t be afraid to make a change. Be egotistical, be confident. Speak up in class; make a pitch, start a charity. Do what you’ve always wanted to do but always never had the confidence to.
5) Don’t be too egotistical. Make sure you listen to what people say!
6) Then again, listen, but you have the power to pick whose advice you take to heart. That’s where your brain and reason comes in.
7) Suck up to check-in airline people. Got an overweight bag? Here’s your solution.
8) Creating a photo essay, is the best way to document a year.
So, staying true to the list, here are some highlights from this year (from the very beginning to the very end).
Goodbye Thailand, hello Argentina….
We got to see New Zealand’s All Blacks play against a local team, including the Hakka dance.
The Iguazu Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world…Sadly is no longer a climax community.
The Guaranis in Inguazu
My somewhat comedic slipup involving a Gaucho, a horse, and a bloody nose
Iguazu Number 2 : The curious batch of bamboos
Isn’t it breathtaking?
It’s so fascinating how such squiggles can be simply unreadable art to someone, and a language to another!
And lastly, my home country, Thailand yet again. Oh-how I’ve missed you…
I hope you all had an amazing Fourth of July, and happy 2012-2013!