Anyone ever ask how you are doing and you give the basic response of "I'm fine", and by fine you mean: Freaked out, Insecure, Nervous and Emotional ??? I felt BEYOND "fine" when this picture was taken.
Since moving to the "Land of Smiles" I have learned a lot and often times see it more as the "Land of Saving Face". For the most part, from my experience, Thai's are conscious of every emotion they show and aim to only be seen as positive. Instead of telling people things directly, everyone here is super indirect. One must avoid using the word "no", and one avoids making others uncomfortable in any way. That being said, above is a picture of me "saving face" and playing it cool even though I assure you I was a mess.
Background Info: I just received this picture/didn't know it existed. That is me with my host mother (Grandpa's chilling in the background) not even five minutes after meeting each other a few months ago. Right around the time this picture was taken I freaked the fuck out. Withing 30 seconds we both used all we knew of each other's language, meaning we said hello to each other and tried to communicate a few other things that didn't translate well or at all. This was her showing me a picture of her son (what would we do without cell phones?!). Then we got up and left to go home. It was beyond awkward, I knew she wouldn't speak English but I guess I wasn't mentally prepared, or I thought maybe she still would know a few words...not the case. I could tell she also assumed I would know a little more Thai as well. Our car ride, with just us two, and no translators, was overwhelming to say the least. In case you we're concerned about Grandpa, he threw my bike into a pick-up truck and disappeared, leaving me more confused and slightly concerned at first. Leading up to this picture, during this picture, and for the following 24 hours or so I thought these phrases pretty much continuously:
What the fuck am I doing?
I hate the way this feels.
I want to go home.
I messed up.
This is so uncomfortable.
Obviously everything turned out more than okay. I now love my host family and seeing this picture made me laugh because I feel completely differently than I did initially. That first night ended up being fun but my brain still had those sentences playing on repeat. I also am no longer uncomfortable 100% of the time, just a solid 99% of the time. Moral of the story is simply that...
1: I am an actress, and don't look at all as scared as I felt
2: I was and probably will continue to be uncomfortable for remaining 25 months
3: I can't wait to keep growing and see all the uncomfortable situations ahead!