February 2, 2019, 14:49
“The things one notices,” says Rebecca. She likes to talk this way—academic and distant—because she has a Master’s degree and is used to writing in the tense of “one” instead of “I” or “you.” She studied linguistics and education; she wants to be a primary school teacher. So does Lia. They are both German, in their late-twenties, and my roommates, here, at GongKaew HuenKum Hostel, which is popular for Chinese visitors. It’s a cute space: outdoors and open. But there are mosquitoes, and it’s quite warm.
I bought a fanny pack, which I wear over my chest instead of on my waist because that’s too much of a dad move and it’s how all the tourists do it. More convenient and less sweaty than a backpack. It holds a map, my phone, some cash, my keys, and my brother’s Canon PowerShot A2300 HD digital camera. I can’t tell if it takes better photos than my iPhone SE, but I’ve always wanted to use a real camera. (Just looked it up: the Canon is 16MP, and the iPhone is only 12MP).
Joe is here with his family. Good to see him. Some of his former students are attending Chiang Mai University, so he spends time with them. He’s staying outside the moat but will move to my hostel tomorrow morning. I want to meet the rest of his family; his mother seems nice, and the two of them like to josh and jest.
J. B. reminds me of my Gramma: he talks about the energy of the universe and healing and a bunch of hippie noise. He grew up in Illinois, lived in Hawaii for 37 years, and has since been hopping around Asia. He is quite knowledgeable about the Thai people and culture, and he certainly likes to talk. Once going, one can only nod their head and mumble assent as he lets loose a barrage of fun facts and advices. But I enjoy listening to his voice, and he invited me to toss the Frisbee around if I was interested.