A friend asked me if I have thought of becoming a mother.  I was a bit surprised with how fast I answered “no.”  If he asked me that five years ago, maybe I would have said “yes.”   Years ago, I had dreams of getting married and having a family.  Now, being single isn’t such a lonely thought.  Maybe I have come to a point in my life that having children is a scary prospect.  I mean, I like kids.  I like babies.  I think they are cute and really cuddly.  And what with my nephews, I know how kids can just take away a day’s work off the shoulders with a smile and a kiss.  But the thought of watching over and feeding and the whole business of caring for a future person scare me.  I am now 34.  I’d be in my 40s when my child starts growing up.  I’d be too old to play physical games with him.  That would be unfair to him.  I am not sure if single women my age feel the same way.  But I guess this is nature’s kind and sympathetic way of letting me deal with the childless state.  Honestly, I don’t feel bitter or regretful about not having children.  It just seems natural that I don’t want having children of my own.             


I just read again Bienvenido Santos’ “Scent of Apples,” and as always, was moved to tears. That story never fails.  And now, I can relate better with Fabia, a Filipino ex-pat in the US.  It is hardly as cold here in Thailand (although it’s colder here now than Christmas in the Philippines) as it was in Kalamazoo, nor can I smell apples.  Indeed, Fabia’s sotry is very different from mine.  His is the US in the 1940s; mine is Thailand in the 21st century.  It’s not very difficult to get a ticket home, if I really wanted to go home.  In fact, I’ve never really felt  very far from home (everything in Thailand looks like the Philippines).  Until now.  I feel like I’m a continent away.  I guess it’s because it’s Christmas time and there’s no Christmas here; no Christmas carols, no Christmas trees, no Christmas parties.  This is what must have been like to Fabia when Filipinos did not occupy every square inch of the US, when everything was so foreign.

Annie left for the Philippines today.  I wished I was going home for Christmas too.  It feels so lonely with one room vacant on my floor.  And tomorrow Ate Cora will go home to the Philippines too.  By Saturday, almost all the Filipinos will have gone.  Some have families in Bangkok and they will be there.  Baan Pasong will be temporarily like a haunted house.  I don’t like to be the last one to leave.   Even back in San Agustin, I saw teachers leaving.  I felt the need to leave too.  I don’t want to be  the one left alone.  But now, I can’t just leave.  I have no place to go.  So, this is what Christmas is like in Thailand.    



I wish I could organize my feelings as well as I could my activities for the week.  Like I wish I could tell my self to feel happy today and feel sad on another time.  I don’t know why I feel especially sad lately.  I know I am homesick.  But I’ve felt homesick before and it never felt like this.  Home is so near, just 3 hours away by plane.  I long for my family, my nephews most especially.  I wish for their hugs and kisses.  Just one little kiss on the cheek and a hug would sure go a long way.  How complicated could things be?     

I realized as I looked at the shadow cast by my cup that I have kept hidden a large part of myself, like the large shadow cast by the cup.  For one, I don’t like others to see how sensitive I am.  I keep my feelings and emotions hidden in my smile or my silence.  If people are difficult, I avoid them.  If things or situations are trying, I don’t think about them.  I’m afraid of getting hurt.  And in the process, I am afraid of taking risks.  I’m afraid of running after my dreams because I’m afraid I might be disappointed…  All these realizations from a coffee cup.  I love my coffee.

I’b cobing dowd wid du flu.  I hate it wed by dose is stuffy.  Ad by throat is paidful too.  Did take lots of vitabid c.  Talk sob bore later.

I was in Thong Pa Phum in Kanchanaburi this weekend. Thung Pa Phum is about two towns away to the Thai-Burmese border. It is a village up in the mountains and it’s the closest commune I had with nature, so far. No electricity, no phone signal. It was heaven. Unfortunately, I spent only two days there. The house where my friends and I stayed is made of bamboo with roofs made of grass. The house was actually a big room with smaller rooms connected to it with covered “bridges.” There were trees around it so it felt like a tree-house (it felt like it was out of the movie the Blue Lagoon—minus the lagoon). The house is built on top of a hill and there was a stream down below. The stream was accessible through stairs carved out of the hill. On our first morning there, my friends and I trekked the mountains where an orange orchard was taken care of by Father Pairat’s staff, Karen people. That was about a 2-kilometer walk. The most exciting part of the trek was following the flow of the stream for about 1 km until we reached its lowest drop—about 3 feet. Father Pairat kept talking about a beautiful waterfall. This turned out to be his “waterfalls.” But waterfall or not, this was a terrific trip. I loved the way the water wound around the roots of the trees. (It made me feel like a poet but no words would come out—I guess the pictures I took will be tribute enough). I was amazed how flowers can bloom even when there was a canopy of leaves above them. It’s just a reminder that there is a God.