On The Plus Side

August 7, 2016

One week down at the Thai Red Cross. I said I wouldn’t dwell too much on work – and I won’t – but for the curious, inquisitive, or career-focused readers out there:

I really like it.

I have a few projects with their PrEP programs – a pill that prevents HIV. I get to write a lot, come up with questions, and play with data to find the answers  (maybe). That means I get to learn a new statistical software too. Who wouldn’t love that? The coworkers are sweet, my boss is supportive, I have a lot of autonomy, the office itself is a refrigerator. I bought a sweater yesterday.

Everyone else is Thai. For this pathological chatter, the language barrier is an advantage. I get a lot more done during the day. This month, I’ll also see a bunch of the gay health clinics. Here are photos from this Friday’s field trip:

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SO. Enough about work….

This week, in spite of having a “life” (i.e. a structured activity, that isn’t just for my ‘highest level of amusement’ – which is what my dad calls anything fun), I was preoccupied with minutia about things in New York. A monday email became a week long conversation about logistics. I was latched onto my Facebook feed wherever I found wifi. My mind wandered to New York/America/Home(?) when I meditated, like a moth to the flame.

*Yes. Still doing that daily meditation thing – hello from day 15/100/ 15% transformation.*

And it occurred to me this morning: I wasn’t attached to the east coast, or work. I was stuck on the people back home. As wonderful as alone time is – as addictive as self-reflection can be, wrote the blogger– eventually some kind of gravity pulls you back to community, whether you want it or not. I don’t have one here.

By the end of the week I was too restless to read or write anymore.

Book update – Almost finished Revolutionary Road. Jesus. I almost cried when I read Part 2 on the train. If you ever want a novel full of perfect character development, that breaks your heart over and over, this is the novel for you! Wish it was longer. 

On Saturday, I went online and mapped out an art gallery crawl. This involved looking up galleries, plotting them on a map, making a route, then hitting the road. I saw 2 small galleries, a university show, and an art exhibit called “Business Humour” about comedy  in the fanciest mall I’ve ever seen. The first recorded joke in Thailand was published in 1865! By sunset I ended up at an opening on the opposite side of town. Read: free food and open bar. Not a terrible place to be stuck during the evening monsoon.

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So, darling reader, here are the summary stats:

  • 25% of work complete (1week/4weeks)
  • 15% of enlightenment obtained (15days /100days)
  • 50% of my time in Asia complete (3 weeks/6 weeks)
  • 30% of yoga pass used
  • 26% of subway pass used.
  • 54.2 % of Sunday complete

Results are preliminary. Data collection ongoing. Further analysis forthcoming.

Comments/emails/distractions welcome, as usual.


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