We finally arrived in Bangkok on Jan 23rd in the evening. It was about 5pm when we arrived on Kohsan Road, which is the most popular area with the tourists. It was madness! So many tourists!! Many looked very typical, meaning they wore those native clothes that you end up buying and wearing after being in the country even just for a few days. There was loud music, vendors and restaurants everywhere. We finally found our hotel, got our rooms, took a cold shower and went down to the main lobby to find out if we can get tickets for the next evening and go to Koh Pi Pi (island).
What we didn't expect was for everything to be booked already. It was the Chinese new year and we didn't think of the effects that it would have on our travels. So, in the end, Jose, Link and Colleen, who met up with us in Bangkok at the hotel, decided to wait till the morning to see if they would be able to get the night train for the next day, and I bought a bus and boat ticket for Koh Tao, an island much closer that had plenty of seats available. The bus was in the morning at 5:30am. I was really sad to part ways with the boys because I had such an amazing time with them and I knew it probably wouldn't be so much fun without them. But such is life and one has to part ways at some point.
We stayed up all night and partied. We went looking for some dance clubs and ended up in a place called Sparkle that was empty. Next, we told our tuk tuk driver to take us to an area called something like Ping Poh. The driver didn't understand us right and took us to a Ping Pong bar. You got that right. We started laughing when we go there but decided to go in anyways and see what it was all about. You don't get such an opportunity very often. So we go in. It's full of tourists, mostly men. Some with Thai women and others just with their girlfriends. Anyways, the show was starting.
It was an array of talents, all involving the usage of a womans privates. One lady was putting out candles, another one like a magician, was pulling out bright colored flowers on a string, another one blew darts at balloons. Another one wrote autographs and gave them as souvenirs. And the main attraction, here come the ping pong balls. Beware of where they fly or they might hit you straight in the face. It was a good laugh and everyone applauded.
Then, the lights went really dim and I thought the show was over, so we looked to gather our bags and get going, but all of a sudden, on stage come a fully naked woman and a fully naked man and they proceed to have sex in a variety of positions. All I could do at that point was stare in amazement. It was magnificent, amazing!!! Never had I seen two people on stage getting it on. I really enjoyed Bangkok! The rest of the evening I was still thinking about what I had seen and nothing else that followed could match that experience.
At 5:30am I got the bus and at 2:30 in the afternoon I had arrived at my little island. Unfortunately, it was gray and gloomy and soon it started to rain. Saturday (24th) and Sunday (25th) were spent eating, shopping, getting waxed, talking to interesting people, and hoping for the weather to change and for me to get a chance to sit on the beach.
(present at that time)
Today, Monday the 26th, it was hot, sunny and beautiful. I slept in, had a big breakfast and relaxed with an interesting book I bought from a store here on Koh Tao. I walked along the beach and went down to the end of the island where I finished my waxing, had some way to expensive Indian food and went shopping again. I bought some super comfortable sandals, a black dress and amazingly found a store that had 2 piece swimsuits that fit breasts larger than mosquito bites. I was in luck. I bought the most amazing and sexy swimsuit I have ever owned. When I got back to my bungalow, I set my alarm for 8am so I would get up early and get as much sun as possible before having to get on the boat at 4pm and head back to Bangkok. I wish I could stay longer but the meditation retreat awaits.
(after the event)
The meditation retreat was pretty intense. I did not do as much meditation as was intended, my mind was busy thinking of lots of things.
Everything went well for the first 4 days even thought I could sense all my anger arising to the surface. Hearing the teachings in English and then in Thai, repeatedly saying the same thing didn't help either. So, on the 4th day in the afternoon when we were instructed on the Vipassana meditation I, or lets say my anger, reached the boiling point and I said I had enough. I stormed back to my room, packed my bag and went and told one of the servers that I wanted to go home and who I can talk to about getting that going. Well, I was told to wait until the evening and talk to the teacher. That evening I thought a lot about leaving, what I would do, where I would go, all that. But at one point, the thought pattern changed and I asked myself: Where you gonna go? I'm gonna go get a wax, go to the beach and get a nice tan. OK. You can go and get a wax when you finish the course; you will have time. (This is how the conversation went on in my mind). OK, but I want to get a tan. I won't be able to get a tan in only 2 days in Bangkok. OK. But why do you even need a tan? It's gonna be winter when you go back to Korea. You will be all covered up and no one will see it. So what's the point? Ya, but Ryan will... Ah! And that's where it struck me. Leaving this meditation would be for him, staying would be for me. I thought, why would I give up this great thing here for me when Ryan is not even going to appreciate it if I do that, and even if he does, it's only going to be for a second. This will be for me and will be SO beneficial. So, I said, THAT'S IT! I'M STAYING! That night, I was tossing and turning until about midnight, thinking about this new realization. On the fifth day, meditation went really well until the evening. I had a SUPER TA DA moment where I even envisioned the light bulb appearing to the right of my head. I had finally realized what kind of relationship Ryan and me had.
I had a lot more emotions invested in this relationship, definitely cared more, compromised more and well, I guess it just was not mutual. When I realized all of this, my emotional attachment to him went out like a candle and I was ready to think of myself first, to put myself first, to do things for the benefit of myself. That night, the night of the fifth day, I only slept for 1 hour, the rest was spent thinking about this realization and explaining to myself, as well as planning for my life when I finished with the retreat. Next day, my meditation didn't go so well. I felt no subtle sensations, no flow of vibration, I was disappointed and felt like I was regressing. In the evening, after again much anger, on the 6th day, I wanted to go home again, so I talked to the teacher and she explained to me the technique in a way that I actually understood. I had been doing it wrong. From then on, my meditation was difficult, more sleeping than meditating, less sensations, more blind areas, bit I kept going, with my new found equanimity.
I have thought a lot these 10 days. Thought a lot and about many tings. On the last day when silence was broken and we were listening to the last discourse, my mind wandered again. I thought about what I had learned, not here on this retreat but from my experience with Ryan. I have learned so many things, I cannot even begin to write everything down, but one thing that I think is important, is having learned and realized what I want in a partner, friend, boyfriend, husband, any kind of relationship.
1. Be placed at the top on the importance ladder. The world does not have to revolve around me, but I have to be important, valued and time made for me.
2. He's got to be financially responsible and self sustainable. Got to have a job or some way of earning a living that involves his own abilities.
3. He has to have good judgment and know how to behave, converse and interact appropriately in different social situations, depending on environment, people present, group dynamic, and all those other circumstances.
This I don't think is fantasy or being too demanding. This is what I am offering from myself and I expect no less back in return.
Tomorrow morning at 8:30am I leave here and go back to the busy crazy world. I will have Sunday all day and Monday until 9pm when I fly back to cold Korea to start my life anew. I will have many decisions to make, plans to start in motion, pictures to upload, life to set in order.
Thank you Jose, thank you Link, thank you Ryan, thank you Cambodia, thank you Thailand, thank you Vipassana retreat. Thank you all for helping me grow and learn and become a better person.