So an elephant walks into a bar…

By November 29, 20102010, Asia

…fireworks are set off with old Thai men, we climb the highest mountain in the country, we sit on elephant’s heads. We get tattoos, we get spun around by mustached men in pumpkin costumes. All these things and experiences mean so much to me – but the real thing about Thailand – about this trip – is communication. I have been so frustrated by the miscommunication – or the altogether lack thereof – on this trip. Museums turn into restaurants with no warning, Robert rants about sci-fi literary devices, our homestay sister drops us off and leaves us in random places and locations, and no matter what, most of the time I have no idea what’s going on. But when I do, there is this epiphany of clarity that comes over me, and I can turn to my Thai friend Pi, and we can say, “We understand one another, we GET each other”, and it is inextricably beautiful. This miscommunication happens worldwide – even in North America – but when we gain this clarity and understanding it means so much more to us. We take communication for granted, and when we are thrown into a world where you have to use more than words to get the point across, there is an incredible learning curve, riddled with grace and forgiveness, which is extremely humbling. I hope that more people in our world today can experience this uncomfortable miscommunication, but learn to understand that this is part of the growing process, and once growth is attained and understanding is achieved, words and actions mean that much more to everyone involved.

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