Let’s get real

I tried to keep a music week going but failed to realise that I had no motivation to do this and therefore fell behind in posting. Along with that, the extent of research I have to do for each continent took me much longer than I expected, although that part is something I enjoyed. It was a matter of choosing which of the heaps of artists to share with you all that I felt was the best choice for the week. I couldn’t decide when researching South America, which was supposed to be Wednesday’s band.

So let’s get real on what’s going on in my life. (1) Uni starts back up on the 24th, which I am 85% bummed out about; (2) I still have no car and that leaves me slightly befuddled as to how I will get myself to classes when I live nearly 60km / 35mi away from school; (3) I really like making lists; (4) I have been helping out at my parents’ store lately and not going to lie, I do not enjoy it; (5) …

I still don’t really want to write anything even though there are some pretty important decisions flowing through my head that need to be made. And frankly, I … I don’t even feel like finishing that sentence.

Music week is postponed until I can store up a few music favourites to showcase each continent. AND that will help with consistency of when I post and the uniformity of each post. Blah, blah, blah. You probably don’t care. Okay, bye.

Music Week

So in rue of my absence, I have decided to share something music related each day. Along with that, hopefully the seven posts will encourage me to actually write what is going on in my head here in the USA. And not only would I like to finally sit down and write some thoughts out, but hopefully have the patience and perseverance to upload photos again since I have fallen behind with no good excuse for my actions.

Goodnight, but be prepared for a week of music! I am thinking maybe something I like from each continent, minus Antartica… instead, a general favourite? or classic? Who knows. I’ll figure it out in the morning. 

30ºC / 85ºF

I feel like I am boiling from the inside out. Coming to Thailand has been an eye-opening experience to see into another culture, but at the same time, it has solidified my awareness of my temperature limits. Anywhere over 30ºC / 85ºF for more than a few days, I don’t want to live there. I want nothing to do with that place. I would rather be in -30ºC / -22ºF than the opposite. Sweat is not my friend unless I am exercising.

I think the theory of having a circulatory problem is accurate. My body takes WAY too long to cool down and has a really difficult time at maintaining a decent body temperature. I’d rather be cold than hot, just saying.

My issues with the weather here are: (1) having to wash my clothing EVERY SINGLE DAY, which not only wears out the material faster but is a huge waste of water and electricity, (2) the humidity makes the air so thick that I have a difficult time breathing, (3) showering daily is annoying and again, uses a lot of water. Take me back to a place where I can wear a jacket comfortably again!

In the meantime, I am extremely thankful for this experience and for all that Jasmine’s family is doing for me. I am not looking forward to the UAE though due to the weather. I would say that I have adapted quite well to having a language barrier in most places and being here in Bangkok, Jasmine translates everything for me, so it is not the same as when I traveled around Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Russia. In general, Thailand is extremely filthy (trash everywhere, streets are black from dirt and car waste, water is mucky, etc.) but the people are very kind. I don’t think the consumeristic culture in the US will be a shock anymore after this either. I am to the point where I would rather not have a choice in what I eat or do or buy because it is too much to think about. Sorry market people for taking so long to make a decision! Overall, the hype of things being cheaper here is false. It depends on the item but the price of something usually reflects the quality and if you want something that is of decent quality, be ready to pay a regular price or higher.

I am not a foodie and so cuisine is not something I focus on. Jasmine’s family is quite the opposite when it comes to this and has been having me try all sorts of dishes. The seafood here is very good but I feel like I am going to explode from the abrupt change in diet. My body is completely out of whack due to the drastic changes in diet, weather, and exercise. What people forget to tell you is that humid weather leads to skin breakouts, so if you are planning to vacation somewhere, be prepared for skin, hair, and digestive problems. I still feel like I eat too much here, especially since we spend a large portion of our time sitting in traffic in the car rather than walking. I went from walking at least 45 minutes in one stretch daily to walking at the most, 15 minutes.

Anyway, enough of the ranting. I am thankful for being able to spend this time with Jasmine and her family. I just won’t be venturing to anywhere that is this hot on purpose in the future. Oklahoma, your weather sucks too. Maybe I’ll move to Alaska or Canada or back to the Baltics or Nordic countries or Russia or someplace that the air is thinner and the sky is closer to the ground.

Moi, poiss!

The journey begins as I sit in the RIX airport to wait for my airline check-in to open up. So there is no better way to spend the next three hours than to work on a project for school (because group work never runs on time) and listening to Akon. Bam. Yes, I just brought him back. Not really but whatever. I will say that on the way back from Finland, I totally jammed to Miley Cyrus. So maybe it’s just a travel thing to listen to cheesy pop music.

But what I wanted to mention is that I have an upset stomach and am not sure if it’s just nerves or if I am actually sick. I tried to sleep on the bus because if I kept my eyes open, I’d feel queasy. And now as I sit in the airport, I am debating when to eat food because I still need to eat something substantial but it’s too early for lunch and too late for breakfast and the Narvesen doesn’t have anything I can eat… this could be like 2013 all over again. If I vomit on a plane, I may never fly again.

No one actually wants to read about what I am doing. Let’s talk about what I am thinking about! Nothing. Because I am still emotionally numb and it has been that way for almost 2 weeks. It’s like subconsciously I am suppressing the sad feelings so that I don’t cry and rather than feeling sad, I feel like nothing because for whatever reason, that is better than feeling anything. I have so many mixed feelings about leaving Estonia and about travelling in general and blah! But now I should work on this stupid project so that it is one less thing I will need to finish when I am in Thailand.

Home

I have been asked multiple time when do I go home. And to answer that, I don’t know because where I consider home is not where most people are talking about. I don’t consider America or Texas or Oklahoma home anymore. To be honest, I have never felt that I was connected there anyway. So where is my home, you may ask? I suppose Tartu is where I feel at home. As I was trying to figure out a title for this post, I remembered a plaque I have seen in many houses that says, “Home is where the heart is”. I had never given it much thought but it is rather accurate. My home is where I have the majority of my closest friends, it’s where I can be myself comfortably, where my life is. And the common root or base for all of this is me. As in, my physical body which includes my heart. So wherever I am, that could be home but there is more to it than just where I physically am. Most of the time I try to avoid making decisions based on what my heart wants because it’s usually emotion-based and dumb. But when it comes to relationships and true identity, my heart is good at weeding out what is not actually me. I want what I want because I want it. Not because someone else wants it for me. That’s where my head muddies things. I still respect logical and analytical thinking though. I just wanted to set things straight. I am not returning home. I was not just visiting Estonia for 10 months. I have been living here; I moved here. And my life is here. For me, my life revolves around relationships, independence, and connectivity. These are vague words that wrap up a lot of ideas and I don’t feel like going into detail about each of them either. I am leaving home for who-knows-how-long and am not particularly excited to do so either. But I will make the most of the situation and will keep a larger goal and purpose in mind until the day comes when I can return to Estonia.

Ramadan

With nothing else to plague my mind other than the upcoming change, I want to talk about a little mix-up I had when trying to book a place to stay for my layover in the UAE. I misread my ticket information and thought I was flying to Dubai. Nope. I’m flying to Abu Dhabi. I have no idea what I am going to do there nor am I that confident anymore about going. After talking to a few people that are living in that area, I have found out that I will be there during Ramadan. And to be honest, I had no idea what that is so I have spent the last hour or so reading about it. So there’s that. But since Ramadan will be going on, it is probably a good thing that I won’t be in Dubai since that is where most of the celebration stuff takes place. You know me, I don’t like crowds. So let’s hope for the best for those 21 hours while I am in that country. I am sure that whatever comes of it, it will be fine and I will enjoy myself, even through the fasting and heat.

Strangers with foreign accents

I think I have hit my peak for interacting with strangers. Not to mention, the shock I felt when I couldn’t even understand my own grandpa speak. I am not ready to go back to a world of southern accents and I certainly am not looking forward to my accent changing back due to my surroundings. No offence Southerners, your accent sounds kind of dumb.

But there is one thing I want to talk about since I am trapped in this awful camp place again and I am avoiding interacting with people right now. It is really hard to idly sit by and listen to people make fun of another person behind their back. And it’s not even that, but being uncomfortable around these people due to their so called “humour” based on bullying, racism, and negativity. We all understand that Estonia is not like America and that’s the point, so stop pointing out every little thing that Estonia is “missing”. My dilemma is that an elder of the group casually makes fun of others and everyone plays along. Due to this behaviour, it makes it difficult to say to the younger group that it is wrong, belittling, rude, and pathetic to do the same to another human being. Instead, I scream on the inside because of the hypocrisy. If these people are Christians, no wonder many see nothing particularly interesting about them.

I want to leave but can’t quite yet. And because of the baggage complications, I must stay until the American team leaves. This all makes me sick to my stomach.

The worst part is that after confronting and arguing with the younger team members that what they were saying was absolutely terrible, I had the realisation that I am guilty of such humour at times as well. So I want to apologise to those that I have said anything rude about behind their back. That includes some of the people I interact regularly with at church.

Fear

There is one topic that I really like to ask people about, and that’s what they are afraid of. In many cases, people do not answer fully, not because they aren’t afraid of much or are not willing to talk about it, but because they haven’t thought about it much. But, the reason I brought up fear is due to a conversation I had with a friend last night that happened to haunt me this morning when I woke up. Talking about the future.

I admit, I am scared of the future, more so now due to the realisation that I can’t control my life anyway so why plan it. I literally woke up shaking this morning and I can’t exactly put my finger on the source of the fear other than it possibly being that I know my time left in Tartu is short. Not to mention, I am supposed to meet with family today and that freaks me out. Absolutely terrifies me, actually. I’m not scared of my grandpa, I am scared of myself and how I will change around him. I am scared of that camp site he is on because of past experiences that were negative (I hate that place, to say the least). I am worried of the situation with my bags since I tried to make a plan but when you involve another person, there is less of a chance that the plan will go accordingly. Which it did not. And now I sit in my room, on my bed, with the pink walls that do not fit my personality whatsoever, in thought about this exam I am about to go to. If I don’t fail that exam, I will be surprised. Honestly.

From last night’s conversation, Elisabeth mentioned that I will have to do all of this over again when I go back. When what she said had sunk in, I was petrified. Enough so that I cried on my walk home a few times. It makes me sick to my stomach to think that I will have to repeat 9 more months of this hell. I am going to leave behind some really good friends that I am not ready to say bye to, and head to a land where friendship is based on how much school stress one has. I don’t want to relate to people based on that. No one should. I will miss Elisabeth, Jonathan and Julie, and a few others that are fairly new friends.

I am scared of moving back in with my parents because of the different baggage each person carries with them. I am not ready to be a part of that drama, not because I don’t care, but because I don’t think I can emotionally handle being around that environment. I am worried that I will feel isolated and that because of the weather and lack of sidewalks, I won’t want to walk outside anymore (which also means that I will become fat and die. In that order, of course). I am not ready to leave Estonia. That’s the truth, but I can see how different parts of my life here are over and that it is time for me to move on. Even if that means having to go through this horrid process of connecting with people and finding a place that I can truly be myself, even emotionally. And lastly, one of the most scary parts of leaving this place is that I am worried I might lose sight of who I have become from this. I don’t want to go back and people think I am the same and I don’t want to be that same person I was 10 months ago. Nor do I want to be the same person I was 37 hours ago (I made that number up, there is nothing special about it other than 3+7=10 and that’s pretty cool). Could time pause for a while so I can catch up?

A blog comprised of adventures and thoughts from a university student from Oklahoma.

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