I came to Thailand with a plan for everything in my life and a fiancee in my back pocket to help me carry out those plans. I came here for a resume booster as much as anything else, and I never really saw it as a self-awakening time. I was much too proud to admit that my life wasn’t going the way I liked, that I even needed to learn anything, or that Thailand or it’s people could teach me anything worth learning. How wrong I was, and surprisingly I have avoided becoming a self-seeking, backpack-carrying, two-week tourist and still managed to learn a little. Like the fact that change has to be invited and accepted. You can’t make people change if they don’t want to. People are just people and something innate in them makes them who they are, but when push comes to shove we can chose nurture over nature and make ourselves into something different (sometimes for the better and sometimes not.) I’ve learned that I don’t have to be so demanding (of myself or others!) I don’t have to be so high-maintenence. I don’t have to be what is expected of me and I don’t have to be scared of failure and I certainly don’t have to fear being alone in my life. Although I don’t think I could have learned that last one from Thai culture! I’ve learned that I can conquer other languages and I can be a good student if I try (which isn’t often!) I’ve learned that there are a lot of things in this world that I thought I needed and couldn’t live without, but I can live without and I don’t need (but I may still want.) For the record, lemon meringue pie is available at Siam Paragon in Bangkok. I’ve come to realize that dates and times are so irrelevant. Without environmental and social indicators of those around use, time doesn’t mean much. Holidays really just aren’t holidays without those you love. (When it’s 90-degrees out and no one else cares about Christmas, it’s hard for you to care!) And finally I’ve learned that durian tastes just as bad as it looks! Really, who would eat something that looks like an internal organ that’s set out in the sun for a day or two and smells just as nice?? By the way…I’ve also learned that I don’t need or want a fiancee!