This morning was the Father’s Day festivities for my school in Kathu (a town in Phuket). As I stood in the yard during the celebration, I had a thought. Then I had another thought. The second thought was along the lines of:
“Wow, I am an ass and a hypocrite.”
Before sharing the thought, let me explain the morning:
In Thailand, Father’s Day and the King’s Birthday are the same day. It’s a big deal. The King’s Birthday is incredibly important, it’s like Thailand’s Christmas, at least in terms of equivalent excitement. He’s even more popular here than the Queen is popular in England.
All the parents came to the school dressed in yellow, which is the King’s color. The whole school gathered in the yard. They brought bags of food for the Buddhist monks who came to say prayers.
Then the kids sang songs and showed their parents rehearsed dances. It’s a fairly beautiful setting for such a gathering.
As I stood there in the morning sun for one speech, then another, I started feel sweat dripping down my forehead. After the first half hour I was able to move to the shade but the air was humid and my shirt was starting to stick to me. I tried to just listen to the Buddhist prayers but I didn’t understand a word of them.
“This heat is grueling, I just want to get out of this heat.” I thought.
I’m a world class asshole. You see, every beautiful summer morning that I walked into work back home, I’d look at the blue sky and curse my 9-5 office job. I felt deprived of something fundamental and natural.
“I just want to be outside” I would think to myself at I looked out the window from my cubicle row.
Ultimately the desire to get outside and living life to its fullest everyday brought my wife and I out of our offices, out of our country, and half way around the world to this island, Phuket. All that to complain of the hot sun on a beautiful morning in the hills of Kathu, surrounded by monks and Thai families celebrating their father’s and King. I’m an ass.
If you’re thinking “you always want what you don’t have”, that doesn’t apply here. I don’t want my cube back. I smile every morning as I drive up the road into the hills and arrive at my school. It’s the best commute I’ve ever had.
Nonetheless, sometimes I am not as thankful as I should be for my time here.