Today I would like to write to you about something that I have been thinking about since I was flying over the ocean and that has been constantly reinforced since my first day in "the land of smiles". Time does not pass in this country and like it does in our own. Perhaps this difference is part of the study abroad experience itself-which entails a constant group fluctuation between feelings thrill and exhaustion-or perhaps the culture in Thailand simply moves at a different speed than what I know.
Time is supposed to fly when you are having fun. Well .... I'm certain that I am having the most fun that I can remember and yet time, in my opinion, is moving at a snail's pace. This is not a bad thing! I want to soak up every minute in this country. I constantly feel that I do more than I ever remember doing in a day but that there is too much to capture on camera, too much to take in with one pair of eyes, and too much for merely a month of being here. Clearly I am experiencing an interesting dichotomy that is difficult to explain but seems to be a shared feeling among the group; time is passing both too quickly and so slowly that a day can feel like a week when the pillow and blankets are in sight.
While the crowds in Amphawa bustle in and out of shops lining the river, these Thais cook delicious-smelling food and patiently wait for hungry customers. These merchants are preserving an ancient Thai tradition - the "floating market". The boats on this river move in a slow, peaceful manner through the canals.
For my 21st birthday, we went to the roof of a hotel to see the whole city of Bangkok. The large, bustling city below us was quite a site to behold. Life in this city certainly moves at a faster tempo than life in the Amphawa floating market above. This is of the many dichotomies we have experienced here.
Perhaps the sensation of peace and stillness in my life, caused my many factors such a balance of work / play and the beauty of my surroundings, is factor supporting my feeling that time is moving slowly. Maybe time in America seems to move more quickly because the culture generally moves quickly as a whole. How do you feel about the need for speed and a fast-paced life in America? Have you ever felt that time was moving both quickly and slowly?