All I Have to Do is Dream
A few weeks ago I had an incredibly vivid dream that was so packed with symbolic objects and actions, it would have been a treat for any dream interpreter to decipher. Chris and I were at a train station, hoping to get a train somewhere. The problem was that we couldn’t find anywhere to buy tickets. We instead stumbled across a supermarket and went to buy some food.
Whilst we were in the supermarket I was attacked by two pigeons. They dug their claws into my head but I was quickly able to remove them and shoo them away. Then whilst Chris was in the queue for the checkout, I was attacked by two crows. They proved more difficult to remove and I remember struggling to get them off my head. When I did finally manage to extract them, I threw them on the ground outside the supermarket. But their legs were entwined and they struggled on the floor to pull apart from each other.
I went inside to find Chris and by this time we had definitely missed the train. So, instead, we got on a bus that was about to leave but wasn’t exactly sure where it was going. As it pulled onto the road it immediately got stuck in a traffic jam and I asked someone where it was going. He told me it was going to Hounslow but we actually wanted to go to Stoke-On-Trent.
What’s it All About?
A very brief search on the internet led me to the website www.dreammoods.com and a few clues to what my dream might mean.
‘To see birds in your dream symbolize your goals, aspirations, and hopes.’ However, ‘To dream of birds on the attack means that you are being pulled into too many directions. You are experiencing conflict with your spirituality.’
And then the significance of the two types of birds is quite interesting: ‘To see a pigeon in your dream suggests that you are taking the blame for the actions of others. Pigeons also represent gossip or news. Perhaps they carry a message from your unconscious. Alternatively, the dream may be expressing a desire to return home.’
The crow has a few suggested meanings but like the pigeon, it ‘may be conveying a message from your unconscious’.
And then the transportation angle is also quite intriguing. ‘To dream that you miss a train denotes missed opportunities. It also suggests that you are ill-prepared for a new phase in your life. You may be procrastinating or putting things off that should have already been completed.’
The One Year Milestone
So who knows? But it’s funny that this dream occurred as we passed the one year mark in Thailand. And as Chris is officially on a two-year assignment, it’s technically one down, one to go. I will admit I am feeling a bit conflicted about the thought of this whole crazy experience ending! Even if it is a whole year away, it’s difficult not to subconsciously start the countdown and start obsessing over whether we’ve made the most of our time here.
Expat life is pretty weird. Bangkok is a hub city for SE Asia so attracts a lot of expats and a lot of serial expats at that. Chris and I are newbie expats, this being our first venture into properly living abroad. We did both live abroad whilst we were students, but it doesn’t really count when you have the security of the Erasmus program to protect you. It seems some people get bitten by the expat bug or the nature of their work means they hop from one assignment to another. These people seem to be able to quickly transition to life in a new country and immediately establish a circle of best friends.
Chris and I felt we settled into Bangkok quite quickly on a practical level. We already had somewhere to live, we worked out where all the amenities were and quickly ticked off the milestones like going to the doctors and getting a haircut. But it takes both of us a bit longer to really make friends. There is no shortage of people to hang out with in Bangkok, but it takes both of us a bit longer to really develop relationships. Or maybe it just takes time for us to wear people down so they can’t escape from us!
We now feel like we have some friends within and outside of work so it feels quite sad to think of leaving that life behind. But anyway, it’s still a year away and I don’t think any of our expat buddies have big plans to live in Thailand forever so things won’t stay the same forever! With my Thai work colleagues, it’s strange. I feel I’ve had an impact on people’s lives and then I just will completely disappear never to return! Will we stay in touch? Will they remember me?
And work is actually ok! After going through the full cycle of it being a novelty, to being horrific, to now being ok. It also seems a shame to waste all of that progress!
The Good Times
Although Bangkok is actually still disgustingly hot at the moment despite it apparently being winter, I really don’t look forward to a grim UK winter. It was depressing in June/July when the UK was basking in tropical temperatures and everyone was spending all free time in pub beer gardens. But the envy really subsides once the mercury starts to plummet back home.
The phrase ‘first world problems’ springs to mind but there is no doubt we will miss having Rena around to look after us! Getting to the weekend and not having to consider doing even a tiny domestic chore is amazing. I actually did try to use our washing machine recently and when the cycle finished a sea of foam exploded out of the drum!
And living in Bangkok means that every weekend is like being on holiday! When your free time is actually free, you can make the most of the city with endless possibilities.
And the dogs! What will they do without their own dog nanny? Genuinely I’m not sure they could cope with being left alone anymore.
The Bangkok Bubble
Living here is really like living in a bubble. It real but not real. We have real jobs but our lives seem much simpler somehow. We’re not burdened by knowing or understanding anything more than we see in front of us. It’s like we don’t have to take anything seriously.
And living in this pseudo-reality means that we can’t quite connect it with life in the UK. It’s like this life is in a different dimension to our life in the UK. And this means it’s easy to forget that life back in the UK continues on without us.
Life Goes On
And after one year you actually start to feel like you’ve missed a lot. Whilst we’ve been here my friends have had a million babies! Ok, a slight exaggeration but there are a lot of new little faces that I probably won’t actually see until they’re no longer babies, as if they never were. And please don’t test me on the names!
And at the other end of the spectrum, my parents’ cat died and Chris’ parents’ dog also passed away. I’m not sure what value we could have added if we had been there, but for us, it’s like these two events didn’t really happen. And as Chris’ parents now have an identical replacement dog it is like it didn’t happen!
Chris’ parents have also moved house since we left. Actually, they are renovating a bungalow but by the time we see it this will probably be complete and we’ll never appreciate the ‘journey’. Like we can’t really appreciate Chris’ sister Emma’s grueling winter marathon training only to be confronted by the hottest ever London Marathon this year.
And In Conclusion
There isn’t really a conclusion to any of this. It just makes you feel really weird all the time! It’s not stressful feeling like this, more spaced out, but clearly, my brain is working overtime at night churning out these weird dreams!