A new post; a new year. It has been far too long since my last update perhaps, but now is the time to post again. There is so much to speak of, that I am almost at a loss for what to say. I suppose I will start with the things I know. A couple of weeks ago I participated in a parade as the drum major. I dressed up in old fashioned English garb and led my color's procession through my town and eventually to my school. It was relatively uneventful, aside from lots of photos and people telling me I looked handsome or cute. However there was an event that occurred afterwards which was somewhat of interest. I went with my classmate back to the beauty shop to change my clothes and when it came time to leave and go back to the school the kid who drove us on his scooter had disappeared leaving his scooter behind. I guess someone came and picked him up, though I am not at all sure why. In any case my friend asked me to drive. I hesitated and said that I couldn't. I said that I have the ability to drive, but I am not allowed. So anyway she said fine and drove us back, but she went the back way. Near the school we were stopped by the police and she spent a few minutes talking to some policemen. I guess we were stopped because we didn't have on helmets(people rarely wear helmets here, although it is against the law not to). Anyways she got off with a warning, I am not sure how. But anyways it made me think, because we may have taken the other way and not gotten in trouble if I had driven. Or maybe we would have and I would have gotten in serious trouble. In any case it made me think about the decisions I make and how they can have big impacts on things later on. Of course I have thought about this a lot, but this event reminded me.

Another thing is that I have been offered the chance to change hosts here while I thought I was going to stay with this same family. It is some man that my host father knows and I met him and he said that beginning on February 13th I can come to stay with him and his family. I am still not sure what I would like to do, but I think I may go stay with him a while. Another opportunity was offered by a friend I met at RYLA who lives far away; about 10 hours. I spent the holidays with him and his family likes me quite a lot and told my friend that they wouldn't mind if I go stay with them. Rotary of course had to give the go ahead, and that didn't work at all. The Rotary club of his town said no on account of their bad experience with the inbounds there now. In any case he still wants me to stay with him, and wants me to see if I can stay at his home once school is finished near the end of February. And in addition to all of this, I have to consider whether or not I should end my exchange early on account of my grandmothers most imminent death as a result of a brain tumor. I feel as though I have said goodbye to her already in a way, and that she would want me to not come back on her account but to keep my thoughts on the things and people that are here in Thailand. Perhaps it is absurd to think so, but that is the impression I got from a dream I had involving her and I have always been a bit of a mystic. Nevertheless, all these things press upon my conscience without relent. The good part is that I am sure that these decisions regarding all this and so much more that I haven't mentioned will be very important decisions indeed. It always feels better knowing you are doing something worthwhile than doing something simply to be doing it.

On a lighter note, I will tell a story about last Tuesday. On Tuesdays at my school we forgo the regular uniform shirts and wear a maroon and greyish shirt. Well Tuesday morning I woke up and found that the maid hadn't cleaned my shirt, nor my shorts or even my white undershirts and underwear yet(of which I have a lot.) So I went down to eat breakfast in a tee shirt and gym shorts and the maid said aren't you going to school today, to which I said I haven't got any clothes to wear. So she rushed off to where she folds and prepares all the clothes and came back saying that my Tuesday shirt wasn't clean. I asked about my other clothes, and she said no white tee shirts either. But she did bring me a basket with some shorts and underwear folded. I don't know why she hadn't brought them to where she usually did near the foot of the stairs, but in any case she hadn't. My host said don't worry, just wear the other shirt and say that my maid hadn't cleaned my shirt because she was busy doing stuff for the Chinese New Year. Fine, but to top it off the maid hadn't prepared breakfast yet either, and so by the time I began eating I should have left already to go to school on my bike. And so in light of the crappy start to my day, I was sure that it could in no way get better and proceeded to stay at home. I found out later that day wasn't a normal day at school, and so it was no surprise that I didn't come anyway.

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