Work is going so much better here in the new year. I get paid by the "line". When I first moved to Thailand 8 years ago, I averaged about 1,200 lines per day. By the time I left Thailand 3 years ago, I was averaging about 1,600 lines per day. For most of 2009, I was averaging about 800 lines per day. Last week, for the first time in maybe as much as a year, I averaged over 1,000 lines per day again... and that has been consistent for almost a month now.
I've got a bit of a cold going on. Lots of sneezing and runny nose and coughing, although I don't feel sick. Maybe it's just allergies? I don't know. I have very little curiosity about the nature of such things.
I had a nice walk with Tyson this afternoon around the park. All the kids were there at the playground, having been waylaid by the lure of the swings and slides on their way home from school.
I think if I had to pick one single thing I like most... would miss most about Asia, as compared to America, it is the liveliness. Outside of big cities and places of retail, the sight of human life incarnate in America is limited to home and office... and perhaps the brief glimpse of others in cars in between. Take the small town I grew up in for instance. It is perfectly unsurprising that at the height of the day, you could walk right across town — from the railroad tracks on the East side to McDonalds on the West side — and never encounter another person walking, or even outside. And you almost certainly wouldn't say hello even if you did.
Everywhere I have been in Asia, human contact... constant, interactive, friendly human contact (even to the point of utter annoyance, when it gets de trop) is the norm. I've found that this contact is easily the most enjoyable part of living here, especially here in Jasaan where it is just oozing from the very pores of the village. Smiles and friendly faces wherever I look, a visual field always filled with life, with people, with liveliness. Aside from the love I have for my wife and family, it's one of the biggest sources of happiness in my life.