Monday, October 22, 2012

The Stranger in Bangkok feels lonely on the eve of Chulalongkorn Day

It's been exactly a week since I've been back to Bangkok. And man.... have I felt lonely. Tomorrow is Chulalongkorn Day and Bangkok is half-empty, as many Thais who work in Bangkok have taken Monday off to complete their mega-weekend. I might be the only living thing in Thailand wishing it to be a working day tomorrow. Sitting alone on my gigantic bed on an eve-of-public-holiday after a mentally-torturing day at work simply reminds me of how I miss my babies - Li Li and Noah.


On one hand, I am happy they can finally be back in Singapore after Noah's long-drawn passport saga, to spend quality time with Noah's maternal relatives and be hugged and loved by them, but on the other hand, I would die to have them right beside me now, with Li Li perhaps nudging me to read Noah his bedtime story and Noah prowling on me giggling over nothing.

I used to spend nearly 50% of my time travelling around the world, leaving footprints on all continents multiple times. I wore my best suit, training doctors in hospitals and attending countless international trade fairs, this month in Buenos Aires, the next in Abu Dhabi. Before I could re-adjust to Singapore's timezone when I eventually got back, I would be urgently deployed to South Africa to apologise for the company over a project-gone-wrong. It took me four years before I realized that enough was enough, that I wasn't looking forward to messing up with my body clock anymore, that I needed to settle down and spend quantity time (quality time is a myth created by busy people) with myself and my loved ones.

Running a company in Thailand has fortunately, allowed me to settle down in one country (though it's a big one and I am required to make short trips domestically once in a while) and spend ample time with my family, and I have never been happier. They are the reason I work so hard, and the reason I can look forward to going home at the end of a tough day. Life can all of a sudden, become so stable, simple and satisfying.

Noah is nearly 9 months old now. He's growing FAST. In a short space of time, he has learnt to accept solids, then sit on the baby chair to eat properly. He has learnt to spin on his tummy, then drag himself forwards, then now learn to pull himself unaided onto a standing position. I cannot imagine how much more he would have grown over this month that I will not be with him. It really bothers me that I cannot be there every step of the way, experiencing all his firsts.

What if Noah comes back with teeth?

What if Noah comes back with a full head of black hair?

What if Noah comes back already knowing how to speak his first meaningful words?

What if Noah has already forgotten about me?

Noah happily accepting my feeding.

It's ok man, even if it takes me 200 kisses, 400 hugs, 600 cuddles, countless changes of your soiled diaper and endless feeding of your favourite pumpkin mash, Daddy will win your heart back.

I did it before, I will do it again.

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