Last Thursday, my bags were so ready to fly. I packed 27 years of my life in Indonesia to that huge green luggage. A one-way ticket to Phuket, my first destination, had been confirmed. I’d even checked-in online to book my favorite window seat, just right behind the wing row. I was excited and scared at the same time. Scared of getting no job. Running out of money was the last thing I wanted to experience. That was why I spent a whole week applying for various tourism jobs in Thailand: from hotel’s housekeeper to bar’s glass cleaner, but sadly no one hired me yet. But fuck it… I’m leaving anyway. My excitement shadowed the fear. The only thing in my mind was the delicious mango sticky rice I’d enjoy with my Russian friend who was waiting for me there. However, exactly 24 hours prior my departure schedule, I received an email that “ruined” everything. That email made me think to burn the ticket and revise my travel plan.
I didn’t know if I should be happy or mad when reading the email. It was a letter from my lovely country’s Directorate General of Immigration that I’d been waiting for five freakin’ months. The letter was one of the requirements needed to get a work permit from Australian government. Yes, my original plan was to travel down under for a year and earn money by picking fruits, waiting tables, and other “shitty” jobs Australians just won’t do. The letter never arrived when I needed it. But then when I’d decided to give up and go elsewhere, it did! Why now, cocksuckers? Where have you been all these months?! Then the question was: should I stick with my flight to Phuket, or finish the final step of my permit application that requires me to stay a bit longer?
I texted a friend about my confusion she said, “I’m a firm believer in fate. So if I were in your position, I’d take this as a sign. That you should go to Oz. It can’t be incidental that the letter comes just a day before you’re supposed to fly off to Thailand. It’s fate screaming at you!” And oh yeah, I’m also a firm believer in fate. Besides, I’ve come so far with this permit thingy. It’s so unfortunate to give up in the very last step. Alongside the other requirements I’ve prepared since months ago, I’ll bring this piece of document to go to the embassy and get my permit.
I laughed. It’s just so funny how life “plays” me.
So I had to unpack my bags, let the nonrefundable ticket go, and call my Russian friend in Phuket to postpone our beach-hopping plan. Right, postpone is the most precise word. If shit happens and the embassy doesn’t issue the permit, Thailand plan will be moved to next month. And if everything goes well and I get my one-year permit to Australia, the land of smile is going to welcome me next year. Oh yeah, I fucking love Thailand. When it comes to traveling, that country is like my first love that always makes me feel weak at the knees. One of my tattoos was even made in Krabi, the astonishing southern part of the country.
My most favorite moment in Thailand is when I met Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian friend I mentioned above, for the first time. In 2013 I went to Phuket for two missions: getting my first CouchSurfing experience and joining world’s biggest water fight at Songkran Festival. Anyway Songkran is the celebration of Thailand’s traditional New Year’s Day, every April 13-15. It involves lots and lots of water and millions of wet people! I accomplished both missions with a genuine help from Mikhail a.k.a Misha (Russians often change their first name’s last two syllables with “sha”: Mikhail to Misha, Daria to Dasha). This great guy gave me a free three-day accommodation at his nice house and accompanied me to the festival. With his motorbike, he drove me everywhere around the island and brought me to a lovely Japanese dinner with his mom.
That was why it was a little bit sad when I had to postpone my fifth visit to Thailand. I’d imagined myself attending the incredible Yi Peng Lantern Festival 2015 in Chiang Mai (North Thailand) this November and wandering around the surrounding countries, such as Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Ha Long Bay (Vietnam), Vang Vieng & Luang Prabang (Laos), and Bagan (Myanmar). But I hope the change’s all worth it. Because unlike in Australia, I know for sure that I can’t earn much in Southeast Asian countries by doing those hospitality works. I want to earn lots of money in Australia and use it to travel across the colorful Asia (my most favorite continent) and go to New York (my dream destination). But for now I can’t say anything yet before the permit is safe in my hands. Let the fate decide where my feet will step next month.
CouchSurfing is a social networking site for travelers. The site enables the members to find free room & bed in cities they visit, provided by other fellow members. The activity is respectively called “surfing” and “hosting”. You’ll find lots of these terms in my upcoming blog posts.