This has been long overdue, but I finally got a fire under my butt to update it. It felt warm and inviting.
We had a wonderful year in the USA. There isn't much I would have changed about the last year, which is always a good thing to report. We lived about 6 months in upstate New York, and about 6 months in Boston. The first 3 months in each area were great. We loved the new life, new people, and the new opportunities that came with those things. The last 3 months rated from boring to bad. I'll try to explain that later on.
Upstate New York was beautiful. I met up with an old friend to start a new business about education. We taught each other a lot, and brought on a couple of other like-minded people that shared the same vision. We all had somewhat different paths towards the final goal, but we all agreed that the education system needed a complete overhaul.
To make a really long story short, things were doomed from the beginning. We were all supposed to be equal partners in a business where the money was coming from one person, and that is a recipe for disaster. There was an awkward feeling of uncertainty regarding where the power was and how our decision-making process should move. The majority of it stemmed from my old friend who is well known across the start up world as being very difficult to work with. It put a strain on our relationship, so we called it quits and I moved on to Boston.
My family is in Boston, so I lived with my parents for the first month. The first week was great! Then...yeah. It's not easy to spend that much time at home, especially when you have a family of your own to look after. We moved to a nice two-bedroom apartment a few miles outside of the city. Jeab was super pregnant (medically speaking), but we were all very happy.
I had an incident soon after where my dog snapped at Jasmine, and subsequently bit me pretty hard. It was the most difficult yet easy decision I've ever had to make, but I had to find him a new family. We had a newborn on the way, and I couldn't find a reason to keep him even though I tried really hard to convince myself otherwise. He's with a new family that is great for him, and Yoma writes to me emails every now and again.
Jeab delivered Aiden Amarin Kawada on July 30th, 2012. Having one girl and one boy is perfect. Jeab has sworn that this is the last one...over and over again.
We began going to a Thai temple just outside of Boston. During the holidays, Sundays would have 200-300 Thai people with a huge buffet spread. It really felt like we were in Thailand for half the day, though people were less shocked that I could speak Thai. There was an American guy there who taught Thai, had a Thai nickname (cao niao, or sticky rice), and spoke perfect Thai. It was great having him around because he understood the language better than 90% of Thais. He knew the roots, the stories behind the vocabulary, and could teach it in a way that made sense to westerners. Great guy. But get this...he had never set foot in Thailand! He was planning his first trip for this year. Imagine that! Getting out at Suvarnabhumi and telling the taxi driver in perfect Thai that it's your first time in Thailand!
I digress. I was a bit relaxed about looking for a new job since I had received a settlement from my job in NY. I started to look around, but nothing seemed interesting. I was lucky in that I still had tons of connections that were helping me to get good jobs, but it was the culture that really started to turn me off. The idea of starting your own business was so foreign to many people, and conversations would typically run dry after a few days of knowing people. The average person was living to work, wasn't happy in their job, and their biggest excitement was the new season of whatever TV show was hot at the moment. I can remember when following/watching sports took up so much of my life, and I felt myself slipping back into that "good enough" approach to life.
It started to hit me around the 3rd month in Boston that I was trying too hard to be happy with what I had. I like the fake it til ya make it approach, but you can only keep that up for so long until reality smacks you in the face. I just wasn't happy, and it was affecting us a lot at home.
Jeab was fine with either country. She had made a good circle of Thai friends in a short period of time. She also missed a lot about Thailand. I think one of the most important things that we gained from this is perspective. She had been to the USA about 5 times before, but just for short 2-3 week trips. She can now understand why some things in Thailand piss me off, and she can also relate to why westerners complain so much. We've also learned to appreciate the positive things that Thailand offers, which America just doesn't have such as convenience and low-cost food and healthcare. Those comparisons alone could take a week to write about, so I'll just leave it at that.
I pretty much made the decision that we were going to head back to Thailand somewhere around September of 2012. I told Admin Bill via text, and he replied "WTFFF?!" That pretty much sums it up
It's been so long. I'm sure I've missed a lot, but that is a general overview of the past year or so in the Kawada family. We are back here in a much more comfortable situation than we were in last time, and we have a beautiful baby boy in addition to our beautiful baby girl. We are much happier here, and glad to be back in Thailand.