This is my 229th entry for my blog.

It’s the first time I’ve shared the title of an entry with the title of my blog.

It’s significant…

Today I was going to go island hopping.   Instead I got in a fight with the owner of the hostel, was grumpy most of the day and then had an enlightening moment in the afternoon.

So, if you are looking to read about what I did and saw today – sorry, you’re outta luck.

This blog is all about me, and my search for who I am in this world.

In other words, a little bit deep.

Oh, and no photos – sorry.

So, before I get to the enlightening moment I kind of need to talk about what happened today that led me to that moment.

I woke up bright and early at 7am to get ready for my 8am pickup to do a full day of island hopping around Phuket.   I looked outside and it was pouring rain so I made the decision that I really didn’t want to be in a boat in the rain all day as I’m pretty sure I’d just have been miserable all day.

So, instead, I walked downstairs to let the girl at the front desk know that I didn’t want to go on the tour and I’d like my money back (I had paid 900 baht, $30, the night before).

I knew it would be tough to get a refund as it was last minute and the receipt I had clearly said not refundable but I was gonna try my damnest to get one.

Long story short, I ended up in a pissing match with the owner basically threatening him with a bad review of his hostel if I didn’t get a refund.   Part of me was still upset at not getting a refund for my room tomorrow since I’ll be leaving a day early.   Anyway, the details don’t really matter – all you need to know was we were both angry at each other.   I felt I was getting ripped off and he felt I was being rude to him and his staff.

This was all going on around noon and the rain had let up so I went out for a walk.   Partly to just get out of the hostel but mostly to clear my head and calm down a little.

It didn’t work.

Once again as I walked down the street towards the beach I was met by countless people trying to get something from me.

Anger seething…

And then it happened…

That moment…

In McDonalds of all places!

Yes, I caved in and went to McDonalds for a burger.   I sat down in the restaurant and was chowing down on a Big Mac when a local girl, maybe 10 years old, walked inside.

She was going from table to table trying to sell some flower necklaces.

When she came to my table I didn’t even make an effort to look up at her and, with an exasperated gasp, I shooed her away.

I then watched as she went to the next table where she was also promptly shooed away.   And that’s when I saw her for who she really was – just a shy little girl not even able to look us in the eye as she tried to peddle something to us.

It was in that very moment where I woke up.   I’ve been so angry at everything for so long now that I’ve become something I hate – an entitled foreigner and a snob.

I think back to that kid I came across last year in Budva, Montenegro who was selling handmade painted rocks on a card table in the streets and how much I adored him and what he was doing.

How is that different from what this little girl was doing?

Yet for one I was inspired by and bought 20 euros worth of rocks to take home and the other I just shooed away like a common pest.

Something is wrong with me.   It’s not the trip, it’s not the people, it’s not the country, or the city – it’s me.

I’ve become so jaded that I’m ice cold now.   I only see the bad points in everything.   I’ve been super negative and unable to break out of it.

So, now what?

Well, I consider this a breakthrough moment – not just with this trip but with life in general.

Bitch, bitch, bitch – hey, let’s face it, it’s a hell of alot easier to jump on the negativity bandwagon and just bitch about things than it is to stick your head out and realize, you know, all things considered, life is pretty damn good.

Thankfully I’ll be flying to Chiang Mai tomorrow – a place where I was the most happy on my trip.   That, along with my new self-awareness, should bring forward a blissful end to my trip.

So, have I found Todd?

Maybe just a little more than I had yesterday…

Asia Trip 2014, Trip Journal

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