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Bangkok, I’m Breaking Up with You

You were, perhaps, too hard to get.

I was initially intrigued by your exotic charm and foreign accent. You were interesting to me in a non-sterile sort of way, with your cracks and rats and potential for anything to happen. I should have known I would never win your heart, though. After all, you’re already taken by so many other teachers and expats. I shouldn’t have expected you would want to become something special to me.

goodbye bangkok

It was easy to like you in the beginning. You were fun and friendly and we opened up to each other, but the minute you felt vulnerable, you put up walls to shut me out. You wanted to make it hard for me to like you, which of course only made me want you all the more.

I tried to get to know you, but venturing out into your sweaty streets only served to exhaust me. You seemed to offer very little beyond shopping; I now know that I deserve more.

Remembering living in Bangkok

There were redeeming moments – moments in which you opened up to me, made yourself accessible, showed me what you believed in…You allowed me the freedom to leave you some weekends when I needed fresh air; You shared your wonderful gastronomic delights; you helped me build confidence in myself and my abilities to persevere through our relationship even at your most distant, when I was feeling absolutely and completely alone.

You showed me how to be more perceptive in seeking out connection. You showed me how to trust my gut when it comes to these things. The fact of the matter is, I miss certain things about my ex, Athens (like access to the wilderness and being able to speak my native tongue around town and having hot showers) for a reason. I do have a type, and it’s for a reason.

wai-ing in Bangkok

But in the end, I admit, I stuck by you because I had made a commitment to you and I like to stay good on my promises. I never imagined back in August that I would have stayed here with you until my contract expired at school at the end of March – and it’s still so surreal to see that that time has actually come! – but here I am, true to my word. Even after the time you made me sit through three hours of traffic only to have to turn right back around and go home.

bridges in Bangkok

I think I was lying to myself when I said I wanted us to be friends. I want more and I can’t help it. You can’t give me more, and  you can’t help it.

I’m not sorry for ending this. I think we both know it’s right. I never really got what I wanted from you, but maybe in a few years, when the BTS goes out into Nonthaburi and you’ve had your heart broken by more than a few others, we will meet again and whatever this chemical attraction was will flourish into the passionate, fiery love it had the potential to be.

For more on breakups, see my post on the time my little college town broke my heart.

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11 comments

    • mishvo says:

      Haha it is isn’t it? It’s a cliffhanger for me too – I’m pretty sure the next place I’ll be calling “home” will be my hometown of Atlanta, GA, but no promises.

  1. Vaughan Merlyn says:

    Good luck on your next adventure, wherever it takes you! But remember, maybe anything worth having is hard to get? Perhaps that’s the point?

    • mishvo says:

      Hi Vaughan! Thank you and I think you’re right…Bangkok will get a second chance as I explore the city not as a working resident but as a traveler passing through.

  2. Marlene Kawalek Josephs says:

    Wow, I loved that breakup letter. But does that mean that your parents will be visiting without you? Or have they broken up with Bangkok before they even got to know her? And if it’s Athens, does that mean that New York City will follow soon thereafter? Are you writing a sequel? We do miss you here from sea to shining sea.

    • mishvo says:

      Hi Marlene! So good to hear from you – I miss you ever so. I’ll still be in and out of Bangkok as I travel around Thailand and the rest of SE Asia for a bit. So yes, I will be traveling in Thailand with my parents when they get here! I don’t have a return ticket to the States yet but I’m pretty sure I’ll be heading back to Atlanta. Maybe a move up north or out west will follow but it’s hard to say this far in advance…Love you!!

  3. nitinsaboo says:

    What a wonderfully written blog! The analogy drawn is so great. It felt as if someone was breaking up with me and giving me the reasons :(! *Really engrossing blog* Cheers.

  4. hey mishvo

    Just catching up on your posts now, and I have to say, I really identified with this one. So glad to know that I’m not the only expat who hasn’t really “fallen” for Bangkok. Unlike you, though, I still have another year to go, so I’m trying to find something to love. Maybe this city is just not for everyone?

    • mishvo says:

      Hey Ruth!! I’ve been very disconnected ever since moving out of my apartment so haven’t had the chance to catch up on reading any blogs from my reader..but so good to hear from you! There might be hope yet when it comes to enjoying Bangkok – I have to admit I’ve liked it a whole lot better ever since I’ve been able to see it from a backpacker’s perspective as opposed to a resident’s.

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