The Last Night In Evergreen
I am sitting here in the lobby of Evergreen, my last night, noticing how fast time flys by! I leave for Chiang Mai tomorrow to visit my mom there and enjoy the festival of lights, Loy Krathong, and I can’t help but throw back some tears. Tears of joy. This will be my last night in Evergreen, my home for the last 4 months. I have now been abroad for 5 months and don’t regret a single thing. Sure, I missed out on India because I practiced poor time management. But to be honest, no time here was wasted, ever. Whether it was hanging in the room, ordering pizza, and enjoying a few beers while we watched some crappy movie on HBO, or spent a night we will never remember hitting the clubs and back alleyways of Bangkok, this will be a an experience never repeated again in my life. The best part, by far, the people I have befriended here.
I have a final this morning at 9am, it is international economics. This class is the biggest waste of time I have ever put towards academics. This is my last night in Evergreen and one of the last nights I can go out with all the special people I have met here. I leave tomorrow for Chiang Mai and by the time I get back to Bangkok, many of these friends will not be here. Tonight was a long round of goodbyes.
I had a final today and on top of that, I spent at least 7 hours studying for international economics. I should be going out tonight, experiencing the last night with these beloved friends but instead, I decided to come down to the lobby and stress about a subject I have no interest in. Now, I am taking my time to express how insignificant a gpa can be and how much I will miss this place.
I am skipping my last night on the town because my teacher decided to take a simple subject and make it as difficult as possible. What is the point? I am a marketing major and will never have to create a quota graph for the rest of my career. I bust my back for this lady for what? Her approval? I don’t need it. I don’t need her approval and I don’t need a strong gpa to prove myself in the business world. I am a creative, intelligent, and motivated human being. Sorry economics does not fit my repertoire.
My theory has always been this: “You will never remember the test but will always remember the time spent with family and friends.” Since when did GPA, three little letters decide someone’s future? Screw that. All I need is family, friends, and God. Tonight, after stressing over quotas, tariffs, the Mundell-Fleming Model, and subsidies, I decided to have one last beer, one last Chang, with the group.
The topics we spoke of were depressing and yet cherished. There is no greater compliment that “I will miss you buddy” and no greater promise than “Our paths will cross again”. I truly believe that I will see many of these people again in the future. I wish them all the best of luck and want them to know that I will miss them and that I love them.
The past five months have been a necessary learning experience for me. Not only did I learn so much about South East Asia, the cultures and people of Europe, the friendliness of the Canadians, the relaxing style of Latin Americans (Leche), and an immense pride for being a Beaver, I learned more than I could ever imagine about myself. But I have to tell you, it hasn’t been always very easy and the people here have made it near impossible to have any complaints, ever. You all at home have helped me get through some times where I just needed to hear your voices. I am the luckiest guy on the face of the earth. I have the best parents on earth and a sister I would never share with anyone, she is my sister, you can’t have her.
Last week I was fortunate enough o have my parents come and visit me here in Bangkok. It was an honor and a pleasure to show them the city that I have grown to adore. Bangkok is an experience like none other and it continues to give back graciously. I spent Thanksgiving with them on the beaches in the south where limestone mountains curtailed sandy beaches. Where palm trees replaced Christmas trees and pad thai replaced the Thanksgiving Turkey. On Thanksgiving we rode elephants, chang, for God’s sake. This has been an unreal experience that I am so grateful for. My parents have shown me how to care for their kids and I can’t wait to raise kids of my own. I hope I can raise them as well as my parents have raised me and Tori.
I don’t know what the future holds for me, that is exciting. I don’t know if I will start a multi-million dollar company with a great friend, become a beach bum and start a bar, or just become a drifter. I don’t care. My uncle once asked me, “What do you think happiness is?”. I had no answer, we were sitting at my cousin’s baseball game when U of P was playing Oregon State and the question threw me off guard. I didn’t know. He told me that “happiness is being grateful for what you have.” Well, I am truly happy because I understand that I have done and have more than probably 90% of the world. I have the greatest family ever, the best friends a man could ask for, and I know God has a plan for me that will be more rewarding than I could ever know. I don’t need a strong gpa, a good test grade, or anyone’s opinion on whether or not I will be successful and everyone should feel this way also.
All I can say is, I am excited to see everyone back home but tonight has been incredible bittersweet. I have had my last beer with some great people and but at least I got to share that beer. I am so lucky it isn’t even funny. Everyone at Evergreen, Asoke, and Nonsi, I will remember you forever. Don’t forget what you learned here and how the world really works. It is amazing how different cultures can be, and yet so similar. There is so much from this study abroad experience, its benefits, and the friendships that we may not realize till later down the road. I guarantee this experience will better everyone’s lives, it has already made a large impact on mine. I will miss you all greatly but it is not a goodbye. This is my see you all soon. I don’t believe in goodbyes, it is never the end.
From the first weekend in Koh Chang, to the full moon party, to the Beaver “gameday drunks”, to Laos, to Marketing Strategy, to petting the tigers, to McDonalds delivery, to Koa Sahn road, to Route 66, to mole tattoos, towers of beer, pints of Hong Thong, Sangson, golfing driving range, hotel parties, to Soi Cowboy, to scooters, to midterms, to finals, to crappy classes and classes that will change our lives forever, to pool parties, to movie nights, to guys night out, to going out on school nights, to Tuk Tuks, to incompetent taxi drivers, to Halloween, to cruises on the Chao Phraya, to buckets, to Krabi, to my family, to jumping in the pool with our Chula uniforms on, and to everything I missed and everything to happen in the future: Cheers! Skal! Salud! Pura Vida! Prost! Gan bei! Sante! Choc Tee! But most importantly, thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you all.
-Chase Vincent Boedigheimer
P.S. I love you mom and dad! Love you Tori! Thank you!