For those who are unaware, Catherine Moreland is the rather guileless heroine of Jane Austen’s novel Northanger Abbey. Due to the lack of hospitality of her host, one General Tilney, she is ordered to leave very suddenly without any ceremony or any time to prepare, without enough money on her own to make the trip because of the expenses of traveling. Most people in life are fortunate in not having an experience like that. I am not that fortunate, however, as I am faced with the need to plan a trip back to the United States with less than a week notice, and nowhere to go home to. This is obviously not an ideal situation.
How did Catherine Moreland get into her situation? As it happened, her host, General Tilney, had originally thought her to be a rich heiress fit for his son. When he heard from a jealous ex-suitor that she was less well-off, he unceremoniously forced her to leave and return 70 miles from home on a Sunday, rather ungracious behavior. Catherine, of course, has a reputation for being rather scatterbrained and being helped by her good looks and gracious politeness. Even if I am less scatterbrained myself, I am also less likely to attract sympathy from the ordinary person.
But let us consider the situation I face. Within a week (I don’t know exactly when) I will be returning somewhere in the United States. I don’t have a home to return to, I have no resources or time to make plans for the Feast of Tabernacles, which is rapidly approaching, and then I will immediately have to begin looking for work, as I do not like being a freeloader and have no resources saved from my rather meager $1 a day stipend here in Thailand. Needless to say, it’s a rather stressful day. Here’s hoping the news gets better than it has been so far.