This entire Blog is about traveling ‘home to home’ and I’ve written almost nothing about my ‘home(s)’ in Thailand. I’ve split my time between two very different places, Aunt Elaine’s elegant, upholstered, air-conditioned apartment, and Andrew’s Sala Dang poster collaged walls without AC, with big screen TV and Wii. During the first half of our trip we spent very little time indoors. Alexa and I rushed awake and out the door to see as much as possible. Yesterday, I read the paper. Today we’re going to watch a movie at home.
Writing on my computer and happily picking at a homemade buttery cupcake, I commented on how wonderfully quiet and cool Elaine’s apartment is compared to the sweaty mess outside. She sighed, and then said, “Right here, in this kitchen, it’s like I’m back in Virginia. I don’t even know I’m in Thailand.” Later in the week Elaine told me that when she graduated from college she flew to Europe with friends, bought a car, and spent all her pennies traveling. Apparently it was the thing to do and young American hippies were traveling in droves but I think Elaine just loves covering ground. She came home, became a scientist, and married Steve. Steve’s state department appointed positions keep the family busy traveling the world! Elaine knows at least four different languages and has command of very functional Thai. She can also converse fluently about Greek monasteries, Athens’s Marketplaces, Thailand’s present and past royal families, China’s art and architecture, and the difference between coral reef snorkeling experiences all over the world. Elaine still imagines her kitchen in Thailand is her kitchen in Virginia. I no longer feel so bad about staying stationary, enjoying my very American cupcake while there are countless carts outside making all sorts of tasty concoctions I could be exploring.
I wonder, however—and I should have asked Elaine—did she imagine Virginia when she was in Greece? In China? I must admit that on other vacations, after a week of traveling, I would know where to go to have a coffee and an afternoon desert. There is something oversaturated and overwhelming about this city. I never know where I am because I am looking at too many things at once. I feel out of focus like a camera moved too quickly or not sure whether its focal point is near or far. I’ve lived in New York freaking City and I can’t even approach a feeling of comfort in Bangkok. Is this why I am suddenly glad to eat cupcakes and play Wii? Oh man that sounds like the worst kind of depression and obesity! Am I intimidated? Am I just taking a beak from the onslaught of my senses?
I guess it’s really of no consequence. Just as I’ve begun to spend time at home we’re leaving. The beach should be a fresh breeze. And hopefully, my blog will get a jolt of fun and stop being so damn serious!