It was a week before the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s funeral when I arrived in Bangkok for a conference and I did not expect that my world would turn black for the next week.
Death doesn’t visit often, but this time he sneaked up on us on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
It was a surprise visit that was due but came too soon.
What kind of friends do I make when I travel solo?
Good ones. Real ones. Beautiful ones.
In a quiet, dusty alleyway in Coptic Cairo, a toddler, barely 3, cries mercilessly as he was forced to get a tattoo.
“Can I take a photo with you?”
Her bright, young eyes, full of enthusiasm and wonder, looked into my jaded ones. I remember having eyes filled with sunshine like hers. Now they’re just tired and disenchanted; tired of travelling and disenchanted at the phlegm-spitting, queue-cutting, rude, and conflicting country that I am finally leaving.
“The wind blows from North to South!”
“The wind blows from North to South.”
When I was a young girl, I’d catch moments of mom getting lost in her own thoughts. Sometimes while she drank her coffee or methodically ate her dinner, her eyebrows would scrunch up to form a little hill between her eyes. I could see the gears turning in her head; she drifts off into the distance.
There are little black dots at my workplace.
They crawl next to me, little black dots the size of a full stop moving their tiny legs feverishly on the wall to my right.
She slams. She smacks her chair hard. She slaps the table with a thunderous clap that would shatter a thousand chandeliers.