Drove across six states, flew over an ocean and a continent to get to Bangkok. Took two trains and staggered through strange streets, smelling riper with each 90 degree 85% humidity moment to reach the Double Five Hostel, where I found the hardest bed I've ever known.
It's like a pro wrestling ring, bouncy and hollow. Slap my hands on the surface and it sounds like I'm stomp-punching.
I got fourish hours of sleep before the combo of plywood-grade surface and rumble then whine from motorbikes zipping by my window every 30 seconds roused my mind. The silent gaps in between left me disquieted.
And by disquieted I mean so fucking isolated.
Earlier I wrote a group text to family, "here safe love you" kind of stuff. Had to send it hours after I arrived given the time difference, didn't want to wake anyone. Also didn't matter because my new plan apparently doesn't allow texting back to the U.S.
Fortunately my family is no doubt refreshing this blog hourly, so y'all know I'm safe. Maybe not so sound though.
We scattered across a few hundred mile diameter: I, of course, was usually farthest tangent, and the distance justified (in my mind) limiting my physical contact to roughly annual trips. But I always had a lifeline through phone and used it. We'd have group text flurries a couple times a week. Sometimes interesting, sometimes silly. And if I needed more I could always pick up the phone to hear a loving and supportive voice--father, mother, brothers or sister-in-law.
And now, as the sun rises here in the east...
the same sun still above the horizon back home, I realize the most precious thing I left behind isn't my house or car or clothes I meticulously culled. It's the people I love. People who will still send group texts that just won't include me.