Monday, April 1, 2013

Home Again, Home Again - Jiggety Jog

Ahh... if only this was all the laundry I had waiting for me to wash...

Those of you who travel can probably relate to this. You spend weeks or months daydreaming about going somewhere, maybe returning to some place you've become quite fond of, and as the date of your departure grows closer you become somewhat obsessed with the trip.

I don't just mean the wistful checking of air fares, hotel possibilities and web sites where with very little effort you can find enough things to do to fill your allotted days three times over; that's a given, right?  No, I mean that uncontrollable wandering of thoughts most of us find ourselves wound up in, in anticipation of the visits with friends, the familiar haunts for people watching, the  leisurely meals on balmy evenings and the ever-present potential for the new sights, sounds, tastes and experiences.  

If I sit quietly in my garden here at home in the morning I can close my eyes and easily imagine I can hear the treetops in Lumphini Park being gently tousled by the morning breeze and see a worker spraying a wide fan of water across the lush, green lawn near the lakeside, sending a disgruntled monitor lizard slithering off into the water; the last flip of its tail making a circular splash that spreads on the surface after it's gone below. Naturally, it's long past dark in the park itself, but thank goodness there's enough grey matter left between my ears that the memory still remains.

A small monitor lizard one morning in Lumphini Park

The booking, packing, traipsing through several airports - and the queues that are always a part of them - aren't nearly as much fun (and far less fun on the trip back to what passes for normalcy on the return trip), but I happily face them for what they really are: minor inconveniences in the grand scheme of things when making a journey to Thailand. 

Some years see me make this journey a few times, some years less. Who knows what Life will allow this year, but I have just been graced with another extended stay in the Land of Smiles, and that's enough for today. 

I'm still floating on the pink cloud of contentment as I again face the heap of soiled clothing, the fat envelope of receipts and notes and the inevitable stack of mail that waits for me after a month overseas. Truth be known, some of what I'm calling giddiness may be nothing more than my later-middle-aged body and brain adjusting yet again to a day/night shift of time zones, but let's stick with the cloud idea, shall we?

Some of you reading this will say "hey! I didn't hear from you... you were here and didn't even call me?"  Yup.  Guilty as charged.  I had time with four dear longer-term Thai friends and a like number of farang friends there, and while I'm not happy with (nor proud of) that, this was more of a break for me... albeit a long break. 

Temple detail: always something new to see

I did a lot of moving around, stayed in some new places, attended some new events and, as usual, took a lot of pictures.  About 4,500 this time, which is a little more than I normally do. My true friends who know me will understand, and the others will, I hope, forgive me.

Anyway, I'm around. As I posted some time back (and most of you caught) I don't plan to be doing this five days a week for a while, but I still have over  decade of stories and a fat folder of new things to share about, so check in when you can. 

As the late Herb Caen - a columnist and writer I long admired - once wrote in a letter to me "Thanks for reading my stuff. It's a compliment I never take for granted," and I agree... it's the sharing and the kind feedback that make it all worthwhile.

And now, if you'll excuse me... I have some daydreaming to do about the next trip while I wrestle with this damned laundry.

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