As we walked through the vegetable and flower market in Bangkok today, I shared a laugh with the ladies who pointed me to their resident cat upturned and drunk with sleep. Another seller snapped a galangal root and stalk of lemongrass, then crushed a kaffir leaf so I would know the scents of tom yam soup. Strolling Bangkok is a rich tapestry and sights and scents, I feel fortunate that we have nearly a week to adjust to the blasts of heat and sensory stimulation.
Bangkok is as I remember it, but what has changed is me. When we were here 7 years ago, I remember a shyness and feeling of unsureness of how to move through this foreign world. Today I have a comfort and confidence to smile broadly when someone meets my gaze, to reach out and hold the kitty offered, to get lost in the labyrinth of living quarters along the canal, to make friends with strangers, to make mistakes. Bangkok is no longer a foreign world. The galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime is tucked in the pocket of my handlebar bag ready to bring me back to this place when I need the comforts of the known.