Bangkok

Grilled slices of baby bananas on wooden sticks. A steaming basket of sticky rice and a fresh som tam (prik sam met), with raw green beans and tall bottles of Chang to blunt and otherwise alleviate the heat. Buses spewing plumes of black smoke as they round the busy intersection at Petchaburi and Ratchadamri. Tranquil pre-dusk walks around Lumpini Park, taking the across-town khlong to Phanfa Pier, Friday night muay thai boxing at Lumpini Stadium. The noise, the pollution, the oppressive heat, the flustered and dehydrated tourists… and me, loving every bit of it.

Oh, Bangkok, it’s been far too long; nearly 19 months, in fact. I’ve obviously missed you, and I’m obviously going to give you a big hug next week.

All the pre-moving stuff (doctor appts and meds, bills, subletter, cat, packing, etc.) is getting wrapped up this weekend, and Wednesday I’ll hop aboard a Cathay Pacific flight bound direct for Hong Kong, then onto Suvarnabhumi Airport. (Thank you, BA miles, for enabling my first-ever flight in business class.) Three nights are booked at the Amari Watergate, during which time I’ll pound the pavement and find our new home for the next 6 months.

Yes, we’ll need a few days to get settled, but don’t worry, Bangkok, we’ll have plenty of time to catch up. I can’t wait.