10 Things I Have Learned About Spain And Spaniards

The murmur from the streets slipped into the house as J and I stepped out under the stars. The soft orange light from the street lamps failed to mask the night sky completely. Under the glow the streets were awash with activity. Neatly dressed women glided by behind baby-carriages. Their laughter mingled with the boisterous discussions sounding out from the tables scattered about the main street. Savory food hissed on grills every few meters.

El Rompido glimpsed during the day looked like a ghost town—but as the cool air of the night began to settle in everyone spilled out of their homes and the village was reborn.  Without fail I was amazed by the transformation of this small seaside village each and every evening. Continue reading “10 Things I Have Learned About Spain And Spaniards”

Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand

Wiggling my shoulders further down the hammock, my feet creeping up the other side to compensate for the shift, my back pushed into the pillows. The netting snuggled close on my arms, enclosing me but allowing the soft ocean breeze to caress my body through the net. With each soft push the hammock gently swung back and forth.

The sun relentlessly bore down on my surroundings, thankfully deflected by the roof over my hammock. I’d already embraced the sun a bit too much in the earliest day of the trip. For now I was content with my book resting on my stomach, my thumb poised to turn the page.

The trip to Otres Beach in Cambodia had reintroduced me to books and their teleportation abilities were just as mesmerizing at this beach. I gleefully dusted off the key to my imagination and lost myself in the halls of my mind. I’d remain lost each day until the mosques called their followers to prayer and the sun was preparing to dive into the ocean. Continue reading “Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand”

The Chinese New Year In Bangkok!

Up periscope

From my side a winding creature fixed to the staff in my hand rose to peer over the masses. Glancing left then scanning to the right its small drum heart pattered as the weighted strings spun out and pelted its surface. The sound of rain droplets bouncing off a tin pot radiated from the dragon’s sway. It bobbed through a 360-degree turn then shook its head and zipped down to my side once more.

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The King’s Birthday: December 5

It was quiet. Why was it so quiet? There was a pretty good number of people attending King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s birthday/the father’s day celebration but I remember being packed into a crowd when I attended the queen’s birthday. What was going on? I scratched my head as I looked over the packets of people settled on the grass of Sanam Luang Park.

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Thai Mother’s Day: August 12, 2556

Being a Canadian and a small-town-girl I had never been among so many people in such close proximity  in my life. I’m not tall by Canadian standards and stand maybe an inch or two over the native Thai but the crowd was filled with people of all heights and my sight was met with a wall of flesh. My old friend and two newly met friends (one from Iran who’d been living in Bangkok for 3 years and one from the UK who was backpacking through) had the advantage of height and casually gazed over the gathered heads.

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Canada Day: July 1st

The shade was creeping over my body, bringing a cool blanket over my hot skin. I yanked my cap up to replace the hot air around my head with colder fresh air. It was a habit I’d continue throughout the day as the sunlight became hotter and the sweet delicious shade became scarcer. I wiggled on the curb trying to get some feeling back after sitting on the pavement for over an hour. Though a solitary figure from the Declercq clan, I was far from alone. Around me people gossiped and greeted each other from their lawn chairs and blankets. Ever few seconds a cheerful cry went up as someone recognized another whom they hadn’t seen in months or weeks or years. A small child at my side turned to her mother and asked in a voice I could fondly recall from my own youth, “mom, when’s the parade starting?” The youngster settled back with a huff when the answer was ten minutes, which as we all know is a decade in a child’s time frame.

After ten restless minutes the sight of three Royal Canadian Mounted Police leading the parade around the corner erased all tension from waiting. The parents gave a gasp of relief and settled back to watch their children sprint back and forth with candy. The parade had begun and so had the Canadian celebration. Continue reading “Canada Day: July 1st”