Tenerife South: They Call Me Mellow Yellow

“Oop pardon me sweetie. HEY SHERRY MOVE! SHERRY! MOVE! BAHAHAHA SHE WANTS TO GET BACK IN,” the boisterous, shrill voice of the woman flapping at her friend standing in the aisle granted me just enough of a gap to squeeze by, hop across J’s lap and into my seat. My opinion of the gaggle of ladies next to us was torn. They had brought the party to the plane. I definitely admired their ability to drink, shriek and guffaw for the entire four hours of the flight, but their party hour exuberance was wearing thin. Continue reading “Tenerife South: They Call Me Mellow Yellow”

Bangkok to Vientiane, Laos

If it’d been a western movie a tumbleweed would have bounced through the scene. The sun was trying its best to beat the heat into the ground. The difference between light and shade was so strong we two foes seemed to be enclosed in a hallway of dark tones. I eyed the border control officer through the small window. He looked up from his seated position, his gaze unmoving and unfazed. I twitched.

Then I clawed for my wallet and slapped 1,800 baht on the counter. A hand slipped out, swept up the money and the small window quietly, unhurriedly rolled close.

I started grumbling at the sky.

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Wat Phumin, Nan, Thailand

When I first laid eyes on Wat Phumin I saw a fortress within which the quiet denizens of the area could seek sanctuary. Even with a bustling textile fair throwing clamoring bids and chatter about, and a fashion-show blasting music right across the way—the merriment couldn’t breach the temple’s grounds.

The two rolling serpent creatures, or nagas, upon which the temple seemed to rest—looked as though they were holding back the din, biting the air clear of noise and careless speech.

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Nan, Nan, Thailand

Where were we? We weren’t sure, but something about a waterfall.

“The sign says the temple is this way,” shouted my Japanese friend pointing up a paved, steep winding road.

“Let’s go then,” was my response as I twisted the throttle and tapped the motorbike into gear.

We pulled ourselves to the top, but no peaked roof peaked through the trees, no paths lead to a temple entrance. We continued down the road and found ourselves looping right back to the entrance.

So we changed our objective.

“The sign says the market is this way,” my Japanese friend once more pointed the way.

“The sign says the waterfall is down that way.”

“The woman said we should go that way to find the waterfall.”

Before we knew it the road had faded into a dirt track.

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Hey Big Spender

Before I left for Thailand I asked Google how do I avoid buying souvenirs?

It’s a question as foolish to ask as how do I avoid getting pregnant? because there are so many choices and Google shares some pretty hazardous answers.

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Angkor Complex, Cambodia

“One dollar, one dollar. Two magnets, one dollar. Ok, ten postcards one dollar. One dollar. One dollar. One dollar.”

The child looked up at me, her eyes wide and glimmering. Shuffling the objects in the plastic tray slung across her stomach she pulled up one item after another and repeated the mantra.

“One dollar, one dollar, one dollar. Lady, maybe later? One dollar.”

She looked hopeful, her eyes sparkling with calculations but a tired strain fed into her voice. I could only smile at her. I didn’t want to be rude but I wouldn’t be buying anything.

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The Whistleblowers of Bangkok: January 13

Do you want to go see the protests after class?

I stared at my phone screen. That hesitation only lasted for three seconds.

I’m in! I jotted back.

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