Still riding the high from the Blade Runner-esque shock of Tokyo only a day prior, I stood standing on the rooftop of our hostel, struggling to grip the fast-warming sweaty beer in my hand. I remember every detail of this moment, the light brown stray dog in the alley below, the blue skirt drying on the line across said alley, the shards of broken glass embedded in concrete surrounding the local properties. I remember the hot, heavy, air and sweet funk of overripe fruit permeating that late afternoon air in Bangkok.
Being so clueless to travel as we were at the time, we hadn’t heard of Khao San Road, Sukhumvit or any of the other popular tourist areas of central Bangkok and simply booked a cheap hostel online while in Japan. It turned out to be quite some distance from all the regular stuff, which turned out to be quite the bonus. Meeting an Australian traveller at the hostel, she takes us out to the local market to sample a few of the local fruits and later going on to dive into the legendary world of Thai street food with some classic meat-on-a-stick.
Back on the roof, while there are many cluttered memories of those first few days in the Land of Smiles, only one remains clear.
Finishing the final sip of the now warm beer I stand for several minutes longer, soaking in every sensation of every sense. Almost overwhelmed by an odd mix of emotions in which I’d never experienced before, my eyes blurred a little as I stared blankly out over the rooftops. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I felt completely comfortable. I was in a world completely unknown and foreign to me, yet I never wanted to leave.