Well, it looks like the humanitarian/business trip to Japan fell through – so in a few short hours I’ll be flying to Hanoi to rendezvous with my dad.
It’s weird. Although I’m about to visit an entirely new country – one I’ve been anxious to see for years – I don’t feel the kind of excitement I’d normally expect. Instead, I almost feel…homesick.
It’s been such an amazing two months that it’s just too hard to say goodbye.
And while I know I’ve said this about a handful of places before – places where, after settling in for awhile, I developed a fun group of friends and a good sense for the town – this is something different. It’s without a doubt the most “into” a place I’ve ever felt…outside of Kyoto.
My attachment to Bangkok goes far beyond just the delicious food, the friendly locals, the fantastic nightlife or the beautiful women. It’s a general feeling that overcomes me whenever I’m here. As I step out of my room and walk through the city, I find myself invariably getting goosbumps as I think, “Man, this place is amazing. I never want to leave.” That is the feeling I’ve never felt outside of Japan…until now. And while Kyoto is (and probably always will be) at the top of my list, I never expected Bangkok to rank such a close number two.
Plus, you know what they say: it’s really the people who make the place. Here in Bangkok I’ve got a great network of friends – not just random party buddies who I see on Saturday night, but friends who I’ll call up for lunch on a random Wednesday, or who will consult me with girlfriend issues, or who will get together and chat about families after work. A real social network. People at the gym recognize me, event organizers greet me by name, even the little old lady at the Pad Thai stall on the corner knows just how I like my favorite Thai dinner.
I truly feel like I LIVE in Bangkok, and it’s hard to say goodbye – even if it is only temporary.
Yep, I think that by now it’s pretty safe to admit:
“Bangkok has me” 🙂
But as my visa’s run out (I have only two days left), I’ve little choice but to move on. So after spending my entire last day at the hospital getting a barrage of blood tests (related to my still-painful cough), I hailed a cab at 3:45am, put on my backpacking gear for the first time in almost 60 days, and headed to the airport.
Goodbye Bangkok. You took incredible care of me. And just like the last time I left, I’ll say again: I’ll be back. Soon.
You couldn’t keep me away if you tried 🙂