December 29, 2006

Like Odysseus, I was leaving. I sat outside the ticket counters of Suvarnabhumi International Airport waiting for my flight back to the cold, rainy Pacific Northwest. People of all nationalities came and went as I waited for the EVA Airways counter to open. I had to return home, though I did not want to. I knew, though, that it was the right decision. I knew that I could not stay in Thailand forever, that I needed to return to a place where I could make a living, where I could enjoy the alpine, where I could live in normalcy, reserving Thailand for spans of time when even the thick haze of Bangkok would seem appealing. The contrast, perhaps, was what I was loved the most. There would be no contrast if Thailand was all that I knew. And that was the strongest reason for me to return home. I did not want to make places like Thailand mundane by making them my ordinary, my normal, my every-day. And so it was with a heavy heart but a peaceful mine that I took my ticket from the friendly Chinese woman working behind the counter and passed through security. I had a fistful of colorful baht in my pocket. I took a seat at my gate, not bothering to exchange it for dollars.