It’s been 1 . 5 years since I was last here.
As I rode the brand new train in to the city, I wondered what else will be different. The last time I was here the political parties were fighting. There have been protests, bombings, and citywide violence that turned among my favorite cities right into a war zone. Since my last visit, a lot of my friends have shifted to new destinations or returned home.
But as I paid attention to the people around me and viewed the faces on the train, I felt relaxed. I was comfortable. I knew I was home. Though I’ve been away quite a long time, Bangkok and I are as close as ever.
I checked into my guesthouse, dropped my bags, and practically lept out the entranceway. I had a need to explore. I would have to be outside — in my own city. I needed to wrap it around me just like a blanket.
I had errands to perform. I had food to consume. I had friends to see.
As I made my way down the primary street of Sukhumvit, I marveled at the brand new buildings. I felt surprised seeing new derelict buildings, after being there for more years than I could remember, had finally been torn down.
Bangkok was changing.
Nonetheless it still felt like home.
The sights. The sounds. The smells. The pace.
Everything was familiar.
I was practically skipping down the streets.
I moved to familiar haunts. I ate near my old house. Fried rice never tasted so excellent. The guy I buy movies from gave me a big hug and asked why I’d been gone such a long time.
“I went home,” I said.
We make small talk, and he smiles, shakes my hand, and informs me not to avoid for such a long time again.
“I’ll keep coming back more regularly,” I promised.
I move on with my day — there’s too much to do. Walking into my old hair stylist’s, I ask just how much for a cut. “150 baht,” she says. Identical to this past year.
“Where are you?” she asks me. “It’s been quite a long time.”
She remembered my face much better than I remembered hers. Personally i think a bit embarrassed.
It could be hard to describe my last year. I just tell her I went home. It’s partially true.
“Oh really? You go back home to work?”
“Yeah, I focus on the Internet, though, therefore i could work anywhere.”
“Why don’t you work here?” she presses.
We make small talk in an assortment of Thai and English. I’m impressed she remembers so much about me. She compliments me on what good my Thai is still, though I believe she’s just being polite.
It feels good to speak Thai again, but as I stumble over my words, I understand I’m rusty.
In typical fashion, she asks me easily have a girlfriend.
“No,” I say. “I’m not looking for just one.”
She informs me Thailand is an ideal spot to find one.
She laughs. I laugh.
As my haircut finishes, she admonishes me. “In the event that you don’t keep coming back more, I’ll improve the price of your haircuts. Thailand is your house.”
Later at night, I head to the best bar, Cheap Charlie’s. It’s the house of several good memories. “Sawadee Krap Satit,” I say. “I’ll have a gin and tonic.” Finding out about from his CDs, the bartender smiles a big grin. He too remembers me. “Of course,” he says.
That night as I’ve drinks with friends, I can’t help but believe my hairdresser was right.
I am home.
Part of me belongs here. Such as a piece in a puzzle, I fit perfectly. There’s nothing unfamiliar about Bangkok and all of it feels normal if you ask me. It always pulls me back.
We might not remain in a location forever, but sometimes places forever stay in us.
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Book Your Visit to Bangkok: Logistical Guidelines
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- Lub d Bangkok Silom — Lub d Silom is more of a European-style hostel when compared to a traditional Asian guesthouse. It’s in a favorite spot for backpackers seeking to stay somewhere apart from Khao San Road, is safe (they use electronic key locks), and the staff speaks fluent English.
- Golden Mountain Hostel — This small, family-run hostel is among the newest and nicest hostels in the town. The dorm beds are actually cubbies included in the wall for added privacy, and each room sleeps eight people. That is a great hostel if you would like some tranquility.
- Mad Monkey — Mad Monkey is a backpacker institution near Khao San Road. It’s is just about the best hostel in Bangkok if you would like to party. It includes a restaurant, pool, and tour desk with a number of the cheapest & most competitive prices around.
If you’re looking for more places to remain, here are the best hostels in Bangkok. And if you’re wondering what part of town in which to stay, here’s my neighborhood break down of Bangkok!
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