Tag Archives: Bangkok

First Impressions: Bangkok, Thailand

In his collection of essays entitled The Nasty Bits, Anthony Bourdain discussed his Platonic ideal of fast food–his preference over the Chicken McNuggets and Whoppers that most Americans turn to when they want dinner fast. To him, fast food is street food served by vendors around the world. Walking the streets of Bangkok, I can see what he is talking about. You can’t walk down a city block without seeing a vendor roasting skewers of chicken or slicing up fresh pieces of pineapple and papaya. If people have to eat fast food, Bourdain (and I) would rather this be it–unprocessed, freshly made (sometimes), and independently produced.

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Year of the Tiger


Photo Credit: Tambako the Jaguar

As for many people, December was a month of family obligations, catching up with old friends, and last minute shopping excursions. I spent the month in the United States–the Midwest–a short respite before our next journey.

While home, I drove for the first time in a year. I had forgotten the freedom of going wherever, whenever. It called to mind the possibilities of road trips in my own country. I experienced a few pristine snowfalls and also remembered what a nightmare it is to drive in snow and ice. In the mornings I drank coffee with my mother while we watched the birds at her birdfeeder. I had never seen so many woodpeckers before–crested, furry, and red headed. There were also titmice, doves, chickadees, and nuthatches, but curiously no cardinals. My parents’ neighborhood is still surrounded by cornfields and blissfully quiet. After time with family and a holiday from work, I feel encouraged and charged for the new year.

What do you have planned for the Year of the Tiger? My forecast states that, “The Snake likes to make slow and steady progress and the Year of the Tiger will find [her] swept along with unexpected developments – [she] need[s] to adapt and keep up the pace.” A tranquil horoscope sign, I am admittedly slow to change and set in my ways. If traveling has taught me anything, it is flexibility. Still learning, though.

With this message, I would like to wish you an excellent new year. I would also like to say hello from Bangkok, Thailand. Hope you will follow me on this part of my journey.

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