None of these things are part of my daily landscape now. What I saw yesterday is less life than I see in my "real life" in my quiet neighborhood of Soi Chokchai Ruammit in Bangkok, which boasts three 7/11s, a Tesco Lotus Express, a Family Mart, two newsstands which sell both the Bangkok Post and the Nation, and at least six different places where I can eat far better khao mun gai than I had yesterday in Pak Nam.
But after a week of walking down a dirt lane to buy whatever food waits in two pots on a table by the side of the road, I was thrilled to have food prepared for me and served on a plate in situ. After days of silence, it was pure bliss to smile at people on a sidewalk and say hello. And bringing home seven copies of a newspaper in English was thrilling, even though--even when I'm stuck in the countryside--the Bangkok Post is still a paper that can knock me out faster than an anesthetic.
Today, if it doesn't rain, I am off to the Pak Nam Saturday Market, which is almost more excitement than I can bear to think about. However the deep-grey clouds that are gathering over the Gulf of Thailand threaten another day of isolation and silence. I think of the trucks that carry me to the Bangkok subway no matter how wet the weather may be, and the Skytrain that whisks me around the city, high and dry, and I try very hard not to whimper,,,