The trip to Thailand in December was foremost a reunion with my wife, Kat, who had been in Thailand for five months teaching at an American school in the city. We were due for some decision-making: Does she return to the States after a year's leave, or do I, with both children now adults, join her in Thailand?
As soon as I arrived in Bangkok, I realized that my three previous years there had influenced me greatly: Everything seemed so familiar, from the wall of humidity that greeted me outside the terminal, to the jasmine garlands around the Buddha figurine on the taxi dashboard, to the dazzling sights and sounds of the city as we sped past the all-night markets.
It was exhilarating to be back. The aromas of spices and fried foods, lingering scents of flowers and incense, smiles from friendly people, the dizzying spectacle of traffic chaos, and the intense heat give the place an exotic flavor, and a continuously changing backdrop, one that delighted—and frustrated--me every day I was there. It was great to be in what Kat and I consider our second home. I knew before my visits to schools that I was going to return. If I needed any more convincing, the perfect lazy days spent at our favorite beach at Christmas sealed the deal.