Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Same Same ... But Different

Many thanks to those who wished me well as I jetted off to Bangkok last week. I hope you can tell from the happy snap of me with my Beloved -  we had a blast. 

Fourteen years is a long absence from a city where I once had a baby, and spent what felt like a lifetime. In reality, it was only 12 months, but each one was steeped in memories and experiences only Bangkok can offer. 

And I was keen to relive them. 

We retraced some of our days all the way back to Villa Supermarket, perusing shelves and remembering produce and brands we hadn't tasted since 1998.

We crossed busy Suhkumvit Road to Emporium Department Sore, and like a pair of homing pigeons, wound our way from floor to floor until we reached the exit to soi 24. Our old address. 

So, so the same. And so vastly different. 

Step by step we came closer to our former residence, President Park. And while the road held the surreal familiarity of street hawkers grilling fragrant meats, newly built apartment buildings and shops came into view. Regardless, I could almost hear the echo of my little children dive bombing into the water like George of the Jungle. (Favourite movie of '98) 

I couldn't wait to see the pools and outdoor lounge areas for myself after so long. Soon enough we smiled our way past the guard and entered the foyer. 

But no further. Sorry, Madam.... Visitors can no longer wander to the pools or lifts. New security measures kept us away, tighter since our carefree days there. (And the events of Sept 11)

Without a pass, I was not allowed to take the lift to where my heart pulled.... 
Oak Tower, Apartment 28B. 

But I was able to sulk reminisce by our old post box in the foyer. The little wooden treasury which once held links to my loved ones. How many times did I twist my trusty key in that lock, and pray someone had remembered to send news and photos from home? How many eager scratches did I add to the already scuffed door?

And just like that, bathed in memories and locked out of yesterday, my Beloved drew me away and back to the future. 

For some yesteryears are not meant to be lived a second time. They're there to remind us of what once was, and the lessons we've since learned. The people we've become since we walked away.

And sometimes, there really is nothing for us behind the door. 

So armed with a cold coconut to sip along the walk back to our hotel, I resolved to be satisfied with tender memories, some fresh and almost life-like, others a little faded with time. 

All saved and held in trust for days when I can't wander the dusty streets, but need a little Bangkok fix anyway. 

Have you ever had a door close on you?