because it is so easy to forget when you crave for more, for different, for better when there is no better. i hate that it requires absence for us to stop taking what is no longer present for granted. in this letter to you, all lives in this city, and everything in between, is grouped into a collective entity and referred to as — bangkok.
this letter, if read, must be read aloud.
so do me a favor and read this, out loud.
to feel so at home in a place so diverse is to feel so loved. because the communal feeling of being khon krung thep weaves all the yarns, the yarns that are us, together to create a wonderful silky blend of this and that which all in all forms this lovely city: my home. capturing the entirety of how the city of bangkok makes me feel, fingertips on keyboard, is beyond my capabilities, i know – but try, i must.
under my tan skin, my cheeks flush in the warm, summer weather – the only weather, season, there is here. oh, what a shame you, bangkok, are in a state of flux and confusion with your cultural identity where the old and the new and the thai and the western all intertwine to become such a whirlwind of a city.
oh could you please stop lying to yourself. so irrational, you are—trying to be someone you’re not. your identity crisis begs me to adapt but i will never do such a thing. to adapt is to surrender, to surrender to this change, this change in you. but, my love, a change this malicious could kill someone, could kill me.
i must confess, no forthcoming visitor could ever experience love at first sight with a city like you – i, even, would not. but cities in which people fall head over heels in love with at first glimpse is merely a fleeting attraction, because it is, above all else, the soul of the city that makes one want to stay.
bangkok, my love, you are so charming. you indulge me with new discoveries, hidden gems, at every turn of a corner. so inclusive, you are—having something for everyone: a little bit of this, a little bit of that. little me’s love for the art of exploration blossomed because of you. so to you, i owe a thank you.
just for the sake of this letter i’ll overlook, or rather oversmell, the fumes of bangkok traffic that overpowers all else: the parfum of burning incense at talat noi and yaowarat, the scent of spices at the indian talat phahurat, and the bitter yet sweet aroma of brewed coffee at local, somewhat rundown—and i mean it in a good way—coffee shops tugged away in a labyrinth of a soi, fuses to form a shared sensation, a shared culture, which defines this city, you, my love.
i always catch myself jokingly say how i would leave the first chance i get and never step foot back into this country, this city, ever again, but i swear i don’t mean it. because in this city, i share a home with millions of others, some of which i met through chance encounters, i will never forget, but encounters with people who i will never remember. why is it that people are the most willing to share their deepest and darkest secrets to people who they call strangers?
there is nowhere else like home. and my home is you, bangkok. because sixteen years later, i’m still here. to take me away from you would be to break me whole. i may have acted oblivious to that fact in the past, but in my heart i have always known: here is where i belong.
yearning for you,
a girl in love