Night Market

The Night Market in Chiang Mai. It was legendary. The food stalls with their otherworldly aromas. Fresh mangoes sliced on handfuls of sticky rice, sweet condensed milk drizzled across each piece. Ant egg omelets in delicate banana leaf bowls. Spicy hot chile smoke curling in tendrils towards your nose. Sweet ice cream with fresh corn as a topping. Row upon row of delightful treasures from artisans. The smiles. The community.  It was everything I had dreamed of and so much more. I walked the stalls, my heart filling with joy as my fingers grazed lush scarves, hand-woven bags and beautifully carved wood. Then I saw it. A tiny little booth at the end of an aisle. The stunning shirts swayed in the wind and I knew this was the one.
I greeted the woman in the booth, “Sawatdee ka!”. She smiled and softly replied “Hello.” I began in English, to ask her for a few different sizes of shirts. She stared at me, a look of genuine confusion on her face. I struggled to find the words. I hadn’t learned how to say small, medium, or large in Thai. I couldn’t leave without the shirts. It was what I was there for. Chiang Mai, and the best linen on the planet.
As I rifled through my pack for a dictionary, I held a notepad in my hand. She gently pulled it away and grabbed a pen. Slowly she began to draw a shirt. I shouted “Yes!” and she passed the notepad to me. I proceeded to draw two more shirts. One smaller and one larger. When I finished, I was greeted with the biggest grin I’ve ever seen. Her eyes lit up as laughter burst from her mouth. It was contagious. I began to laugh at her sheer brilliance. She ran to the shirts and looked back at me. I pointed to the small shirt on my notepad and she pulled one down. Her grin widened and her laughter filled the air. I pointed to the large shirt and raised two fingers. We continued back and forth until I had seven shirts. We bartered (a customary gesture) over the price, and then I placed more than the amount in her hands. She grasped my hand tightly and patted me on the arm. Then she released me and giddily waved the notepad in her hands. I nodded for her to keep it, and said “Kop khun kha!” It was nearly impossible to believe that only moments before we’d been staring at one another, completely baffled.
That’s the beauty of the travel isn’t it? We’re all a part of the same world and if we only listen, and are open, we can always find a common language.

Advertisements

My Sister, The Potential Weirdo. (Myana Chimes In)

I remember when I was younger, my mom was the one who I played dress up with. She was the one that I had camp outs in the living room with. She was my best friend who I couldn’t wait to get home just so I could watch movie with. Even though I love my mom, I always felt some type of loneliness. I would see my friends with their siblings, and no matter how much they seemed to annoy each other, I was jealous. I wanted someone my age to annoy. Someone my age to laugh with.

Then came the time when my mom said I should live with my dad so that she could better herself financially. I was around 8 or 9 and was so excited. Not because I was leaving my mom, but because I would get to have my brother around (he is actually my step brother, but my dad had raised him). I loved the idea of having someone my age in the house. But not having been around each other for so long, it was awkward at times. We were two very different people, with very different interests. But no matter how different, he looked out for me no matter what. Something I came to appreciate more and more as time went by. I had my sibling and annoyed him as much as possible – as a little sister should. Continue reading “My Sister, The Potential Weirdo. (Myana Chimes In)”

Nexy Jamin & The Summer of 2014 Part II

I decided to hit “Send”.  I shouldn’t have.  It had been impulsive.  I had written something stupid like “I’m the person you’re looking for.” or a statement that was equally lame.  I instantly regretted it.  I didn’t get a response.  I started wondering if I should send her a letter.  I was able to find an address.  I started the letter and then I stopped.  I put the pen down, walked away and that was that.  Or so I thought. Continue reading “Nexy Jamin & The Summer of 2014 Part II”

How I Learned to Thrive & Other Tales of “Whoa!”

Cannonball.

 

In the past year I’ve had some absolutely amazing experiences that have helped me find my way back to the path of shameless creativity.  I say shameless because for a time (4 years), I felt as though what I was doing, what I wanted to do, was something to hide.  I stopped saying I was an actor.  Or a singer.  Or anything creative that would make me look like a flight risk to what I refer to at times as “the outside world”.  I moved from a city that embraced my diversity and all my quirks as an artist, to a place where I felt I didn’t fit the mold.  I made that move because I was scared.  Scared that as a newly engaged woman, people now had expectations of me and those expectations could only be fulfilled if I settled down.  I felt pressure from myself and others.  I wanted people to like me.  I wanted them to know that I wasn’t a gamble.  I left what I knew, what had made me successful up to that point, and what was familiar for the imagined promise of “stability”. Continue reading “How I Learned to Thrive & Other Tales of “Whoa!””