7 years ago today, one of the largest events happened in our personal history. Just over a mile away from my apartment in downtown NYC, the skyline, city and the people of NY were permanently altered.
The smell of smoke was everywhere – the fire didn’t go out for months. The smell was… chemical. Plastic-like. Un-natural. Have you ever shorted out electronics? If I close my eyes and think about it, I can still smell it. Some nights the the smoke was so thick outside my window, other nights the wind would shift direction and you’d smell the sea. Cars still were not allowed back in the city. I decided that, while I’d like to stick around and discuss conspiracy theories and politics with my friends, my apartment was unfit to live. Now was the best time to do something I had been thinking about doing for years – go check out Asia.
In October, Pippin and I subletted our apartment, loaded up the car with our cats and belongings and went to stay with his Dad for a few weeks while we prepared for Asia. I had really wanted to see Thailand (loved the food and the few Thais I met before) and Japan. Pippin was game for anything. We flew out on December 25, 2001 with a flight on British Airways to Bangkok with a layover in Europe.
We arrived in Bangkok two weeks later and, to tell you the truth, all I wanted to do was turn around and get back on the plane. I hated it. The air quality was terrible (I was trying to escape bad air remember?), the sidewalks were un-walkable, it was hot, dirty, hectic. People harassed us everywhere. We decided to get the hell out of Bangkok and flew down to Koh Samui. Needless to say, a week later I was scuba diving off Koh Tao and thus began my love affair with this country.