February 26, 2001

Living in this massive city can leave you feeling like a little speck of dust. I am a country mouse so when I hit Bangkok, I felt more like a mite. I was used to bumping into familiar faces at the post office or driving behind my neighbour on the way home from work. I always believed that small towns were more able to give you that good-ole Bermuda Triangle feeling. I figured it would be impossible to feel in synch with Thailand. I was only being skeptical. Call it synchronicity or call it coincidence, it does happen, even in humungous Bangkok. On one of my very first days here, I was blasting the stereo and listening to the rock band ‘Nirvana.’ While I was head banging around the house the exterminator showed up. It was a 60-year-old man wearing a ‘Nirvana’ T-shirt with their album ‘Nevermind’ advertised across the back. My hopes were raised.

Back in the hottest month of the year (April), I foolishly decided to sell some used books back in the heart of the city. I was waiting260201k1.jpg out on the sweltering sidewalk to get my empty crates back. I was feeling extremely grateful that I had chosen not to live in the downtown area. It was a particularly noisy, steamy, chaotic mess that day. I could not wait to get out of there. I thought to myself, “If I lived here, I would totally lose my mind. Definitely. Without question.”

I noticed a young guy walking up the street towards me. He was about 25 years of age and was carrying a fast food soft drink container in one hand. He looked like an average chap with khaki pants, T-shirt, and short brown hair. I grew curious as he headed directly for me despite the fact that the sidewalk was almost empty. He stopped directly in front of my nose and stated, “I think I am about to totally lose my mind.” Without further ado, he walked on.

In October I had some friends visiting from the States. We were driving out in the countryside. A motorcycle drove past us. There was an adorable little girl wearing a bright red260201k2.jpg Santa Claus hat sitting on the front of it. Everyone noticed her. The next evening we went to a fair. There she was! Sitting on the front of the motorcycle again, but this time the motorcycle was parked. We all exclaimed, “Look! It’s the girl in the Santa hat!” She pulled the hat over her face to avoid further attention.

Recently on a trip up to Suphanburi, we were looking for a hotel in the rather bleak looking ‘downtown’ area. It was dark and the task was difficult. We spotted a building set back from the street and decided to check it out. Lucky us! We had not only found a resting spot on our first try, but the name of the place was KAT HOTEL. How cool!

All of the linens had KAT HOTEL written on them. I really wanted a towel, sheet, and pillowcase as souvenirs. How could I resist? I did not even know I had a hotel named after me! Arranging the purchase was quite an event. First we asked the desk clerk. The desk clerk asked the desk manager. The desk manager asked the260201k3.jpg head of housekeeping. Housekeeping gave the owner a call. The owner consulted with her husband. A price was fixed and off I went with personalized bedding.

I was channel surfing last night. My eyes widened as I saw my hometown Wal-Mart flash across the screen. Could it really be? It turns out that National Geographic sent a guy down the Connecticut River in a birch bark canoe. Here I am in Thailand with a remote control in hand exclaiming, “I know that house!” as the guy paddled through my former life. Was the television sending me a cryptic message? All I know was that it made me homesick.

I have managed to pass the same middle-aged man wearing a hideous bright orange and yellow Hawaiian shirt three times in one day in completely different parts of town. I could not help noticing him because I also could not help noticing his shirt.

Perhaps some of you can remember back to the Kat’s Window issue with the sleeping child wearing a T-shirt that proclaimed “SLEEPING CHILDREN OF THE WORLD” on the front. It is a known fact that I am easily amused.

Perhaps you think I have fallen off the deep end, but moments of synchronicity help me feel that I am somehow in the right place, at the right time, and that yes, I am somehow (don’t ask me how) part of something much bigger.

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