Memories are Yesterday’s Delights (There’s No War in World)

Tammy T. Stone

Tammy T. Stone

 

Memories are Yesterday’s Delights

(Thailand, India, Laos)

Memories, like the time we rented a motorbike and rode for an hour to Udon Thani so we could try to flatten the silver we bought in Bangkok under the passing trains at the tracks, and how it didn’t work at all, but we sat there for hours waiting for the train to pass, keeping an eye on the silver glinting under the sun, wrapped up to protect it from the crushing weight of the train.

I went to the nearby 7-11 to buy us sweet breads and chips and a Sprite to share while we waited, and thought about how I used to have no taste for sweet bread but how tastes can change and how everything changes …

… and how we discovered a Daiso – Japanese Dollar Store – on that trip, and how we didn’t really find any reason to like Udon Thani until almost a year later, when we spent the night at a charming guesthouse and discovered a night market and food court and a desolate, huge modern shopping centre which we explored after dark …

… or the time we met the eccentric older lady during our 39 hour bus ride from Manali to Leh, in India now, and she offered us apricot seeds while we were waylaid at an army barracks somewhere along the way after a landslide blocked the road, and how we took such great photos at the barracks under the perfect bright sun after drinking chai coming from the mess hall, and how, sometime later or earlier, I don’t remember, the lady came to sit next to us while we ate lunch in one of the several canopied tents offering rice or noodles, and we were already queasy from being at 4,000 feet and were made more so from the blue pallor cast on us from the impossibly bright sun poring through royal blue tarp …

and how the lady looked at my husband and asked if he was an artist because she saw so many bright colours coming off him, and she saw him as an artisan, working with his hands, which is true, and one of his great many talents …

or the time we met a Spanish girl who introduced us to the sauna in the centre of Vientiane’s tourist district, tucked away in an alley, and how we extended a trip there for days so we could visit the sauna, where we could sweat it all out and talk about everything and anything while sipping tea at tables full of Lao locals and monks alike, in a courtyard with no roof so that we could follow the tree planted ages ago right up to its highest branches and suddenly find ourselves in the sky, sometimes cloudy and sometimes a perfect sunny blue,

and how everything felt possible then; or the time, almost exactly a year later, when we watched schoolchildren in Chiang Rai perform a traditional dance they must have practiced for, for ages, while we rang in the new year, in the delightful swarm of intimate strangers.

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