Having Senya and Juniper along for this trip is extremely fun. I wasn’t sure what it would be like to have Senya in a developing country. Junes, I knew, would be fine. She’s so laid back, friendly, and small enough that we define her world just as much or more than her environment does.
Senya isn’t quite as laid back. She’s got a lot of strong opinions, is very sensitive to her environment, shy, and completely offended by bad smells and overly friendly people. I wasn’t sure how those traits were going to translate to this kind of travel.
So far, she and Juniper both seem to just be completely fine with the cultural differences. They don’t seem at all shocked or overstimulated by the city traffic, the different smells, the pervasive noise of the city on the streets. They both seem to be just enjoying the trip as much as we are. By day, we have a sweet, little routine going.
So there’s been a lot of this:
And there’s also a little playground with dubious safety standards, but still. It’s a good time.
By night, we look for fun experiences to have together.
I’m so happy to report that we got to visit a floating market last night. Amphawa, a tiny town about 70 kilometers outside of the city (an hour and a half by taxi), holds its floating market during the evenings on the weekend. When I suggested this as our plan b for a fun night out (our plan a was not possible by taxi due to the protesters), I didn’t realize that it would be quite that distance.
Fortunately, Sen is starting to adapt to what it’s like to travel in a developing country. She was fine with the first half of the Thai version of “The Prince of Egypt” on repeat for a good hour. Then she watched “Tangled” without any sound. She’s learning to roll with it.
Once we arrived (about two hours later) we went out on our own little boat to have a tour of the market from the water. We also got to see the fireflies sparkling in the trees once it was dark.
We then ordered three vegetarian Pad Thai entrees cooked over an open flame on a boat. All for the low, low price of 90 baht ($3.00). A regular drip coffee (Venti) at Starbucks in Sukumvit costs almost twice that.
It was a magical night, really, and it made my heart full to see these little people that I love so much taking it all in. I wonder sometimes what their making of it all, how it’s becoming part of their psyches and shaping their reality. I feel incredibly grateful to be here and with these people that I love so much.
We still have had the occasional rough patch with defiance and a battle of the wills (name(s) omitted deliberately to preserve a pretense of anonymity), but such trials are related to this phase of life and aren’t specific to being in a developing country. In fact, it’s liberating to get out and do this and see that we CAN still travel with small children. And while it’s different than our travels used to be when we were just the two of us, it’s wonderful and rich in its own rite.