Well, I may be departing from Asia late this evening.
Then again, I may be stranded in Bangkok indefinitely, thanks to the efforts of the anti-government mob who have stormed the airport.
I am trying-- desperately trying-- to leave Asia on a positive note. Because, yes, there have been things that I didn't like-- the constant pollution, loose city sidewalks that splatter muddy water, nasty taxi drivers, agonizingly slow Lao buses, being called 'friend' by touts, the ubiquitous Korean mullets on teenagers, massive insects, tacky tourists who think that being in Thailand is justification for going shirtless on city streets and getting their hair done in hideous cornrows-- and now, also clapping-hand waving protesters.
But all of that is really insignificant when compared to how incredible my time here has been. The wealth of things I've seen, the flavors I've tasted, and the range of experiences I've had makes all of those problems really meaningless. That point become obvious to me when I tried to assemble photos for the above collage-- which in no way could possibly reflect what I've seen and done here. From drifting down the Mekong in Laos, to testing my chili tolerance in Thailand, to finally getting to see the ruins of Angkor in Cambodia, to sampling unusual foods in Taiwan, to admiring Penang's streets in Malaysia, to drinking rich drip coffee in Vietnam... it's been unforgettable. I know that, no question, I'll be coming back soon.
Then again, check back with me how I'm feeling if I do get stranded here this evening.