The other night, as we lay in our enormous bed in our luxurious resort, just as I was dozing off to sleep, the Earth quivered and trembled beneath us, and I thought, as I lay there rigid with fear and my heart pounding in my ribs, no amount of luxury will save us if this gets serious. On Saturday we flew from Denpasar to Bangkok, where we stayed the night in a hotel ringed with sandbags, a precaution against the flooding which has swept through the city this year, the worst in decades. Then I sat in an airport and looked out the window where the smog was so thick that I couldn't see clearly across the tarmac. I can't help but think our Earth is reproaching us: What are you doing to me with your mines and your oil palm plantations and your deforestation and your pollution? And she shakes in outrage and weeps floods of tears of despair.
Anyway, that aside, we have made it back to our second home high in hills in Chiang Mai Province, where I always start to desire a simple life and daydream about moving here one day to live in the hut in the lychee grove. Susan and Yuki are the same as ever. Shu is the only boy still here. Boy? Shu is a man now (19 or thereabouts), and recently married to a girl in the village (and she - her name is something like Ju-Lee - was married off at 13 to a man who was 'useless,' according to Susan, and had a child with him who is now three years old, and then divorced him for a cost of 700 Baht and then married Shu. Apparently she's quite 'together,' for a village girl.) There are several more monkeys that we don't know. Sadly, Pinky died some months ago. We'll be here for a week or so, enjoying our other life, and plotting how to take some of feeling home with us.
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