First Thailand. Now here.

May 4th, 2014, 9pm

Four years ago P and I spent a week in Chiang Mai together. I had been there for a few weeks prior, suffering through my first solo international travel experience: I had gotten food poisoning twice, I was volunteering at a woman’s shelter, my home stay experience had gone from unpleasant to sketchy because my host had started hitting on me and I hadn’t succeeded in making any friends. P, meanwhile, had been living the (it seemed, by contrast) fabulously glamorous life of a Eurasian male model in Bangkok.

We spent the week in Chiang Mai eating, seeing a few water falls, hanging out at the women’s shelter and checking out markets. My trip went subtly, slowly, from sucking to being kind of awesome. To see P navigate the world was to realize I had been doing it all wrong. At first, I attributed P’s instant rapport with everyone to the fact that he was a male model, but came to realize it had to do with the fact that he was a more seasoned traveler and consistently more friendly than I was. After he left, I didn’t lose what I learned from him and 4 years and countless trips later, I’m a different kind of traveler. Still not as open or nice as P, perhaps, but definitely not as high strung.

Anyway, since Chiang Mai I’ve seen P a handful of times, but never for any real stretch of time. But then, finally, an opportunity presented itself: he was in LA and I encouraged him to visit SF. I took this picture of P wearing a shirt he designed once upon a time, way back in Mississauga, in my new apartment in Hayes Valley. It seems my friendships are increasingly characterized by memorable moments shared abroad interspersed with months, maybe years of separation.

Shu, Lia, Samuel, Christine and 4 others said thanks.

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Dani Z

The hardest thing about getting older is realizing that I might, in fact, be a minor character in someone else's story. (I keep changing this bio. I'm not sure I'll ever nail it)

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