Of course when I am traveling through Asia and meeting new people, the topic of conversation always includes the infamous where are you from? It is always interesting to actually get to know and meet the people you are talking too, and learn about their culture as well. Plus it’s a great conversation starter that can segue into so much more.
So it’s no surprise that usually when I do meet people in Asia and tell them that I am from New York City, they usually follow up with a response something like wow, you’re so far from home. To be honest, they are actually pretty correct. I have recently become obsessed with taking trips out to Southeast Asia for fun, and I literally could not have picked a more far corner in the world for me to fall in love with. I often wonder why I could not have fallen in this type of love with Europe (which happens to be only a 6-7 hour flight from NYC despite the day and a half of traveling it takes to get to Southeast Asia). People are always enamored by the distance that I have come, and I am even sort of impressed at times myself. As my work wife was just saying on the phone to me yesterday New Yorkers are always so extra, we always have to go to third world countries and odd corners of the earth for our vacations. And man, that couldn’t be closer to the truth.
So it definitely comes as a huge shock to me that when I agreed to meet a boy from turkey out at Tantric Bar in Singapore last night, that as we were ordering drinks at the bar we overheard a conversation of the two boys standing next us to drinking. My friend asked me if I could recognize Americans outside of the states to which I promptly stated most of the time, and he asked me if they were American. At first glance I did not believe them to be Americans, but my friend was persistent that they were. He kindly approached them and asked them where they are from to which they both replied New York City.
To my fascination we had both met two New Yorkers out at a random gay bar in Singapore. Which if you traveled to Southeast Asia before you know that to come across a German, of French, or even an Australian is super common but an American, let alone a fellow New Yorker is extremely rare. We got to chatting with both of the boys who were in Singapore for a mix of holiday and work, and turns out that they live not all that far from me in the Upper West Side.
We ended up somehow in a group of fourteen before the night was over, with twelve of us being New Yorkers, and two being my friend who was from Turkey and his friend from Bangkok. And just that night I did something I can not even recall the last time I did, and I was leaving the bar I saw a handsome boy out of the corner of my eyes and gave him my phone number. I told him if you want to hang out tomorrow, message me and let me know. That next morning he did indeed message me back, and we planned a whole day of hanging out together from going to the Botanical Gardens in Singapore, to gambling at the casino next, to having dinner, wandering into ultra music festival, watching the laser show at Marina Bay, to back at the same bar we were at the night before. And from there we met a group of Aussies who were super nice, and once again we ended up in some large of friends before the night was over.
So while some others would look at my journey and say that it’s a bit extra to travel all the way out to Southeast Asia, but to me it is my own little corner in the world in which I feel comfortable traveling too, especially alone. Just this morning I was sitting on yet another AirAsia flight (I really do love to hate to love AirAsia but that’s a completely different story) in the absolute last row, next to some very friendly people. After I woke up from a long nap, we all got to talking and it turns out they were also American from both Florida and California. As we started further talking it turns out the one girl was a flight attendant with United, which I really thought in that moment that the world truly is a small place. I ended up sharing a cab with my new friends to the downtown Krabi area, and then we parted ways.
And as for now, I’m back in Thailand on my way to meet my work wife in Ko Pha Ngan for the full moon party which happens to be on both of our birthdays. Here is to the new craziest adventures that will ensue during the next few days I am so excited!
And I know what your thinking, yes I did find a Broadway Street sign in Singapore. Until next time when I come live from Ko Pha Ngan, XoXo.