The Thailand Countryside

By Angie Li, USA

The long, wooden staircase creaked at every step I took. As I descended, I saw the barren land out in front, the sandy dirt field on which two open sheds stood on either side. I quickly put on my black sandals and hurried down to the area to meet Shree. Shree was a big-eyed, dark- skinned girl with an indescribable energy that reflected off me every time I was with her. As we walked down the unpaved path, we were struck by the lush smell of sautéed vegetables and exotic fruits filling the house next door. The Thai residents, tan-skinned with their jet black hair, smiled with their crooked teeth and waved to us as we passed by their small, rickety house. The house was filled with little cracks in the wood and it looked washed out against their darker complexions. As we kept on walking, the empty path came to a halt and we found ourselves surrounded by a vast land. A field of grass occupied the space and in the distance, four straw-roofed, bamboo-built sheds were dispersed throughout the area. There were plenty of vibrant green shrubs and mounds of dirt beside the sheds. Overhead, the sky was a gorgeous pastel colored blue, surrounding the largest white clouds I had ever seen. These clouds took up the whole sky and looked like puffy, pure white cotton balls floating along a pure, untouched stretch of light turquoise. Shree sharply turned her head to the right and gestured for me to come over. We came upon a cliff made of cream-colored rocks and sand. We sat down on the softer edges of the sharp, pointed ends and looked over the rippling, clear water. The sun was slowly setting but it still shone, casting a bright, gleaming reflection off the water's surface. We sat there in stillness, listening to the water and the soft breeze moving the grass. In this moment, I was one with the sun, sky, and sea. It was one of those rare moments where I felt truly connected to the world around me. I opened my eyes to the wonders surrounding me and felt at home in this foreign country. I never was someone who went out in nature and explored; I was a city girl at heart. However, looking over the water, I felt an inner awakening as if I belonged in this place. It was as if I was dreaming without closing my eyes. My mind and thoughts shut down and I breathed slowly. I was living completely in the moment for once in my life. I looked over at Shree and I could see a calm expression on her face that I hadn’t seen anywhere else. “Shree, in a few years, we have to come back here. This cliff will be our spot.” I said as I turned to her.

“I would love that.” she said as she turned towards me, smiling widely.