Day 16 of my trip and I wake up grumpy. I’m finally coming down from the high of Saigon and the exhaustion is catching up with me. I’ve been fighting a cold for the past few days and today I woke up without my voice. I tried, I really tried to speak but only hoarse, choked up sounds came out.
Being on the road has made me a morning person. I wake up at 6 am promptly everyday, with or without an alarm. Sleeping in now means pulling my body out of bed at 9:30 am.
I have no plans for today, no mission, no temple to photograph nor historic landmarks to explore. For that, I thank myself. Ayutthaya can wait till tomorrow and maybe I won’t ride an elephant until I’m in Laos.
I walk two blocks from my hostel to the nearest open market for some street food. I tried, I really tried to smile at the people I passed but I could not pull it out of me. Looking at the faces around me, I realized the world merely reflects us: smile upon it and it will smile back, regard it with caution and disdain and it will keep us at bay.
Back at the hostel, I place myself in the perfect spot, in view of the TV and across the table from this beautiful guy. I never use “beautiful” to describe a man but it is the most suitable adjective for him. The food is tasty with a kick to it; good food never fails to sooth any and all ailments of my body and soul.
From across the room, a guy gets up from the couch, walks directly past my line of vision, holds my gaze for a second and smiles. My first smile of the day. Taking all the effort I could muster, I smile back at him.
And I think to myself, all love stories begin with a smile…