Honorable Mention 2007 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
We were to depart from Dulles International Airport, at 5:00pm, and arrive at Mexico City International airport at 9:30pm. Those were the simple instructions given to my eight year old sister, my eleven year old brother and me.
Damascus, Syria, a city at the heart of a bloody war. A city that itself is a juxtaposition where life thrives only kilometers away from heavy conflict and war. After years of waiting, a turbulent flight to Beirut, and a bumpy taxi ride with hundreds of checkpoints, I finally reached Damascus. For my parents, this is where they were raised, a melting pot of Syrian Arabs, Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians, and various others.
If I had to pick one thing, for-sure, that I love most about Thailand, it would be the rain. Where I'm from (San Francisco, I tell everyone I meet, because it's close-by anyways and far more well-known), we are lucky to get a good, strong shower more than twice a month. In Bangkok, especially during rainy season (of course), this type of weather is commonplace. Rain here strikes hard, fast, 0-60 in 4 seconds flat, fat droplets taking by surprise those who had not glanced up at the sky recently.
I had been counting the days, then the hours during the plane ride. Finally I am in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, my home, the place I had been longing for the past year. And yet, back in the city, I feel like a stranger.