Monday, December 1, 2008

Expat Life

This weekend I was at a dance party filled with expats from around the world. One of the DJs is the boyfriend of a friend and the music promised to be good. The dance floor was crowded with people from all over Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. The dance floor was still crowded when my friends and I left, shortly after 4am.

At one point in the evening a friend pointed out that one of the usual expats was missing. He had gone down to Thailand last week for a beach holiday. Usually that's entirely unnoteworthy. However, Thailand has been experiencing a lot of political unrest and the airports were shut down. In an attempt to return to Beijing the man we know took a 14 hour bus ride from Bangkok to Phnom Penh, where he and others who had been stranded in Thailand tried to book tickets on overcrowded flights into China.

He was never in any physical danger, just inconvenienced. Still, his experience is a good reminder to all that we need to be mindful of political realities as we plan our weekend trips and short jaunts to fun places.

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