And the cars, and the bars, my Carmen

I told the hostess I needed a nice table to work at, and I almost meant it. Almost.

But what I really needed was to just watch the Skytrain pass overhead, suck on a cocktail straw, and read Caitlin Moran. I needed to remember myself, and so I got to remembering.

What it feels like to be in a strange city at night, with no one to answer to but you – I remembered that part.

There were louche Americans at the bar, trapped without the girlfriends who had lingered westward, and I could only smile and nod at them.

Sometimes, there is too much guava and the bed is far too big – and all of these are good things.

I am all for traveling alone (I am actually traveling with my guy colleagues – but we give each other space), especially when you’re a young mother. It doesn’t always end well, and hidden dangers lurk, not the least of which is being on speakerphone with Such a Cutie and his dad, finding yourself cooing while examining imported steaks in the store down the street, finding yourself aching.

But women need the dark road too. Especially if “dark” is only a euphemism for something all together more complicated.

My own dark road is frequently genteel (unlike my actual life). I always find myself an Intercon with a lounge like a glass box, and the odd writing assignment. Guy colleagues treat me during the day, so I can afford to reserve the night for me.

In Bangkok, you feel the distant presence of the jungle. It’s in the shadows the trees cast in the artificial light. Those shadows are ravenous.

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