"I'm either lucid dreaming right now, or I'm in a video game."
These were the thoughts that entered my head as I stepped onto the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The colors that greeted me were brilliant -- not brilliant like British speak for "this is awesome, yo", but brilliant like vibrant, rich, and breathtaking. The shapes and magnificent sizes of the structures seemed otherworldly. Due to being misdirected and conned by the peddlers outside of the palace walls, Brian and I missed the 2:00pm free tour in English of the palace, so we had no choice but to explore in complete ignorance and naivete. I had no idea what any of these buildings were used for, how old the buildings were, or what they looked like from the inside. No matter, there was plenty to see on the outside, and the mystery added to the structures' mystique.
I alternated between sitting and staring and statues and images in reverence and darting back and forth from tall building to fat structure, snapping many disappointing pictures of the sights that I knew were memorable enough with or without the pictures that did no justice. Some buildings were too tall to fit in the frame of my pictures. Others had colors whose hues did not quite match that of their photographed version. No matter; simply being surrounded by the strange and foreign objects was good enough for me.
On the one hand, I was a stereotypical tourist doing little more than looking. I wasn't learning about a country's history, language, culture, or every day life of its citizens by wandering around the palace grounds, point-and-shoot camera in hand.
On the other hand, the feeling of newness, feeling of awe for my fellow humans halfway across the world and of a different era, the feeling of being oh-so-small in an oh-so-big world were satisfying enough for me. My long-time thirst for the world was being quenched even in the harsh humidity of a Bangkok summer.
Even as a young girl who relocated houses, schools, and countries every few years, I'd felt that the rest of the world was calling to me to stay on my feet and stay on the move. "Get out of California," beckoned this mysterious call. "Get out of the States. See what I have to offer. Learn new languages. Meet new people. Wonder at my beauty and mystery." The Grand Palace showed me colors that I didn't know existed. I felt like I was learning life lessons non-verbally -- lessons whose purpose are still not clear to me, yet my brain and soul stored nonetheless for future use.
So this is what living my dreams (lucid dreaming?) feels like. As a twenty-something with no clear agenda of my life, I'm hopeful for more experiences like these in the coming years. Who knows what other indescribable lands lay beyond my ever-changing threshold? The only way to find out is to keep my eyes, mind, and soul open and to stay on my feet and on the move...