I rubbed my eyes.
Katie had just walked into the room.
Suddenly, the exhaustion which had overcome my body melted effortlessly away.
“KATIE!!” I jumped out of bed and ran to her. “Oh my god!!”
“Surprise!” She said, smiling as we wrapped our arms around each other.
I held onto her for a moment as I let the rush of emotions come over me. It was just about a year ago we had met in Bosnia. She was a Travel Friend who had morphed into a Real Life Friend, someone who had stood by my side the past year as I moved to Las Vegas, went through my challenges of re-entry. Katie was one of my fiercest supporters. We had planned to meet up in Thailand months and months ago. When I had initially entertained the idea of volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park, I had sent her a message to make sure she’d be nearby since she was moving to Asia in June.
And now, here she was. In Thailand.
I turned to Isabelle to explain to her my excitement over the new girl in our dorm room.
Turns out, Katie had this planned for awhile, but due to torrential flooding in central Thailand, she wasn’t sure if she was going to make it in time to catch me that night.
Good thing that jet lag smacked me in the face.
“Well,what are you doing? Get dressed!”
Tired. Tired. Tired. Katie. Reggae Bar. Thailand.
“Um …” I began. “I am so tired.”
“No excuses. Let’s go out.”
Isabelle whipped my hair into something presentable. I pulled on leggings and a LBD. Then, we were off.
Katie and Isabelle hit it off pretty immediately. Within the first few minutes, we were all having the girl talk that takes some people years to grow comfortable with.
Because of Little Bird’s close proximity to a little enclave of bars, it was a nice and quick walk in the oh-so humid September air. This backpacker/Westerner joint was packed to the brim. Fortunately, one of the girls who worked at the hostel had already set up shop at a little wooden table and benches, so we joined her group.
Then, my demise was placed in front of me.
The whiskey bucket. Well, whiskey and Coke.
A terrible concoction for anyone who is trying to overcome jet lag.
I turned to Katie, a look of doubt crossing my sleep-deprived face.
“Welcome to Thailand,” she said, smiling, handing me a straw.