I’m back in Bangkok as usual for this time of the year. But there’s a detour to Los Angeles for a few days before heading to Thailand. The main reason is to visit a long lost cousin and his family. Reconnecting with them is something I have to digest more than it was anticipated. And this blog post should be something that I need to articulate it.
I remember they were the only relatives from my mother’s side in my childhood’s loop. Over 30 years ago, they left for the States and we lost touch since. So, apart from step dad’s extended family, growing up, it was a huge gap not connected to any of my own large families. Neither from mom’s side nor dad’s (the tie with him was cut off since the divorce.) That gets me excited to meet them.
A quick note on how we found each other. With the power of social media, my cousin was able to track my brother down on Facebook. It started from there. And I’ve got luxury to physically be in just across the continent, not the planet.
A short time I get to spend with them includes. The first evening in LA, my cousin, with his wife, and I catch up at a Thai place called Palms Thai Restaurant. They drive me around Thai Town, which I plan to explore it on the next day.
The day after the following day, we—the couple with their son and his wife and I—had a yum cha lunch in Monterey. We get back to my nephew’s apartment in Art District. My nephew (with a small age gap, I prefer him to call me brother) and I do a pub crawl in the area. I find that we have similar tastes and even some good core values. Our conversation over good craft beers in local breweries is very enjoyable. We finish the evening in Little Tokyo. The rest of the family joins us there for dinner at a place that my cousin-in-law is long-time regular.
The day with the long lost extended family is so overwhelming that I need to wind down in a bar by myself. And the plan to get somewhere, like Venice Beach, on the next day is scrapped. I spend most of the day being veg in the room until my cousin and his wife pick me up for dinner at famous Thai boat noodles. And that is it, mission accomplished.
I can’t help thinking about when I travel to Nong Kai to catch up with my father in 2014. That one got me to the mindset to get on with my life. But this reconnection shines some glimpse about family. Frankly, that doesn’t come easily for me. I’d say it is one of those missing puzzles in life. In the end, we can’t reverse how we grow up. Certainly, we could pick up some pieces together to understand it. This one is definitely a real reconnection.