One of the most delightful aspects of living in southeast Asia is the greenery. Although the word greenery is far too monochromatic to be apt. Flowering trees and tropical plants are everywhere. And moving to northern Thailand has only increased my delight. It even smells better up here.
Half of the trees are dotted with orange, white or pink, raining petals on pedestrians. Walking down the street, the scent of one flamboyant tropical flower after another ambushes your senses, light and ephemeral.
Even when surrounded by city pavement, the Thais go out of their way to fill their lives with plants. Hanging, potted, and nurtured, they fill every bare space unreachable by nature alone.
And, in no way lacking for water, the plants are ruthless in their growth. Vines spiral and climb. Leaves reach out, soaking up life-giving sun. Water lilies awake to greet the sun. Banana leaves tower over fences, stretching their massive leafy limbs. Morning glories embroider themselves over heaps of garbage, a living camouflage.
In a tropical climate, variety and creativity have no bounds. Flowers bigger than my outstretched hand and as delicate as tissue paper abound. Magenta, yellow, and ruby as bright as if they were dyed, synthetic. Others, more solid, erupt in orange and scarlet, announcing their presence. The versatility, colors and complexities nature creates constantly amaze me.