I read a lot of words before I ever said them.


The new asphalt in front of our house is incredibly smooth. Two kids whiz by on bikes at 5:30 in the morning, when I wake up, on their way to the mosque. Stones get stuck on the track of the gate. I kick them out of the way. 

I still can’t say the word asphalt, pronouncing it “ashphalt.” I also say “haf-hazard” and to be perfectly honest, I discovered that there was no such word as misled with a long I (mice-uld) a few years ago, while listening to a podcast about people who mispronounce words. (!) I had been mispronouncing misled for my entire life, and still find it hard to believe it’s not pronounced the other way, as in, “to misle someone.” Our landlords tell us our neighbors are going to miss us. We can’t quite believe it, but the grandmother next door says that if she hears the noise of children, she feels happy. I’ve heard this several times in Thailand. When children are around; when you hear their noise, when you see them playing, it brings happiness. 

We’re only moving a few kilometers away. But this won’t be our street anymore, and that is a little bit sad.