During our final evening at the Anantara Resort about 55 miles north of Chiang Rai,Â Thailand, on March 25 last year, on a hilltop overlooking the Mekong River and beyond it the countries of Laos and Myanmar in the area known as the fabled Golden Triangle, Susan and I were among our group of travelers who participated in a traditional ceremony in which a village elder ties a simple piece of string — called sai sin — around your right wrist, and offers with it blessings of good luck and good health and safe travels.
We were told to wear the strings for a minimum of three days. I kept mine on a wee bit longer: 331. There it is pictured at right, wearing thin, but still intact on December 23, 2011.
I’d been hoping the string would make it a full year, but it broke Saturday evening. Arriving home from the Watts Happening Ride I peeled off my right bike glove and the string came with it.
There was a pang of regret that its journey with me had finally come to an end, and in the two days since I’ve found myself reaching for it as I had done so many timesÂ to adjust it on my arm, only to be remember too late that it’s gone.
But there’s relief that I avoided the bigger pang that would’ve come had I discovered it gone after having broken and slipped off unnoticed somewhere out there.
Because I’m a sentimental sap I can’t just throw it in the trash, and considered keeping it for the next time I’m near enough to the ocean or the LA River to toss it in. But I’m not that sentimental a sap, so instead I burned it in a simple backyard ceremony involving a couple matches and an ashtray.
Goodbye, sai sin.