During the Loy Krathong festival, thousands of people line the river in Bangkok to give thanks. They light candles and set them adrift on beds of flowers. And they buy small bags of writhing eels and catfish from this woman and let them free in the water. Her sign reminds you to "Do Merit, Let Free These." Save an eel. Continue life. The people we've met in Thailand have been impossibly kind. To Jacob (who lives in Iraq) and me (I live in Brooklyn, usually), this has been startling. But we're beginning to realize no one wants anything from us. They're just being nice. So like the little eels and other prickly forms of These, I feel Let Free.