It is day 10 in Thailand–some moments I feel like I’ve been here for a month, other times it seems like only a few days have passed. Time stretch is not limited to hallucinogenic drugs, it seems. Still, though I’ve imbibed nothing unhealthy (except for smoggy air), I suppose I am indeed on a trip.
A briefish update: so far, I’ve been in Bangkok (chaotic metropolis), Ayutthaya (ruined ancient capital), Lopburi (town of monks and monkeys), and Sukhothai (smallish cultural mecca), and I’m writing this post on a bus to Chiang Mai. On that note, so far I’ve traveled on grim but scenic 3rd class trains, crowded short hop “buses” and cushy long haul buses, gleaming futuristic sky trains and subways, and–of course–in the back of , converted truck cabs, and a couple moped taxis. The gauntlet of planes, trains, and automobiles.
Regrettably, I’m behind on blogging, though I make time to write every day. It’s a precarious balance—taking time to write about the wild things you’re doing and doing enough wild things to write about. I’m also currently traveling with a new friend from South Africa; he’s only here for a month and quite blitzy in personality besides—hell, the dude walks at a speed twice his height. I’m finding that the short-timers are fun to travel with—always wanting to go and see and do and engage—but I will likely need to go solo once I find a place where I’d like to chill and deeply explore.
And that place is sounding like Chiang Mai, so-called bohemian capital of Northern Thailand. There I will stay with a friend for the [sarcasm] inhospitable cost [end sarcasm] of slightly above $30 USD per week. I am grateful for this—money flows quickly when you don’t have a source of income (yet).
More to the point: I’m halfway through writing part one of what will likely be a three part series on Bangkok. I will delegate most of the colorful stories and thoughts to the longer journal entries (by the way, you can sort posts here by category if you’d like), but here’s a quick taste:
I’ve overtaxed my sensory capacity and wallet in Bangkok: fought back jet lag by touring the tourist zoo on Khao San Road and exploring the equally chaotic Chatuchak Weekend Market; went to the protest to rub up against strangers; and gorged the five senses on spicy Thai food carts—and one chromed out Middle Eastern meal washed down with Turkish coffee and mint hookah—and got loose in laser-lit megaclubs filled with beautiful cosmopolitan Thais. I’ve strolled and yoga’d amidst crumbling ruins and temple’d gold Buddhas in Ayutthaya. I’ve played charades with orange-robed monks at mountainside monasteries and raced a horde of sovereign monkeys in Lopburi. I’ve bicycled and napped in a park of towering temples and chedis and stone Buddhas, and sampled the Eastern world’s funky cuisine—squid skewers, dim sum, banana leafed coconut treats, curries, fish fried whole without a single scale missing, and of course, buttered silk worms (they are quite good..and the cart vendor ate one first)—in Sukhothai.
That’s all for now—I bid you all a smiling adieu…