Monday, March 12, 2012

OK, OK... I'm Back (Sort Of)

Lovers walking along the beach at sunset in Chantaburi

After a couple of slightly overscheduled weeks around the provinces I’ve found myself back near the Big Mango, in Nonthaburi. The air seemed a bit better when I bounced through Bangkok again than when I left to head South a couple of weeks back, but that may just be the Pollyanna in me, trying to see the bright side, and despite the cynicism of some there are many bright sides if you look for them.

This trip my health has been more or less problem-free - knock on wood - and while I’ve been getting much less sleep than usual the only complaint I have is that it’s been hotter than I’d prefer, and that in and of itself isn’t a legitimate complaint, anyway; it’s Thailand, heading into their Summer, so what could I expect? One torrential burst of rain down South a few days ago, but otherwise just hot weather.

Most of you already know it’s the everyday experiences that I enjoy the most, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have witnessed and recorded dozens of them again this trip; fodder for future posts when time allows me the luxury of going through the 75+ pages of notes and well over 3,000 images I’ve taken to jog my grey matter when its time to share the stories - like two today of the young couple walking along the beach in Chantaburi. They were obviously in love, and that's always nice to see, I think.

I keep reminding myself that I’m far behind with the regular number of posts, but it’s difficult to sit and write while life in Thailand goes on for everyone else outside my window; I want to be immersed in it as much as I can, while I can. Honestly I could do without the haze and raucous noise of the streets of Bangkok, but the opportunity of interacting with people selling things along the uneven sidewalks running next to them is just too powerful a force to keep me indoors. Besides, there are still so many places to see and things to do here; my “to do” list is still a foot long.

I’ve caught up with a number of friends again this trip, and re-visited some places favored in the past - although some have closed or moved, such as the foot massage place I’d visited for at least eight years, now with a new name and a new owner. That one was difficult to let go of, but worse still was the guy who eight years ago had done the best foot massage I’d ever had and subsequently went on to become a good friend. He’s now in Germany with his partner of a few years, doing the beautician work that had long been his dream. I’m happy for him, but I miss his laugh and company.

I’m currently in the Northern suburb of Nonthaburi for a few days, again venturing into a new area. I had no idea what to expect here, but I’ve again been a bit of an odd duck to the farang/Thai ratio and have enjoyed being in the decided minority. I’ve had that happen in Amphawa, Phitsanulok, Chantaburi and other spots. I like to be far enough from the farang areas that most signs you see in English are for Pepsi, Coke and a precious few other things - although this area has "The Mall", and that's a seven-floor monstrosity with all of the expected Western trappings. 

I'm thankful I could spend a handful of days this trip in an area where I didn’t see a single 7-Eleven, and that takes some doing  here if you're anywhere with a population of more than 500 people... but it’s the Thailand I’ve come to love.

Lots of new stories to share. Thanks for being patient while I took the break.

The same couple at sunset


Anonymous said...

Good to hear you are back.

Anonymous said...

Just cant wait for your stories.

I envy you a bit that you can put your adventures into stories.

Planning to do the same every trip but ending up postponing "making-my-first-notes" until I get home again :-]

Thanks 4 sharing


Was Once said...

Did you see the flood levels?

khunbaobao said...

Thanks, everyone. I'm still in Thailand but I'll do what I can to post until I'm home.

Re: the flooding - I saw plenty of sand bags still tucked away on site but more or less out of sight. It seems that visible evidence (save a few water lines on walls here and there)has more or less been cleared. I wasn't in any area that had really been hard hit, though.