Now that we’ve made it to Malaysia, country 4/5, it’s time to reflect back on Thailand.
Overall, we enjoyed our time in a beautiful country. We saw many gilded temples and Buddhas, continued to eat amazing things, and had our first tropical beach vacation in the South. We also need to shout out to Fuse Chiraphisit and family; Fuse is one of our students at WS, and he and his family very kindly took us to dinner while we visited. Thanks!!
Since I’m getting tired of the typical “this is what we did” blog post, however, I’ll keep this one short and speak via words/images in a pseudo poem on our time Bangkok. The photos on FB should speak to the rest of our time in Thailand – a quick stop in Phetchaburi and a few days on a beach in Koh Lanta.
Steamy sidewalks push sunlight everywhere.
We break into the frigid AC of a 7-Eleven,
those ubiquitous pockets of temporary winter that dot the city.
We consult our map, buy water and ice cream, succumb again to the street heat.
We are lost in Chinatown, its twisting streets and tangy covered markets,
our map defenseless against Mandarin signs.
Few landmarks guide us, and we spit venomous sighs
at each other and the city.
Around a corner, we find the lost temple,
beautiful against the dropping sun, golden arms stretched to the sky.
We stroll around the Buddha, disturbing the faithful for our photo ops.
We leave quickly.
Next day, lost again –
this time among millions of cell phone covers,
fluorescent lights and neon colors, patterned over with eager hands,
reaching always for the next deal.
We wander with wide eyes through these malls,
monuments to a different god.
Ferried across the brown Chao Phayra River,
we lose ourselves in scientific oddities
in a dusty, quiet room at a bustling hospital.
We peer into glass bottles holding parts of limbs, cross-sections
of preserved bodies,
of fragmented selves
held captive for science’s sake.
Candy bars rest near jars of malformed babies,
strange tokens of unlived childhoods.
We are uncomfortable with this intimacy:
the body torn apart.
In between moments of loss, we seek sustenance,
greedily slurp down noodles,
soak our rotis with curry,
sip iced mochas between bites of grilled meat.
We always find space for one more bite.