Published: July 14th 2011July 3rd 2011
15th century temple
One of 36,000 in Bangkok
July 3, 2010 Sasha
This morning we woke up at 7, went to the same street stall as dinner last night for breakfast (yogurt and granola and ice coffee) walked around some, and then got picked up at 8:45 for our bike tour! Again, our guide was great! The tour was 5 hours of biking and stopping for him to tell us about the history of everything we were seeing. We went through the back alley streets along the canals past homes made out of wood pillars nailed together. Some people didn't have complete walls to their house, but they had parakeets as pets hanging outside their door. It was election day which was actually perfect for us. About 70% of Thai actually vote (and I think only 25% of Americans vote so that's a lot) and about 30% of the 13 million people in Bangkok live outside of the city, and all businesses are closed so the streets were particularly non-trafficy. Everyone was at home, which we saw! Old men sat in doorways, seemingly growing into the ground, so old that trimming their beards seemed ludicrous because they were just another extension of their
We biked through local clothes markets, local food markets, along the highway, bridges, ferried across the river, along the canal sides... At one point we stopped at a local Wat (temple). It was from the mid 1500s and had been bombed by the allies (accidentally) in World War II. My mom asked him if we could get our fortune told (that's one of the things you can do at a temple.) It wasn't written in English though of course so he had to translate it. First you pray to Buddha, then you shake a cup of wooden sticks until one comes out. Then you read the number on the stick and find the fortune paper with the corresponding number. My fortune said that my love was far away (a few thousand miles I thought lol) and that I'm kind and think good thoughts and I shouldn't trust strangers. Probably good advice when traveling...I will be a little more cautious. Do I even know who the strangers in my life are though?
After biking we walked around quite a bit, shopping a bit, but I'm trying to leave the luggage space for Bali.
Not that either of us
were looking for a drink...but because of the elections imbibing alcohol was illegal starting 6pm the night before the elections until midnight afterward. Pennelope Choices, repercussions and consequences - evermore complicated than previously thought. Is free will an illusion or do we just learn abysmally slowly? In the Jim Thompson house the other day we saw a mouse house where in a beautifully designed teak house, children would let roam their pet mice in a maze. Sasha and I perhaps differently, were enchanted with the spectacle. Later as the monsoon rain descended upon us during our promenade in Limpini park, we saw a rather large prehistoric looking iguana consume the last of a black bird; its wings drooping and seemingly to fly within his mouth as he proceeded to swallow it whole - a metaphor, a sign from "above", a warning - I hope not! But, this chance encounter seemed rather "loaded." Power, powerlessness, and letting go seems to be a theme that haunts my steps. Here, manifested rather concretely as always, it is a question with whom do we identify? Do we have the choice? We do, right?
Things reverberate. References, correlations, between here and there, now and then, and the transformations that we incur by action or negligence. Or perhaps, stupidity. This indulgence of thought is the gristle of the road if you are lucky.
I hope Shaun, in his own time and way, will share his with us. “Shaun Goodfriend and the Goodfriend Girls” (like a do-whop band). The music was started long ago. Where will its melodies rift and fugue with divergent sounds and melodies? Fusing, I hope, down the line. This blog may vary in format, as it should. We, Sasha and I, are recognizing our boundaries, our separate paths, and identities, as should be. She is discovering her own voice filled with her own answers and muses - as fits a college girl out on her own. The beauty will be allowing them to converge and diverge respectfully and honestly. We are now both filled with our own disparate missions to fulfill and hopefully (not just literally as I slipped and slid on the watery pavement) but in all ways be there to offer each other a helping hand. We all face our own scary unknowns - being on the road,off the grid. Or in Shaun's case, off Facebook. We have the time and mental space to delve into the darkness and gain perspective. Hopefully for what can lie ahead. it is a purging. Some do it with liquid diets and fasting. We retreat to gather our forces (hopefully).