Edit Blog Post
Published: September 28th 2012
Some of you might have noticed that I'd hardly updated this blog the past two months, and the reason is because I've been mostly just based in Bangkok taking Thai classes, exploring the city, and not moving around to the provinces that much. I thought I'd do a consolidated update towards the end of my time here, which has now almost arrived, so here it is.
Two months here in the Big Mango have flown by. Apart from my time during college in the US, this was actually the first time I'd stayed for a relatively extended period overseas in a single city outside of my home country Singapore, and I have to say Bangkok certainly didn't disappoint. As I leave with a somewhat heavy heart, (rather compelled to since my Thai visa is expiring!), I'm comforted by the thoughts of the new experiences I will get in other places as I move on, and also the fact that in any case, once my visa "cycle" is reset (only 90 days stay every 180 days permitted on tourist pass), I'll soon be able to return again. I've much Thai yet to learn after all!
How does one start describing
Also known as the Marble Temple. Beautiful.
Bangkok? Most people would already have some pre-conceived notions or impressions about the city, so and many ways, perhaps most or even all of these would be true to some extent, simply because the experience of the city is so varied, even complex. I'll leave the details of my thoughts to the captions in the accompanying photographs, which I hope provides some broad sketches of my experience here. What has seemed apparent to me though from my interaction with both the locals and expatriates here is that, on the balance, the crazy traffic, monsoon storms, and occasional red-yellow protests notwithstanding, most people seem to be quite, if not very, happy living here...
So where do I go from here? Well, I have about another week to run on my visa, so I intend to start making my way towards Laos, passing first through the Northeastern region of Thailand known as Isaan. This is supposed to be the heartland of the country, where much of the agriculture and farming is done. After two months of relative stasis in a single city, I will probably have to get back to my previous routine of being on the go every couple of
Suan Pakkad Palace Museum
Along one of the elevated walkways that connects the traditional Thai houses on the grounds.
days, as I move from city to city. The good (?) news for you will be more frequent blog updates from me again, like before, as I arrive at and depart new destinations, so wait for it!
Before I sign off this post I guess I would just like to mention some very sad news that I'd just heard. A friend of mine has just passed away after a seven-month battle with colorectal cancer. She was my age, and was married with two very young boys. I hadn't met her in a while, and wasn't even aware she was battling cancer, so the news was quite shocking. And I can't say we were particularly close, but I think I knew her well enough to be able to describe her character with some confidence. She was certainly a very pleasant person, and her passing at such a young age is a tragedy, almost senseless...But perhaps those who had known and were touched by her can draw some humility and perspective from this reminder of the fragility of life...
Shufen: Thoughts with your family, and hope you are in a better place.
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