Thursday, July 14, 2005

I am getting charged an exhorbitant 1 bhat/minute!! (its the equivalent of 2.5 cents). Where to start? I don't have any pictures to post (the usual reason-- check back here next month). Its CRAZY in bangkok-- more flip flops than Flip Flop and more bustle than Manhattan, walking down the street is an immersion in the culture... sidewalks literally filled with every sort of service imaginable, from camp-style chefs (the food is so good! I could write pages just on what I have eaten), to fresh fruit (forbidden by my doctor, and Contessa, you can smell the durian a block away over the piss, the exhaust and the smoke), to drinks in plastic baggies, to soup in plastic baggies (I had a midnight snack of curry/coconut/chicken sausage soup last night and I was too stupid not to eat it there on the sidewalk, where the proprietess had condiments, bowls and a table set up, so I had to slurp it out of the bag in my room-- ugly but good), tailors with antique, footpowered machines, cobblers, more coopers than Williamsburg, sellers of lottery tickets, sellers of mass-produced china-town junk. China Town! makes SF's Chinatown look like a walkdown Mainstreet America, Disneyland-style. Imagine a warren! a labyrinth! sky blocked by awnings, streets about nine feet wide, food vendors, street kitchens (complete with street dish washers) crowd with goods, skooters shoving their way through the melee with huge loads of eggs, boxes, fruit, etc, and not a single voice raised, men with enourmous stacks of boxes on dollies. I got disoriented almost immed. but Nikki plowed on, consulting her map occasionally. the streets weren'tlaid out in a grid at all, they just meandered around, one looking exactly like the next.

did I mention the lightning when we arrived at midnight?

bangkook seems to be hewn from the jungle, and give it half a chance and it starts to come back-- seems like every traffic island is a garden, orchids are tacked on the trees that line the boulevards, and H, there are shrines everywhere!

and the guesthouse! has all the amenities of home. its amazing. food! cold showers! (to hot for a hot one) and gardens!

more later!

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