today I get up at noon. sun is shining. i slept for about 12 hours. blame it on the cosy bed. also on the night flight. on the myriad of impressions of the previous day.
be that as it may, I get up and eat the leftover bread I still have with me from austria. the reason i mention this is because I get asked where I got it from and, to be honest, because it seems clear that a dark whole wheat bread with grains and stuff like this is nowhere to be found in this city. I also get some hot cacao with cocos milk from a stand nearby. so that’s my first breakfast in bangkok, cacao and dry bread. i can see some people writing their diary. one guy is drawing portraits of backpackers sitting in the open-air, musically ornamented lounge. and he is doing a great job, indeed.
I decide to go to wat phra kaew and wat pho. the first I just visit shortly and leave. too many tourists, too much entry fee for my taste, too many wats around with free admission. the second i do go inside and walk around until it gets dark.
the lying buddha statue is about 50m long and covered with shining gold, like so many here in thailand.
after wandering around and taking photos i go to the traditional thai massage school and let myself in for a treatment. after having been cracked fingers, spine and neck (well, almost) i feel reborn. refreshed also by a cup of freezing water I take my leave.
I am really hungry by now. I just ate some papaya wrapped in plastic in the afternoon. thence, i go to the nearest pier which happens to be tha tien. it so happens that this is a point where a ferry (3B) crosses the chao phraya river. i guess I can have a closer look at wat arun AND find something to eat over there, right?
when i get to the other side, i notice the quietude of bangkok noi (old bangkok) as compared to the ko ratanakosin with its grand palace and other sights and tourist attractions. wat arun is closed already since 6 p.m.
i can hear monks chanting in a great hall at the far end of the area. i go there …
after the wat arun walk i go to the pier but there seem to be no more ferries crossing today. I ask a mother with child where to eat meat-less food. practice some thai, yes indeed. she points to this and that direction, says left,no,right, and we laugh together. it’s so refreshing! i check out the narrow and dark streets of this district and eventually i find some street vendor. i choose it cuz I see some local people eating there. i am lucky – one of them speaks some english, too. i get kwaytiaw vietnam to eat, i.e. a vegetarian soup with rice noodles, at least i think so.
i continue walking. it starts to rain heavily. i find shelter under a roof. some local residents are also there. instantly, the fact that I do not speak their language serves as a factor contributing to my feeling isolated. not knowing their code, I am put on single mode. mindfulness comes to my rescue. i resort to breathing for a while. i watch the rain. smile when I am looked at. i feel a bit lonely as the only farang and accordingly, i take out the lonely planet i got from yim at the ‘flapping duck’ guesthouse. i skip it through. find the lumpini park in the map and decide i want to go there tomorrow. and that is exactly where I am right now, writing this.
cuz as it goes, tomorrow has become today.
to finish yesterday’s story. the night has settled and i find myself at a night market. i eat something and continue walking. oh my god, really, today is a walkabout day. surely more than 10km. and that’s bangkok concrete, not teichalm forest, dammit. so in the end i take advantage of a tuk-tuk man giving me a ride to phra arthit. walking in the rain, i stop by at khao san and eat some padthai (‘mai gin nuasad’=i don’t eat meat). my third dinner since dawn. my body reeks of sweat, my bloodstream glutamatised. and i am amazed by the junk food phenomenon… no matter how much i eat, i am still hungry.
I made about 70 photos today. some of them you can see here.