Archive for January, 2012

You’re probably familiar with the phrase ‘”You’re not in Kansas anymore”. I read somewhere that nocturnal gecko’s can eat their weight in mosquito’s every night? They are welcome friends around here, cute too ! Daylight brings out the swallows and sparrow, they dip and skim or wash in the pool, it’s a lot fun to watch them ruffle their feathers and socialize. Both the natural world and the supernatural are on guard today with the advent of the Chinese New Year celebrations. Drum beats loud and faint fill the air. The cacophony of long strings of fireworks set to chase off wrathful spirits also has the dogs and birds spinning in circles, cats are no where to be seen. In the lead up to the auspicious  reemergence of the dragon after a twelve year absence local markets and hyper-markets alike are super busy. The nights are lively with people congregating around the festival lights and  special foods  are being cooked in the street by hawkers and commercialista’s alike.  Thailand is an equal  opportunity place where every holiday is embraced as a time to set off fireworks and throw a party. There’s never a dull moment in this frantic little country.

singing in the rain

Posted: January 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

The air is thick with warm mist after a few minutes of tropical rain fell from a passing cloud. I had to close up my laptop quickly and head for cover because of the sudden downpour out of a mostly clear  sky. I haven’t had a ‘Hawaiian shower’ since I was a kid so I decided to relive my childhood and stood in the rain and let it soak me down, glorious. Within minutes the cloud had passed leaving only the mist in it’s wake and the sun back on with full intensity. I wasn’t able to tell when the transition from being wet from the rain or the renewed streaming perspiration started, wet is wet. It’s a beautiful day, rain or shine.

We were talking about appreciating what we don’t have  opposed to what we would if we lived in the west. It started with a  comment about not wearing half the clothes we’d brought over with us when we came. The list continued to grow the more we discussed all the petty things we no longer find ‘necessary’. This epiphany was compounded by the fact that we are truly happy……despite possessing very little except a few pairs of flip flops and a change of clothes.  In the west we experience a high level of satisfaction…..because we are successful in the sense that we have the things that the advertisers deem necessary to  exist in  western society.  But being happy…..that concept is fleeting in the west……transitory and rare..Most people have to shop in order to alleviate their day to day frustrations…..that is not happy…you have to be happy in order to find true happiness…..only happiness will make you happy.

Our swimming pool is a nocturnal portal to a world of delight. The cooling water bakes right into my core after  hours of sticky hot humidity and alleviates the dogged over heated aspect of living where the temperature averages 90 degree’s. At night I especially enjoy the experience of floating weightless and looking up at the  sky. The feeling is what I imagine it would be like to exist between two worlds, it’s heavenly. You would think that the sky would be obscured by light pollution in such a setting as Bangkok, but not true. It’s a clearly visible ocean of stars, constellations and a very prominent Jupiter. Under a full moon the experience of having my body suspended in an anti gravity state is mind bending. Our Thai neighbors use the pool only after the sun goes down, they do not sunbath during the day, but they do bring their families down to the water at night. It’s very sweet to see people residing here engaging in such a traditional activity. It is a time to play, talk, have fun and socialize, all to the music of the night-birds.  In my imagination I see more about why water forms such an integral part of peoples daily lives and culture  here. A century and more ago people would have gathered by the riverside to swim and dance in the cool of the evening, just  as our swimming pool attracts people today.

the puddles won’t dry up

Posted: January 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

We’ve been having a bit of tropical rain at odds times during the day and night. The humidity has risen to the point that nothing evaporates,  towels stay damp and puddles won’t dry out. When it’s like this, a lazy muggy lethargy sets in and the world slows down. Days go by where clothing is discarded, movement is at a minimum. Going out is considered carefully,  pick your battles, adjudicate your efforts selectively. We’ve chosen to stay poolside and do a lot of swimming and otherwise get our work done. It’s hot and sticky here in BKK !

 

the bangkok dimension

Posted: January 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

We often talk about how time seems to take on a different character after you’ve lived here for a while.  Days speed by so fast that we don’t notice whole months have been consumed. Naturally I discount the long term boozers for whom time has no relativity. Some area’s of Bangkok are a maelstrom of  flotsam and castaways who have landed  on the shores of Planet Thailand after gravity and tide forsook their  lost souls  in the rest of the world. The Thai’s are a benevolent bunch and take in stray dogs as they would pick their teeth.

Back to living on Bangkok time…each of us has recognized the importance of keeping to a  schedule. Otherwise days turn into weeks and weeks to months without  notice. I have developed the habit of changing my daily routine frequently so as not to become a melted pat of butter gone to waste under the Bangkok sun. If you do move here, I suggest you have something to do with your time. If not you risk becoming one of the aimless punters who limp along like withered husks, dead from the neck up.

Some days go off with a bang, some with a whimper, others with an ‘Ahhhh’ and if you’re really lucky they’ll float by in a seamless continuity of blissful wallpaper. There’s a big orange moon rising over Bangkok tonight. In Canada it might be called a ‘harvest moon’ and pass entirely unnoticed. I’m not so blase over my environment that I can’t appreciate something so spectacular. From my perch on a comfortable chair high above the ground I sit with a sweet ice tea enhanced with tapioca bubbles swirling around in the milky crushed ice. I might be falling out of an old reality and entering a new state as part of the ever changing landscape. Don’t catch me if I seem to be falling. This is just what a life in free flight looks like. Freedom is nothing to worry about.