03 March 2010

Beautiful Bangkok

I realise now, nearly three months later, that I have barely documented our week in Thailand. I still have a confusing New Year's Eve to discuss with you.

But for now, I deliver an entirely impressionistic document of our days in Bangkok; unlike most of this blog, words are few, and photos are abundant.

At an out-of-place Western-style cafe, one early morning, a fuzzy, adorable, undeniably Asian caterpillar seemed out-of-place himself, on my saucer. He reached, unthinking surely, toward me.

The pink ones are apparently a Chinese delicacy-- fermented black eggs.

Quiet things in the old city:

Old street signs, long obivated by new green-and-white metal numbers, but never taken down.

Stuff in Bangkok is often much, much larger than needed. Enormous pylons hold up insignificant bridges, even billboards are held by huge concrete pillars. But this enormous pylon was being used well. The charm of this plant shop is splendid. We cursed living in a country with such painful quarantine measures.

Chillies drying on the street, and if you look closely, a familiar pair of pale legs in the background.

Street musician playing a wooden, perhaps bamboo, sort of pan-flute.

A canal; I love cities with rivers through them, with canals, with bridges and boats.

Tuk-tuks actually move much slower than this picture, full of movement, would seem to portray.

Best photo store in the universe.

A colourful, brilliant, earthy spirit house.

There are few traffic lights in Bangkok, and many multi-lane roundabouts. Two police officers were conducting this entire traffic jam, communicating with walkie-talkies.

Thai-Muslim restaurant, Roti-Mataba. Soft, crispy, slightly sweet, chewy, starchy rotis. We could not get enough.

Lanterns, piled four feet high, at a waterside park. Evidence of a festival in the making.

Bridges at night, in a beautiful city.

Of the original 14 forts protecting Bangkok only two survive: Fort Phra Sumen and Fort Mahakan. Phra Sumen is white, hexagonal, ancient, built between 1782-1809. Next to it, a small park, where we happened upon a festival later that night.

Soon, very soon, an account of the River Kwai, and of Craig's 29th birthday, celebrated first on a bus, and then in Bangkok.