I hopped on the skytrain at Victory Monument in Bangkok sporting my “Tintin in Vietnam” shirt and a camera holstered around the neck and was quickly greeted with an old expat standing next to me who said out loud to no one in particular, “there are so many F*(&&ing tourists in town right now”. This was the same expat who then pushed out a rather large chubby boy when a seat opened up as both were heading towards one of the empty seats. The young kid started crying and ran to his mother yelling “that mean man pushed me out of the way”. A few minutes later the boy came back and stood in front of the man in a stare down. The man just looked at him with no expression on his face.
We then were treated to loud burps from the expat who didn’t seem to give much regard for anyone around him. We all gave him a wide berth as we exited the skytrain.
Now we are in our village about 2 hours east of Bangkok; one thing became quickly apparent upon arriving at our house – there is a breach in our water system somewhere as the water from our all our facets is muddy brownish yellow as it leaves the spigot. And we have spotted some frogs and a snail or two living in our bathroom water supply. So, nothing like taking a dirty shower in brown water!
Sometimes while we are here we discover new plants we have not seen before – one such vine is the Artabotrys Siamensis or Ylang Ylang Vine. It puts out beautiful yellow almost rubber like flower petals that have absolutely no smell during the day but at night it reveals one of the most sweet appealing scents imaginable. Then there is the ‘garlic vine’ growing nearby – crushing the leaves puts out a scent exactly like crushed garlic. One morning it went from all leaves to being covered in purple white flowers which also smell like garlic!
And this this evening we sat around watching sticky rice cook inside bamboo sticks on hot coals across from the chicken coop. The night was clear and the stars were vividly bright. It is winter but this year is quite warm compared to some other years in this part of Thailand where we actually had to wear jackets at this time of night.