Everything went a bit too well till now, so I guess it was about time for a minor incident. Long story short, I found myself at the Bangkok airport yesterday around noon, without my credit card. After a few minutes of panic – because of course my phone would not work – everything was solved.
In moments like these, I at first feel helpless and vulnerable; but soon I am overwhelmed by how much the people around me care and are reactive in helping me. Obviously not referring to the thai police or the airport agents who were perfectly useless; but to my Loves back home who did everything they could to make me feel better. I did not have time to feel lonely, and that made me even more emotional.
So my first Thai steps were a bit chaotic, big deal. I arrived in my hostel, welcomed by a solid and warm team; a cozy bed and a comforting cappuccino. I wasted quite some time and energy at the airport, so my discovery of Bangkok started later than expected. It was getting dark when I got my first bite of sticky rice. Walking up the main street, observing people’s flow, I realized I was standing in the middle of the night market in the building. Soon the doors that were closed opened to classy dancing bars where inviting ladies were showing their dancing skills. You know what I mean. Interesting introduction to the Kingdom of Thailand.
I woke up early today, as I wanted to enjoy the city before it gets too hot. My camera has given up, I cannot make it work anymore. Striking against humidity, she allows me to take one picture a day. Today was a portrait of a lizard, chilling in the pond in Lumpini park. It is a blurry shot, and that is all I have. The camera of my Japanese phone will have to do until i can fix Moody (The camera has a name. I hope it will help in the reconciliation process)
Lumpini is a green oasis, breaking you free from a very busy and noisy city. I am somehow less confused than in Hanoi, for Bangkok seems to be better organized. Red traffic light is still not a sure value, but walking on streets is less of a sport in here than it was over there. It is much bigger tho, less cozy. Good news for me is I do not really have to get used to it, for I am already leaving tomorrow. Even if I grew up in a city environnement, I always have a hard time feeling at home in concrete jungles. I do not see the convenience it offers as comfort; I experience it as being a form of control.
From one of the many Lumpini benches, I enjoyed the sun rising to its zenith. Enjoying my vietnamese read, I did not mind the school kids taking a break from their gym class and playing around me. Strolling in the park, I exchanged looks and smiles with Tai Chi students, cyclists, joggers, workers… Balancing on the swing in the playground, I got lost in my thoughts.
Thailand marks the last stop of my solo trip, and I really did not see it coming. As much as I try to be mindful, I am sometimes caught up into reality. I havent managed yet to kill my guilt about this all trip, it keeps coming back each time I start up in a new land. It always vanishes when I feel at ease, but my first reaction to a new place is »what the hell are you doing? What are you trying to prove to yourself? Just go home already ». And then I find my favorite coffee spot, my favorite local snack, I create new habits, and I remember how thrilling it is to be where I stand. In my skin. In my shoes. Wherever we are walking.
So i found the snack : it is a king of crispy crepe, and I added some peanut butter to it – just because I am that Dutch. I have been asked 4 times today only if I was German or Dutch. I guess the shorts/sandals/backpack look killed the French in me. That is oke, I still swear in French when I am upset. And I am craving camembert. I did not find the coffee place yet, but I had a perfect mango smoothie – fits better with the weather. As for the habits, I leave that for the place I am going to tomorrow. I hope to find a yoga studio, and I expect some great hiking trails.
I walked from Lumpini to Chinatown, and then to Banglamphu market – paradise for backpackers. The concentration of western faces speaks for itself. On my way back, I stopped by a kind of temple where a tuk tuk driver offered to take me on a tour for 20 bahts. Thats 50 cts. Thats nothing. He took me to Happy Buddha, Big Buddha and then back to the subway station. He walked with me the all time, showing me they way and was very friendly. When I was about to pay him, he refused and simply wished me the best time in Thailand. This man reconciled me with the Kingdom. And all I have is a picture of his back.
I do not carry a lot with me, so almost all I have in my backpack is precious to me. I do have that extra special item: a Minie Mouse plastic pouch where I keep a few letters – some I received during the trip, some I got as the best gift when I left from Schiphol. With every plane I take, I have sweet words from my best friends. With every take off, I am back in their loving arms with their letters full of support, love and laugh. In the envelop »Hanoi to Bangkok » I found this saying : Everything will be ok in the end. If it is not ok, it is not the end.
I cannot get it out of my mind. This is just so accurate. A very simple quote, which dried my rage tears back at the airport, and which draws a smile on my face as I was swinging in Lumpini. I am never alone, and when I start feeling lonely I immediatly feel loved again. It does not always make up for everything, but 99% of the time it does. And nothing in life is meant to be perfect; it is in the progress that everything happens.
I am small, in this world I am visiting. I feel small and humble, but also strong and happy. It is all about balance. Being on the edge, without falling.