Posts tagged ‘ayutthaya’

Ayutthaya and Lopburi

I met my Thai friend in the evening. Along came an Australian teacher i met at my guest house whose presence made the evening a bit lighter. Peter, the Australian was much better than me at communicating. He had only arrived in Thailand one day after me but his Thai vocabulary was substantially greater than mine (mine consists of two words: Swadikha hello & Kapkunkha thank you)  … i know, i’m a lazy student..

I also ended up changing guest houses. When i arrived in Ayutthaya i had plans to stay in one guest house on the central island, but on my way there an owner of another house pleaded with me to stay in his. I refused… up until he said “damn lonely planet”.. and that is when i felt sorry enough for him to look at the room…. I ended up taking it without doing a thorough examination. Later that night i regreted my choice. It was so filthy and i left early the next morning. But i didn’t have the courage to tell this man my reason, all i said was that i had friends in the other place. I wonder why i felt so insecure telling him? But writing this reminds me that i should search for his hostel online so that i could leave an anonymous review. I’m slimy like that.

What did i see in Ayutthaya? Many temples. Here a temple is called a ‘wat’. For some reason, i have a harder time remembering Thai terminology than i did Indian ones. To be honest, seeing wats does not make me feel much anything. Usually the inside of a wat looks like this: a big Buddha in the middle covered in gold, surrounded by smaller golden Buddhas and other figures. It kind of bores me. Sometimes i am able to appreciate the aesthetics and architecture, but stronger is the feeling of irony (the same that i have when i visit Catholic establishments) … that a house of worship for a faith that preaches simplicity should be adorned so lavishly. Us humans really do love shiny things…

But it’s hard to feel negative thoughts when someone, who feels as much pride and love for these temples as my Thai friend does, shows them to you. To witness his zeal and awe is beauty in a way, and there is almost nothing i seek more than sincerity. Sandipap’s desire to show and tell me about the wats is dear to me depsite my inability to see much beauty in the wats themselves.

I took the train to Lopburi at noon. It is only about an hour away from Ayutthaya. Lopburi is a small town famous for its resident monkey (or as my guidebook calls them, the resident delinquets). These Long-tailed Macaque monkeys are everywhere, and because they’ve lost their fear of humans.. they act just like the street dogs by not paying passing humans any attention. The adolescent monkeys are very energetic and tend to jump on humans. On several occasions, i had these adolescents on my head. They have a very gentle grip. Although they do scratch and bite if provoked (Asya had to get rabies shots last year when one of them bit her). It was SO sad when my camera battery died, depriving me the opportunity to photograph the babies (just born) clinging to their mothers and the females in estras with swollen vaginas. The sex organs of these monkeys are HUGE in comparison to their bodies. The testes are bigger than a large size chicken egg, and the vulva of the females looks big enough to fit my fist. Anyway.. :)

I really enjoyed Lopburi. At night there was a market full of veders selling cooked food, sweets, vegetables, clothes…

In the morning i was depressing over the fact that i couldn’t find food to eat. I have a note in my notebook saying (in Thai) that i’m a vegetarian and i show it to street venders. Nearly every vender i had brushed me away saying they had no food for me. Hungry and hot, i started to buy foods i wouldn’t usually eat – some pickled vegetable, rice with coconut milk, sweets… everything that i disposed of not long after i bought it. I was becoming so fed up with this food “situation” that i imagined stomping my feet and kicking something (i know, childish! but it was only in my imagination!) And then i saw him…

He was sitting on the ground trying to open an almost empty smothie cup. He didn’t succeed.

And with him my mood went up and up and up and i really enjoyed Lopburi. My favorite was this palace…

ps. Thank you for the comments .. <3


August 28, 2008 at 4:50 pm 4 comments

moral, selfish dilemma

Thai folk can be exceptionally helpful. This evening i lost my way in Ayutthaya and a stranger picked me up in his car and showed me around the temples, all the while emitting delight at (as he called it) taking care of me. I smiled a lot in response to his questions… but i didn’t feel good. He enjoyed this opportunity to practice his English, but the language barrier brought me too much fatigue to feel that this ‘cultural exchange’ was worth it. Initially i had wanted to pay him to drive me to the night market because i was lost and there were no cabs, but when i saw how much he wanted to show me around i couldn’t refuse him. At the market he ordered me a vegetarian dish and pineapple shake and insisted on paying. I wanted to refuse, and i wanted to be alone, but i didn’t want to offend. Then he told me he wanted to show me around tomorrow and because i couldn’t express myself in a way he could understand, i ended up promising to call him in the afternoon. Then he asked if i had a phone and i just couldn’t lie… why couldn’t i? who the hell knows. So he will call me tomorrow (he even wanted to call me in the morning to show where he works at the police station) and i don’t know what to do… As an anthropologist i should be thrilled at this opportunity to witness contemporary Thai life firsthand, but knowing that i’ll understand almost nothing about his work, his coleages, his routine, his thoughts, i don’t want to bother.

.. i think i complain to much and need to go to sleep.


also. every time i see babies i get that protective affectionate feeling……  you know what this means…



.. time to find work in an orphanage!

August 25, 2008 at 9:21 pm 5 comments

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