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February 18, 2008 - Bangkok, Thailand

Written by GingerBlossom Published in
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FL.P. describes the Christian Guesthouse, where I'm staying, as "Puritanical austerity". I describe it as an oasis of calm in the midst of chaos. Between visits, I remember all of the things that I like about Bangkok, and forget the things that I don't like. I'm definitely feeling the effects now of the things that I don't like - the heat and humidity, and the smog. At the end of the day in a city, almost any city, if it's good sized, I end up with a raging headache from breathing the fumes at street level. I won't call this a raging headache, just a dull thump, but I guess it was worth it.

Breakfast is included in the price of the room here at the CG, (which, by the way, smells like a bar of soap, and is just as clean). I've been feeling a little peckish the last few days, like I haven't been eating enough, so at the breakfast table this morning, there was a bowl of honest to goodness peanut butter, first I've seen since I left home, with a spoon in it, that just sort of begged "have at it", so I did. Needless to say, I didn't feel hungry again until well after 4 pm, but what a shame - I had ended up in the markets at China Town, and Little India, both around lunch time, and it was row after row of glorious street grunt food, and me too full to try it.

I took the boat to get to China Town, and ended up first at the flower market, not as fragrant as one would expect because of the smell coming up from the canal, but what an amazing sight. This is where the flowers are bought for the Wats, or Buddhist temples, and the bouquets of lotus blossom buds had buds the size of large grapefruit, wrapped in lotus leaves. I also ended up going through the veg. and fruit market, saw stuff that I don't have a clue what I was looking at. I did buy some rambutans, tho, this was the fruit that the macaque monkeys up in Ubud liked better than bananas, so I want to see why. I think that they're similar to liches.

What I had gone to the market for, by Little India, was Thai textiles, but it was a disappointing showing, so I didn't buy anything. Well, disappointing as far as Thai textiles go, but the Indian textiles were amazing - shiny fabric, fake fur, glitter, sequins, one dress looked like the swan dress that Bjork wore, minus the head. I might still go out tonight to go to the Pat Pong night market, but I have doubts if I'll find anything there, either - the Hill Tribe textiles are best found up north in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai.

Tomorrow might be just a pilgrimage to Jim Thompson's house (his story is worth googling), and then an early night in, as I've got an early flight to catch on Wed. morning.