After spending the whole day in a bike visiting the city of Ayutthaya and hundreds of ruins, my body was aching, I was tired and my but… my but was sore as it had been some time since I rode a bike. So I made my way to the train station, first walking and then taking the boat to cross the river that makes Ayutthaya “the city island”. There I would have an hour from the last boat working until the arrival of my train. No problem. Then, 20 more minutes than expected, as the train got delayed. Ah, sure! Once I got in the train, it was sleeping time. For my surprise, when I opened the curtain of the bed there was somebody in MY bed!!!
The coach assistant asked for my ticket and had to look at it twice but yes, I was right and that was my bed. Finally, I ended up changing bed and taking the other bed that I guessed, it was assigned to the woman at mines. Sleeping time and I was woken up by my alarm, set up to ring 20 minutes earlier than the arrival so I give myself time to wake up, pick up my stuff, visit the toilet, wash my face and look like a person. But the train was never arriving anywhere…One hour, two… what’s going on? I asked to find out that we were delayed. And I didn’t care at all. I saw everybody’s face like: oh, crap! But men, I come from India, we are inside a super comfortable train with air conditioning and I can’t care less. Although I was a bit annoyed that for the price of the ticket, the train ended up with a 4 hours delay!
In front of me, I had a French chef working in New York and chatting with me the whole time. He had very different views of the world from me…Strange ones and he offered me to make money next year cutting Marijuana in some mountain in EEUU. I could get up to making $11000 in two months. Not my style, to be honest. I’d rather stay poor and share my room with 12 more people and take my chances and travel shorter. Besides, who said I want to keep travelling forever? At some point I actually would like to come back to a job and a routine and besides, I love my job! I don’t want to be cutting marijuana or doing something else (hopefully more legal than that) to keep travelling for years. This is a break in between stuff and another break will be taken whenever I feel like. Too many thoughts when I don’t even know what I want to do the next day!
So, I headed to my hostel walking, in my thoughts with myself and after checking in, although I was tired, I went for a walk around the city. I saw Temples and Temples and more Temples. I refused to pay any entrances. There were too many temples to visit as well those that were not free and I limited myself to watch them from the outside. To be honest, they all had the same stuff inside and I did not quite understand all the set up of that stuff. What I was looking for is the ‘Monk’s talk’. Apparently, this was happening at some temples and the Monks would talk to the foreigners to improve their English. It was the perfect chance to interact with them and learn and understand more of all their culture and religion. I asked in several places and at the end was pointed to the Temples were I had to pay to get in. I went there and asked: yes, I had to pay if I wanted to talk to the Monks. But nobody was ensuring me that there were Monks around at that moment to talk to. A waste of time and money, I thought. And walking a bit more, I don’t know how I ended up in some small temple where there was a Monk. I asked him about this Monk Talk and he immediately starting chatting me up. Great, this is it and he is talking to me! He lighted a cigarette, which I thought it was bizarre for a Monk but I continued to try to lead the conversation somewhere useful. There was no way I could, I was trying to ask him about his tasks or job, or about how long he had been there and things that were to indicate me something about this religion. But he only wanted to know about where I was from, football, my family… As he found out I didn’t have a family (as a husband and children of my own), a few minutes after, when some friends of him arrived to the place, he pointed to the guy, who was his student and said to me that he didn’t have family either and what were my thoughts of him. I had enough, this Monk!!! I don’t need people looking for a husband for me, a Monk that smokes and doesn’t really tell me anything. I was disappointed and after 10 minutes of Monk’s Talk I went back home.
At night, I met the Argentinean guys I met in Bangkok for some dinner and beers. I also met a Peruvian woman that happened to be living in Spain. All normal people, finally! We had dinner and beers in the Night Market. A bit too touristy but quite nice atmosphere and nice chats to share.
And in between all these, I have been wondering the following: I wonder if Love truly exists. If the couple as we know, the partnership formed between two people is meant to be forever and exclusive. The more cultures and customs I know, the more I see that although different from the occidental point of view, at the end there is always an amount of money or an agreement or understanding that the men won’t be exclusive to the woman. It is lying underneath all those different customs and the agreement is widespread and accepted. Just the opposite than the occidental culture, where we forced ourselves to chose a partner and be faithful and then most of the times things won’t work. Is it possible that you fall in love in such a way that you keep this? And if so, that surely cannot happen to everybody. Would that happen to me? My mind asks too many things lately… And I am not sure how to express them. I surely still believe in romance. And connection. I doubt about pretty much the rest.
Next day, I was on my own again and I decided to go shopping. I needed pants and a jumper/jacket or something for when it is a bit colder because I had nothing but a raincoat! In my search for pants I ended up in Chinatown. I had great fun looking at weird stuff around: Fishes and squids of all types; fresh, salted, dry… Nuts and fruits, dry fruits next to fried worms/caterpillars or whatever that was. Flowers, fishing nets, pork rinses. And also alive frogs and water snakes! All there scattered around the place… I only wanted a jumper, I thought, and look where I ended up! I had fun, and I ventured myself to look for some food around the place, which was an adventure itself because I didn’t want anything too weird (like the stuff above mentioned). But it was alright, you have it all here: coconut ice cream, meat skewers, noodles, pastries… And a fat huge sausage I got and felt cheated when I found out it was made of rice! It was nice and safe to eat, anyways. By the time I got the pants and the jumper, I had to celebrate it because it had been a difficult task. Especially the jumper, as everything around is too formal, too black or too Japanese/Korean type.
When I finished, I knew already I wanted to change and escape from Thailand, despite I had a very nice day I couldn’t wait anymore to see what was expecting me in Myanmar and at my arrival at the hostel I started making plans and booking things out. It was set; I would be heading to Mae Sot next day and taking it easy, sleeping there to then cross the border all fresh towards Myanmar! Hurray!! I felt truly excited and I liked that feeling in my stomach.
The day started raining and it seemed it was a great idea to make my way out of Chiang Mai. I woke up not too late but definitely not early to head to the bus station and get my ticket to Mae Sot. Maybe a mistake, as I might have purchased the last ticket and I would have to wait for the last bus of the day. Three hours of waiting for me, but it’s okay, I said I would take it easy this day and I would wait until next day to cross the border, right?
I have to make a special mention to the lady boy in the Seven Eleven this morning. She was just in front of me at the other side of the till and I just thought how normal some things are here and how integrated they are. Is it not great!??
And the arrival to Mae Sot happened when it was already dark, so no exploring, just chilling and getting ready to wake up early tomorrow and start Myanmar with lots of energies. By the way, the girl that served me dinner in Mae Sot was already having this cream they put on her faces as sun blocker and in a decorative way. I can’t wait to try it myself!!!
Bye bye, Thailand, it was nice to be here but it’s even nicer to leave you because I am hungry of adventures and local stories.