Going West from Bangkok

So after the market on the railway line, and around the most important thing I did in Thailand there were these “other” bits, that I want to show you before I wrench your hearts with the most important thing I’ve done in terms of being an Australian for a long long while. But more about that later.

I’ve not yet been to a so-called floating market that bore any resemblance whatsoever to the advertised images, so as you may see, along with my highly camouflaged companion I was suspicious. I was right. The lengthy, smelly (the fumes of outboard motors is a theme of this post), uncomfortable, knee breaking journey that went no-where, was less than fabulous, and apart from a great view of a temple and Buddha, was not resembling the advertising materials.

Gorgeous bougainvillea. Then we were off-loaded, captive at the retail opportunity. Oh the orchid was from the previous retail opportunity which was a “coconut farm” but was actually a roadside tourist merchandise shop with a dude grinding out the inside of a coconut, for those lucky enough to climb over the Russian tourists to see him. Among other irresistible trinkets they were selling boxes of pinned local scorpions and spiders, I restrained myself, purely for Australian Customs sake of course.

Although I must confess that the above fried banana, and the below coconut pancakes were exceptional and filled a gap until we reached the delicious lunch (not pictured, although I did photograph the urinals as they were unique, but discretion prevents.) There is a huge amount of plastic wrap, and there are plastic bags with every purchase even bottled water…

There were other very special activities before we reached our “floating” hotel, which seemed fine but closer inspection identified limitations, but less said about those the better. It was picturesque and note should be taken of the mountains. At this point we were about 40km from the border with Myanmar and very close to the location of WWII’s infamous Thai – Burma Railway.

Gorgeous river, pity we were pulled behind another feral outboard motor.

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This morning we awoke to picturesque steam rising off the river. But the sadness of the region, the loss of life, cruelty and inhumanity had wrecked it’s damage on my soul during the night and I was maudlin. Perhaps the river was trying to shroud the world, to embalm my soul with light and the water of life.

Winks and sloppy kisses from two lovely Asian elephants did help revive me, but not my faith in humanity or our hope for a future of peace.

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Hasn’t she got beautiful long lashes? Oh the wooden frame is for those wanting to ride, I’ve done that before and was happier hiding underneath talking to the elephants while they were loaded up with their charges.

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Author: Wendy's Out of Station

I write as a way of processing and reflecting on experience, and as a way of sharing that experience. When I travel I used to write email journals back to friends, family, anyone who’d read and risk immersing themselves in my reality for a while: writing for them was a way of writing for me. Borrowing from Graham Greene in a flip of Travels with my Aunt, I imagined writing letters to my nieces, as their travelling aunt. Crafting the sentences became a way of extruding the experience, giving it birth, drawing its meaning from my soul, nurturing it into something tangible with a life of its own. The aim of my blog is to open the world to my thought-children, to let them out of the safety of my friends and family and let them experience the world. And in the process I get the honour of taking a larger group with me when I’m wandering around India and beyond, or just reflecting on parallel truths, thinking thoughts that take me to new places new beginnings. Please journey with me

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