Narcissistic Neon Noodle Nirvana – Six Days in Bangkok

So Calcutta came and went in a flash. Mother Teresa’s tomb was an unexpected highlight and it’s certainly a city i would like to explore further when i return to the mother land. Arriving in Thailand was a stark contrast to India. Clean, a hilarious accent and full of westerners. After being here for almost twelve hours i already see why it has a reputation for being a party city. There is booze everywhere, buff western men with their guns out, scantily clad Thai ladies. Koh San Road is just grotesque. An atmosphere of debauchery which just isn’t my bag. I love getting drunk and partying but in a more middle-aged, more refined context. Everything i thought the trip would be is turning out to the opposite. I am spending far too much money and need to steer away from city’s and head to the rural life. I am on the cusp of yoga and relaxation but not yet. I am in Bangkok and its time to party!!

Thailand already feels like a million miles away from India. I am struggling to see past the surface. Lots of tourists wandering and indulging in cheep booze, fashion, food and am sure many more things. A little bubble of artificial culture created for tourists that has no reflection of the countries reality? Trolleys full of cute dogs, strong cocktails, beautiful Thai ladies in skimpy outfits to allure clients in to spend their cash. Forced Artifice? A pulsating frenzied bubble that after a while, i am sure could destroy people. However saying that it’s quite relaxed and enjoyable!!! Ladies who work in bars , who keep leopard skin bags full of flying squirrels for good luck, dogs being wheeled around to promote a dogs home, whether for a good course or not. After three days i am ready to see another aspect of Thailand but will the islands be pretty much the same thing? Waiting to look after us and keep us in the way we are accustomed too? On a more positive level i have eaten some of the most amazing vegan food of my life. It’s crazy how us vegans miss hummus!

A visit to the royal palace yesterday was epic. A holy temple complex of glitz and ostentation, several frozen cocktails and another plate of hummus has provided the perfect distraction from the earthquake, but something for me doesn’t sit right. I have enjoyed Bangkok very much , but i am ready for some peace and some space, away from the crowds with the sky and the sea for company.

Downtown Bangkok is a different story. A Chi Chi cosmopolitan area of galleries, malls, sweeping architecture and stylish city types. I fear i am only reacting like this due to spending a month in Indian cities, which are dirty and full to the brim, however wading through shit has a glorious charm. Downtown Bangkok has space and is clean. I saw an amazing exhibition based around a Thai man’s response to Lady Gaga! His name is Pan Pan Narkprasert – worth a look. There was also some beautiful painting and the gallery itself was impressive.

I have moved to a quieter part of town, to a room with wipe clean walls and a hostess who rents out ladyboys. As i sit and eat yet more Hummus a storm blows outside. Palms swaying, canopies swaying but inside all is calm. Soft world music playing on the stereo and i am relaxed. A world away from County Durham.

After a day of seeing art, being tattooed by a lovely lady called Jeans Rangwan, a few drinks, watching women performing degrading acts like knitting from their vagina’s, pulling out three feet of flowers ( also from their vagina’s ), playing musical instruments not with their mouths, running away from angry ladyboy madams, Thai men in their pants, standing on bars, rubbing themselves trying to appeal – wearing tokens so you knew which one to buy for the night and being stopped and searched by police i finally retire to bed at 3:30 am.  Its time to leave Bangkok and head to the sea. The evening reminded me of a poem which was written hundreds of years ago, in India about sacred prostitution.

To step across the threshold

Of my main door,

It’ll cost you a hundred in gold.

For two hundred you can see my bedroom,

My bed of silk,

And climb into it.

To sit by my side

And to put your hand,

Boldly into my sari:

That will cost ten thousand.

And seventy thousand

Will get you a touch

Of my full round breasts.

Only if you have the money

Three crores to bring

Your mouth close to mine,

Touch my lips and kiss.

To hug me tight,

To touch my place of love,

And get to total union,

Listen well,

You must bathe me

In a shower of gold.

But only if you have the money.

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