My dear friends and family,
If you start to open your eyes, any situation has opportunities and there is a potential for so many more silver linings than you ever imagined. So in just less than a week I am starting to find such a sense of endearment in my catacomb of sub allies. This area may be viewed as being not the most reputable in Bangkok but I think that could possibly be a misunderstood sense of perception...maybe. The staff that works with Madam Joe at the guest house is absolutely gracious. I do spend very little time in my room for a possibly a plethora of reasons of which might include exploring Bangkok after a long day with my teachers.
It astonishes my friends at Madam Joes that I would even entertain the idea of walking everywhere in this city. They are constantly telling me that my journeys around Bangkok by foot are "too 'wong' and I need to take tuk tuk." The truth is that traveling from point A, B and C are really not too far when you really don't have anywhere to be at any particular time (for the first time in my life), and I think that most folks around here might want to (or should) get anywhere very fast to avoid the pollution from the millions of motor bikes and cars overcrowding the streets.
I visited a fabulous temple yesterday. Now, when I remember the name...I promise to share. Its history was fascinating and I spent an inordinate amount of time reading each tablet which revealed the teachings of the Buddha encapsulated in the ambience of the lovely open air temple. I made my way to the fourth level cupola which provided a breathtaking three hundred and sixty degree view of the city. As I looked down over the railing, I realized that there was no one left in the court yard. I listened and didn't hear any other voices in the temple. Having a foreboding feeling, I ran down the steps to find that that the iron gates had been closed and I was locked in this lovely temple. I was not feeling very Buddha like at this point, but tried to look at the bright side...how many could say that they had spent the night in a temple with over five hundred Buddhas?
Well maybe I didn't want to own that story, so I revisited the second level and shouted down to a couple passing monks. The response was interesting. They looked up at me and walked away. Attributing this to their very peaceful nature, it was probably their best response because about twenty minutes later, I was released with many apologies. I put my Buddha on and remained very passive ;)
Today was not as crazy eventful. Got lost in Bangkok. I walked to the Royal Palace and did the traditional tour...incredible hue of unspeakable gaudiness. After thoroughly enjoying that tour, I meandered through an extremely crowded market and unexpectedly found the Mae Nam Chao Phraya...or the river. At that point, I thought it would be entertaining to catch one of the passing ferries to Chinatown for a bit of adventure. Bangkok's Chinatown is an overwhelming market of food, and anything and everything that could be sold on the street. Busy, busy with cars, people and more than the eyes needed to see.
So now I found that I was really lost. Maps in English are not helpful when most of the street signs are in Chinese or Thai. Upon a few friendly yet cautious encounters, I was able to find my neck of the woods. Walking for what seemed like days, I was never so excited to see that shady entry back into the underground of my little safe haven.
Hope all is well on your side!