My ebook: Journeys with the caterpillar

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Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
and Sumba, Indonesia
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Friday, May 06, 2011

Tales from Bangkok

Hi, I am the hippie dog at the main pier at Chaopraya River. I believe in free love. Sometimes I pretend to smoke with a cigarette in between my teeth. It’s all about image these days, hyperrealism as Baudrillard said. I am a hit with donors for their small change. But I think these guys who put up that donation box with my pictures don’t spend all the collected money on me.

Sabaidee, we are the pigeon gang at Lumpini Park. It’s a nice place with our favorites, trees, people and tall buildings nearby. Hail Walter Gropius, he made our life easy. We have a small problem though. We are only fed bread crumbs and we are bored. We envy these monitor lizards around here who can eat the fat fish from the lake. We tried talking to this person who sells bread crumbs to the visitors to also offer some meat; but he didn’t understand us. And we have to oblige all visitors who offer us these crumbs for as people say, Good times don’t last. Visitors may think that we are a greedy bunch snatching food from one another. It’s not like that; we just like to put up a show to entertain you all.

Hi, I am a fish near the Damnoen Saduk floating market. Every day, when the market opens, we find it hard to swim with so many small boats around. People who look different from the locals keep taking pictures constantly. I am quite photogenic too, but it’s risky to show up then. But I like the whole atmosphere at those times; the ladies rowing the boats with their colorful clothes; the gentle currents created by the rows that tickle my skin; the cool shade from the sun, and the smell of grilled chicken, fresh fruits, and pancakes.

Hi, I am the blind singer at Chatuchak market, the largest market in the world. My wife carries me around the small alleys in the market and I still get overwhelmed by the smell of goods there. There’s a guy there called Punk who, I heard, dresses up so strangely with lots of jewelry and a fake alligator around his neck. There’s a Johny Depp look alike as well who sells Buddhist trinkets. I don’t know how Johny Depp looks like; apparently his eyes are made up like a girl’s. It gets crazy towards Sunday evening when shoppers hunt for the closing deals like swarms of sharks. No one has time for my songs then.

Hi, I am a fly who lives near one of the little restaurants by the roadside near Ari station. Bangkok streets have been rated as the topmost destination for flies in all our tourist magazines for the tenth year running. There’s such variety that many flies have come here all the way from Norway. Their food is very cheap, but they make sure to decorate well the stuff they serve. I know it for I have also eaten at restaurants run by Michelin starred chefs. I love it when the two tourists come here and ask for spicy food, there’s good chance they can’t finish it. If they see me, they always wave at me, I don’t mind it for it can get quite hot in Bangkok.

Hi, I am the tree whose roots surround the head of the Buddha in Ayutthaya. You must have seen the picture of my roots. Unfortunately, no one takes pictures of my leaves. It’s as if no one would care if one day I died and my leaves fell off. That makes me sad. The other trees smirk at me. They are just jealous. I feel lonely. I want a normal life. This Buddha is such a burden. And he keeps smiling. Go, stay in a proper temple.

P.S. Pictures of Bangkok and its surrounding areas can be found here.

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