giovedì 2 agosto 2012

ยินดีต้อนรับ Bangkok

                                                                                  Bangkok, Thailandia

ยินดีต้อนรับ Bangkok

"Can I help you? Are you studying your guide book? I always did the same at your age ".
Thus Thailand welcomes me, through the genuine smile of a young woman of Bangkok, who is travelling across the globe as me.

A pink taxi from the airport to the city centre: a trip on seats with the face of Hello Kitty, passing shopping centres, Mac Donald’s and highways. Then a minivan takes me to Chinatown: no posh stores, no air conditioned restaurants, no girls with Longchamp anymore: far from Siam Square, centre of “the Good Bangkok” there’s a different life going on.
I walk among temples, statues of Golden Buddha smiling, reclining Buddha, emerald Buddha, food stalls and nests of birds, thai massage and rainbow ice-cream, tea vendors and pomegranate juice.  
Taxis, old, coloured buses and tuc tuc (the asian version of tricycles), fish markets and fruits street traders.
In the meanwhile, a fat fake gold pig wishes good luck moving his little paw.
The lights of skyscrapers light up in the distance, in this hot night in a city that never sleeps.
It looks like rain: Chinese monsoon is coming…

It’s 5.40 am: I can’t sleep.
I take a trip to Talad Noi, the local market of Chinatown: fresh fish, salted animals, papaya, chicken wings and slices of watermelon: toothless old ladies say goodmorning to me.
For 15 bahts (less than 40 euro cents) I make the first purchase of the day: two excellent ham sandwiches with salad and crab: today I will have my lunch box, as has Thai people do.
I take a boat and at 7am I am at the Wadi Arun: a scent of jasmine and the sound of bells, in this temple still empty ... My eyes are wide open while I stare at the prang that rises to the sky: a spiral 79 meters, colourful ceramics in the quiet serenity of dragons and guardian spirits.

At 8am I head for the Royal Palace: so may tourists on the horizon, umbrellas in their hand, bottles of water in their backpacks: it’s a hot, humid summer day. A slice of watermelon and a cold coffee and I am ready for the Emerald Buddha, remembering of his life in search of freedom from world and passion...
What is there a path to salvation? Seeking for nirvana or choosing an existence as Bodhisattva, who renounce to nirvana to help others achieve it?
Enjoy the treasure or abandon it to share our discovery with others?
Go back to the world after founding the light to illuminate the cavern?
Outside the Royal Palace a market of amulets seems to suggest that the answer will not be easy ...

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