Dates of travel: 13th June to 16th June.
Accommodation: Baiyoke Sky Hotel.
Modes of transport: Tiger Air, Taxi, Tuk Tuk, Ferry and Walking. A lot of walking.
General mode for trip: Excitement, exploration and ease.
After all, it was my first trip travelling overseas with just friends for leisure purposes. It was kind of a big deal, because:
- I have only ever been on family trips and one major UK trip with my previous school.
- The last time I boarded a plane was a couple of years ago.
- My parents are usually quite protective of me and are reluctant to let me break out of their grip.
- I funded the entire thing out of my own pocket.
- I learnt so much about myself – what I am drawn to, what I like, not like, habits, etc.
- I did not kill anybody on the trip.
And now that I have done it once, I cannot wait to do it again. Really.
It was an independent experience and I was pretty surprised how easily I found myself getting into that life.
Being present, experiencing the various sensations, getting into the environment and really trying to play. Be in love with the moments.
I did not miss anything back here in Singapore – my life, my home or my work. And that came as a slight shock because I am such a workaholic. Perhaps I knew this travel had an end date and I would be back on the red dot soon enough to catch up with all that I missed out on.
(Maybe I should just live a nomadic life.)
I am not sure how I should write this post actually. Narrative might be too personal and will get too long, because of various emotions and thoughts.
Maybe I should just share some favourite moments I had. Neater and I am more willing to share those.
Moment One: Taking the MRT and BTS.
Seriously, it was seldom to see an entire carriage of commuters clinging onto their mobile phones and pressing buttons all the way.
Individuals were looking out the windows, looking at one another and sometimes, they would even spare a smile to a stranger or two within view.
And because I was in a different country, I did not listen to my iPod Touch or text too much. So I experienced this – sounds and all – and I must say it was really refreshing.
On a side note, I also love the sound of locals speaking their language. So beautiful and poetic.
Moment Two: Art, art and art everywhere.
Stickers and signs on street lampposts. Street art in bright colours on dying walls, ruined buildings or just along an alley. Store fronts with grand displays.
And lucky for me, there was a jewellery show, elephant sculpture displays as well as an architecture exhibition going on at Central World when I went down.
It was fascinating for me to look at creative and decorative things at every turn. I admire the work and effort put in to really bring out the artistic side of the city for all to envy, appreciate and feel.
I felt super happy to have been a part of the experience.
Moment Three: Temple Visiting.
Finally went across the river to explore the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun). Yes, I am super grateful for that since it was the only temple I had yet to set foot in.
I always have great love for the temples. Leave me in one and I can spend a whole day walking around, soaking in the calm and taking photographs just so I will have something to hold onto when I am no longer under its shelter.
It is the serenity. It is the kneeling in front of a figure and wondering if he is looking back at you. It is the calm and the zen of the place. Temples have spirits, or that is what I choose to believe. It is the devotion and the work of constructing these beautiful places. It is the belief it will make things better.
Always refreshing. Always learning. Always there.
Moment Four: Walking the Uncommercialised Path.
When we chose to walk along the railway tracks instead of taking the Airport Link to get back to the hotel.
Avoiding hens and a majestic rooster. Having glimpses into the way of living for locals that live by the track. Trying to keep my feet dry and away from mud.
It was just something I wouldn’t have been able to do in Singapore.
But my golden moment was when a local waved at us before we made our way through the messiest and muddiest part of the route. (I did not really mind but Darren was so squirmy about it.)
The old man told us to cross the railway track to the other side. To concrete and smooth land. He guided us with his hand.
He didn’t have to, but he did.
The taste of kindness stays with me.
Moment Five: Tuk Tuk Driver to Rod Fai.
Introducing street food to the child-like wonder of Darren to me thoroughly enjoying the Tuk Tuk rides. Walking from street market to street market to speeding on highways just to get to another street market. (Rod Fai was the one I enjoyed most.)
It was all exhilarating, but of course, there are more things to life than just temporary high.
The Tuk Tuk driver we had to get to Rod Fai Market did not really know where he was going.
He asked another driver where it might be before taking us onboard. It was really far out and even so, he smiled and drove on. Even stopping the vehicle to check with others to make sure we were not lost. Midway, he picked up a call from his family and we could all hear the kid calling him through the Nokia phone. He kept smiling and you could feel the happiness, the relieve and the tiredness all at once.
I cannot really say much but that was a poignant moment for me as well.
Maybe it was the smiles. Maybe it was the feeling of family. Maybe it just reminded me of how life goes on for everyone despite the daily grind. Maybe it was just how his tough skin, his wrinkles and his earnestness shines with gratitude and how simple was enough.
Okay. This post turned out pretty long anyway. Sorry for the long read.
You can just imagine how long it would be if I poured my entire heart out on the page. Hahahaha.
Until next time. xx