Thursday, December 22, 2011

And there she was

Last night, I arrived in Bangkok after a long journey from Seattle.. It’s the first day of my big adventure. I woke up after 4 hours of sleep and thought.. Hmmm.. What should I do today? So, I booked a 2 hour massage, 1 hour thai massage and 1 hour reflexology. mmmm.. They were great.

The next most logical thing to do was have lunch.. So I did.. It was only 1:30p and I thought. This is my only day in Bangkok, what would I like to spend the rest of the day doing? I asked the owner of The Shanti Lodge (my guesthouse in Bangkok), if he knew of any good walking tours and he replied. “Well, what do you like to do?” I told him, 'I like to walk and look, and maybe go to a market or someplace interesting.' He said. “You should go to Koh Kret” I said, 'Sounds great.'

The word Koh, in Thai means island. I hadn’t really thought of that before I embarked on my expedition, but it didn’t matter. I hopped on the express water taxi near my guesthouse and asked the conductor where I should get off.. 40 minutes later, we were outside of Bangkok and she told me to get off here and to follow this young man with a camera.. So, I did..

He lead me to a man with a half way buttoned up orange shirt, red eyes and no front teeth.. The photographer, talked to the orange shirted man for a few minutes and finally looked at me and said 600baht.. Before I even thought to bargain or realize I was probably paying way too much. I handed the red eyed man 600baht and he ran away. The photographer motioned for me to follow him to a pier.. I did!

My boat man arrived in a totally pimped out canoe, freshly painted red with a badass motor and a 4 foot exhaust pipe. I hoped in and we were off. I sat with the wind in my hair for another 20 minutes reversing the positive effects of the massage (bu-bump bu-bump bu-bump), but that’s ok.. It was awesome. 20 minutes later we arrived on Koh Kret.

It is beautiful. I arrived at a complex of Buddhist temples which I walked through and then wandered around the small walkways of this tiny island. The walkways connect homes. There are no streets and I could see the residents were still trying to make their way back from the destruction of the floods two months ago. It was an interesting place, very calm and quite nice.

I started to head back to the boat, but had 15 minutes before my badass boat driver was to come and get me.

So, I decided to enter one of the Buddhist temples to meditate. I sat there for a bit and suddenly..

There she was..

An older woman sat right next to me and took my hand and ran her fingers along the lines. She studied them for a bit, looked at me with her aging eyes and gave me a big toothless smile and a thumbs up. We proceeded to have a very lively conversation.. Not understanding a word the other said. She took my prayer beads and showed me how to use them. Then she counted to beads to make sure they were the right number. She took my hand again and looked at my palm..

Another thumbs up.

What more can I say?

We silently left and I helped her down the stairs.

I got back on the boat and we sped back to Bangkok.