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Archive for September, 2009

BigBuddhaMonday, 27th July.

The sweatiest place on Earth.

I got here [Bangkok] from Brisbane this morning at 6am. I had eighteen hours before my connecting flight back to Madrid so I got a taxi into town. It took an hour and a half because of traffic. The driver played Boney M whilst pointing out banged up cars at the side of the road. I hadn’t realised that his taxi was air-conditioned until he dropped me of at Wat Pho Temple.

The temple houses the country’s largest reclining Buddha (40m x 100m). After a long walk around the temple grounds I wandered the streets, as is now customary (and also hard work as the capital of Thailand feels like a city under a sea of damp cotton wool). The smell is brilliant. There are a thousand and one odours all baying for your attention, most of them sickly sweet or a pleasing rancid smell.

I zipped through kilometres of back streets and markets selling spices and pornography and also wandered past a few shops that I still haven’t got my head around yet. Open fronted rooms with families sitting around eating in front of the TV and people wandering in and out. What were they selling, their left overs?

I found a street comprised solely of guitar retailers, military surplus suppliers and sewing machine shops. how does that happen? It looked like a repeated Scooby-Doo chase scene background. Guitar, boots, sewing machine, guitar, boots, sewing machine, guitar, boots…

The moment came to get back to the airport when I finally came across the ex-pat neighbourhood. The Mecca of friendship bracelets and ethnic clothing.

Tuesday, 29th July.

Eighty-nine days ago I was writing my first diary entry.

This is my last.

I’ll be home in a couple of hours. We’ve been fleeing the dawn for a while now, but the orange line on the horizon is getting bigger and below us there’s scattered clumps of lights and roads. Could be Italy, Afghanistan, Benidorm…

All I wanted to do as I sat on the plane in Madrid waiting to take off for Beijing, was to turn back. Now, three months later, I’m happy to be going home. My last night at Phil’s we watched a film set in Spain. It made me miss home and all things Spanish. Earlier that day me and Phil wandered around a few antique and bric-a-brac shops. I’ll always have fond memories of that.

I don’t know if all this has changed me. I suppose I´ll find out when I get home. I think it has. I’ve certainly practised my handwriting anyway…

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