Dateline: Bangkok, Thailand
The kinetic energy in Bangkok can leave one clutching his vertebrae . . . and I have yet to delve into the city’s legendary night life! Okay, maybe a smidgen of distraction will be allowed henceforth. But I’ll leave those footnotes in the marginalia and to someone else’s concupiscent blog.
Right now thunder just struck!
Perhaps a mighty cymbal signaling me back to work. It’s 7 pm in this slice of the hemisphere. It only rains in the afternoons and evenings this time of year and the heavens crack with thunder ever so often. But this blast from the black sky shook me back to the keyboard. The indeterminable weather really screws up my twilight photo endeavors though it graciously allows me more time for Photoshop manipulation.
Today I journeyed to Wat Pho.
“Wat,” you will remember, translates to “temple.” The morning hours are graced with puffy white clouds and blue sky. But just wait till the afternoon. I hope you brought an umbrella. This particular wat is number two on Bangkok’s must see tourist agenda perhaps because it’s located next door to the Grand Palace (so illustriously illustrated in my previous post) not to mention the lengthy reclining Buddha with big feet that maintains residence here. Now you might think the sculptors would have given undue concentration to the face, and indeed they did . . . so contemplative in such recumbent demeanor. But they didn’t forget the toes! Naturally the big foot is positioned about 30 meters from the head. This is a very looong golden reclining Buddha.
Now back to the taxis that streak across the city . . . but first let me digress to explain yet another Bangkok thrill.
While taxis are abundant, tuk-tuks are a more breathtaking way to traverse the town. But they can totally exhaust you in this humid, heat-bound, humongous city. Save your tuk-tuk rides for short distances. A “tuk-tuk” is a three-wheeled, two-stroke-engined open air motorized taxi. They’re great fun if you can endure the harassment of heat and humidity and exhaust fumes. Now for a tuk-tuk in blurred motion . . .
These vibrating monsters are exhilarating for short hauls if you can but hold your breath and don’t mind a bit of potential side-swiping as they scurry between bigger vehicles. Keep your arms and legs inside. But I decided to ride through the city in a triumphant motorcade of pink taxis on my way to Wat Pho far on the other side of town.
While this color of taxi is prolific, it’s not the only eye-piercing, iridescent hue that’s available. A profundity of kaleidoscopic choices from primary to mind-numbing can be had with just the wave of a hand. You name the vibrant color. There are so many taxis in Bangkok that within moments of arrival you will know why the city is famous for traffic congestion . . . and why the taxi drivers were able to bring Bangkok’s world to a complete standstill during a recent ballyhoo when they joined the political fray and demonstrated against the government. The drivers used their taxis to block many of Bangkok’s busiest intersections and, for one day at least, the insane traffic of the city came to a standstill.
See these books to learn more about Bangkok and its wild scene.