Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth, that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Travels W/O Charley 2

So after an amazing liveaboard diving experience down south, I am now up just about the very center point of Thailand, in a small city named Phitsulok. I came up on the train, which was SOOOOO nice after all the buses I have lurched about on in the last week. The train was fast and the countryside gorgeous- green and occasionally jutted with small mountains. I left my friends in the south where they went still further towards Malaysia. The mountains and beaches were stunning, but I must admit I was anxious to leave all the white people in the rearview. I think I have finally embraced my reverse racism. I suppose it is tied up with some sort of deranged self-loathing, but I am frankly amazed that caucasians define the parameters of beauty in so many parts of the world. In comparison, especially in tropical conditions, every other race seems to me more graceful, lovely, and fit as markers of humanity. Of course, it doesn't help much that most of the European and American representatives in these beach and Bangkok environs are typically flabby and coarse, alcohol swilling, empty-headed materialists. Yet even the Scandanavian men and women who weren't fat and loud, seemed to me over-sized and ungainly in comparison with the local Thais zipping about on their Vespas. If I could afford therapy, I am sure I could get to the root of my bias, but since my school reneged on my Health Insurance I guess we will just have to leave it up to speculation. It has been raining steadily, which ruined many a Northerner's winter Thailand break, but I have been wholly happy since it has not been HOT. I did get detoured on my route back to Bangkok since several roads were washed out. It was good to feel as if I knew BKK a little at this point. I located the 15 bht local bus from the Southern Terminal and even helped a gay Filipino couple do the same and got them to their hotel. I managed to buy my train ticket for the next day, find my hostel across town, and find a great area for street food. It was my first hostel and there I met many interesting travelers- a 50 something high school janitor from Michigan on his 9th trip to Thailand- kind of a batty professor type, some young Norweigens, and a very nice Swiss couple working in Yangoon Myanmar as English teacher in a capacity similar to mine in Isan. He was a chemist and we were like mirrors of each other- he said he was ready for a new experience and also said he had learned more about himself in the last 12 months of living and working abroad than in the previous 50 years of living in Switzerland. We agreed that it took those 50 years to prepare him for the lessons he gained. Hopefully he and his wife will visit me in Isan in their future travels. I was going to make a brief foray back to my home to recharge, but a last minute change of plans has me going first to where I am now- to visit Sukhothai the site of some apparently fantastic restored ruins from the 13th? century. and then I am headed further west to Mae Sot on the Myanmar border. This is located in a province that is reportedly far off the heavily traveled Chaing Mai route and is deep in the mountains. I will loop around to Chaing Mai and then catch a train back to this city and the south. Once I am home with my computer I will post some photos of parts of this trip such as our dive- saw a leopard shark and so many many other beautiful creatures. Did my first two night dives as well. And also of some of the places like my hostel dorm room and the super deluxe movie theater I treated myself to by accident in  the upscale BKK mall- twenty! dollars for a ticket! Twice what I paid for my lodgings! By the way- Happy Birthday to me. Though far from my family and friends, I did spend it diving, so I can't cry too much. *** I just got back in touch with a news source and saw that indeed the flooding down south got much worse after the day I left, with mudslides and airport closures and other headaches. Many of my other friends have been stranded and festering in a steady downpour since I left on Sunday. I guess the Buddha was smiling on my timing for once...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pfister! I'm in Australia right now studying for the semester. On April 6th I will be flying into Bangkok, staying for two nights, and then flying to Chiang Mai where we will be for four. If you are close at that time, I would love to see you! Hope all is well. Olivia O.