I’m not going to lie. Bangkok has not been somewhere I’ve instantly fallen in love with. I don’t mind the heat as much as I thought I might or the humidity. I can make my peace with the trickle(s) of sweat that creep down my chest and my back. I am coming to terms with my hair looking like Monica’s in the episode of friends when they go to Hawaii.
But I’m not too much of a fan of busy. And Bangkok is super busy. Don’t get me wrong, I knew it was going to be. But, man is it busy! In all honesty though I’ve struggled to get a handle on the smells. The sweet stench of decaying greenery along the riverside, the fragrance of warm rubbish piles, sewage being pumped into the heat of the midday sun, even the background note of that damned slightly-vomity fish sauce… Even though the food might taste delightful. I’ve also struggled more than expected with the food. I can’t do thai spicy. I can’t even tolerate Thai mild it seems! I am usually game to try any food, give it a go, but after a couple of days of eating things that have largely been questionable in either texture or taste (at least to my palate) I’m becoming less adventurous #musttryharder which makes me feel like a bit of a brat!
Today we decided to work from our apartment. We both had lots to get done and didn’t want to spend time commuting into the city (even on the awesome, noisy, vibraty, smelly boat!). At lunch we broke the day up with a swim (tough life!). And walked to the local mall for dinner.
This evening was the treat though. After dinner I popped back to the pool. And it was breathtakingly beautiful. In the dark it was harder to see the tower blocks that crowded around, peering into the water. Instead the lit windows were like hanging lanterns, bobbing reflections flickering up onto the overhanging tree branches. The somewhat sad and broken poolside benches nestled into creepers and bays of leaves in a way that looked charming rather than decrepit. The lights from the tiny gym over looking the pool seemed warm rather than glaring and I bobbing around happily picking flowers out of the water. It was really rather magical.
I appreciate I probably sound like I’d been smoking something rather exciting with dinner but I really hadn’t. It just felt like a little oasis in an otherwise dusty and busy (and smelly) city which I seemed to need today. Hearing the news of the terrorist attack (is it confirmed?!) back in the UK made me feel so far from home, and that sensation of helplessness that I get when I hear terrible news from another part of the world had woven itself around me. Watching a mum in a full hijab chucking her screaming with laughter daughter around in the pool, with bats dipping in and out for water (probably inadvisably given the chlorine), and blossoms trailing over the sides provided a space to try to dig out of that hopelessness and get back to thinking about how to make something, anything, (everything?) a little bit better.