Tuesday, March 01, 2005

3 Picture Day: Bars, Brothels and Busses

My 3 Picture Day starts twelve hours before yours does Melissa because I'm in Bangkok this morning. Picture 1: The Screaming Lady

If you've read the Post: Calgary to Thailand In 4 Minutes, you know that the catalyst for this journey was a woman I was engaged to who had a change of heart. I am very happy this morning because L has written me a very sweet letter to open the door to a new friendship. I am sitting in an open air internet cafe at my Guest House when suddenly I hear a screaming woman. She is ranting and raving and pointing at the bar tender of the bar just behind. She seems to be tripping on drugs and the people around me are laughing at her. She goes on ranting and shaking her fist at the bartender here for at least 4 minutes before she finally walks down the road. As I'm writing L, I mention her because the scene is so intense. I write 'L': "Today is 3 picture day on the Blog, and this is one of those pictures but I just don't have the heart to take it. I don't know what that means but I have learned to live in the moment here and this is definately a moment." I didn't take the picture. But then I went to get my laundry and there she was again sitting at a table near me. I walk up the road and back again and there she is being approached by the Police for disturbing the peace. Finally, as I'm leaving Koh Sahn Road, there she is in front of me again and I just know I should be including her, so I snap this picture. I don't know how to explain her except to say that when L and I split up it was an intensely emotional experience for both of us. It was as if this woman was the release of this emotion in a physical way as I replied to L with love and support for her new life.

Picture 2: Tuk Tuk: This is my illusive Tuk-Tuk driver, Joe. He was supposed to meet me yesterday to do some errands but he never showed up, so now he's here to take me anywhere I want to go. So I say I want to go for a Thai massage. The next thing I know I am standing before a glass panel, and behind the panel are 9 scantily clad girls (they don't look very old to me so I call them girls) and they are all blowing kisses to me and waving. "I'm here for a THAI massage," I say to their- Manager-. I won't tell you exactly what the proprieter said next but I can tell you I waved goodbye to the ladies and got back into the Tuk-Tuk. A block later, Joe dropped me at another establishment. Much different from the first. Now there were TWELVE women waiting for me. I had to explain again that, although I was honored at the offer, and although I had to agreee that 2000 baht is a very reasonable price for this kind of (what did Tom Cruise call it in the Movie 'Risky Business'?)...for this kind of 'human fulfilment', I just didn't think this was what I wanted, but thank you so much. It took some delicate negotiating but I finally did get a very nice massage from one of the older women. When I came back outside, Joe was gone. They told me he couldn't wait so I had to take another cab to the Bus Depot. Fortunately Joe had left my knapsack behind for me. The new Cabbie was a real Joker. He wanted to know the intimate details of my experience and when I told him I didn't get "the works" he laughed at me and called me "small heart" which I suspect is not a nice thing to call me. I insisted that I had a big heart and that it wasn't a matter of money but of respect. After 20 minutes of his ridicule, I arrived here at this Bus Depot.
Picture 3 (Mliss Picture 1): Bus To Paradise

This is where I was Melissa, when you were starting your day. Dennis met three Thai women when he was cycling in Ayutaya; one of the ancient cities of Thailand, and a place I still very much want to visit. These two lovely woman are Jook and Toi; but Dennis nick named her 'Monkey' so that's what we all call her now. We took a bus from Ekamai station in Eastern Bangkok, to the port city of Rayong, where began one of the most fulfilling adventures I have experienced since arriving in Thailand.

Was this kinda what you had in mind for 3 Picture day Mel?

7 comments:

pmelissa said...

What a whirlwind. The screaming woman. And the, um, overly available women. Curiousity note: is prostitution legal there or just disregarded?
I hope you'll tell more of what happened in Rayong and beyond.

J.P. said...

That poor sad screaming woman.

Such a contrast to the beauty and kindness you have encountered there.

About that "big heart"--oy.

Anonymous said...

this kind of thing could only happen to you - you are right I laughed out loud.... L

Steven said...

pmelissa: I asked 'Monkey' about that. She said prostitution is legal but the times of business are restricted. And the Tai word for it seems to be "Boom-boom" but the word always seems to include a raising of one eyebrow as part of the pronunciation. (And you thought the Discovery Channel was educational...)

Steven said...

j.p.: The worst part is that it wasn't until the next day that I realized what that dirty dog cab driver was implying! I asked Jook what it meant and she just said she wasn't sure and changed the subject very fast.

Steven said...

L: I start to laugh now myself to think what your face would have looked like if you had been there. You know that look you get where you are totally dead-pan but your eyes go big like saucers? But in fairness, I think I had a meaningful connection with the third girl on the left... or was she the fourth?

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