A Slight Voluntary Detour

Trip Start May 18, 2005
1
7
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Trip End Jul 10, 2005


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Instead of Vietnam, I write to you from Bangkok, Thailand, in one of many (and I mean MANY) internet cafes here. Our original plan was to fly through Bangkok and catch a flight to Danang. However, when we got here, we found that it was more difficult to book a flight to Danang directly from the airport. So we grabbed our bags, boarded Airport Bus 2, and headed off to downtown Bangkok.

From the moment I set foot in the airport, I knew that I would love this place. There were uniformed officers all over the airport. They seemed neither threatening nor comforting, but instead offered a sense of nature - that is, that everything was as it should be. I guess that's comforting. Leaving on the air-conditioned bus (although it was still hot), I noticed much more English (on billboards) than I had expected. That disappeared quickly, though, as we moved toward downtown. I also noticed the pollution, which normally would bother me, but so far, it has not. The second half of the drive into downtown was at least twice as long as the first half, due to congested traffic, but we finally reached Khao San, our destination. After walking around looking for a nice place with three beds (or some combination that would give us three beds, all air-conditioned), we ended up in Merry V.

Our room is enormous. Well, I suppose that's compared to the closet in Hong Kong. The AC works exceptionally well, there's a ceiling fan, and the door has a deadbolt. AND, we're in the middle of a pretty nice area (although it's fairly high in tourists, which I suppose is ok).

The people here are beautiful. That was one of the first things I noticed. There's a sort of confident serenty about them. Their skin is a healthy, rich color - neither dark nor pale. Of course, I don't generalize. But truly, there are many beautiful people here, both men and women.

There's something about this place that I love already, but I can't really put my finger on it. Perhaps after we stay several more days, I will discover what this love is.

QoD: A place to stay
AoD: Nothing significant
Noteworthy: Beautiful people!, Finished reading Atlas Shrugged and left it in the HK airport

As I said before, I think I can give some analysis (in retrospect) of Hong Kong. It's really New York in Asia. It's huge, crowded, vertical, anonymous, trendy. I don't intend to criticize or flatter it. There are so many people, so much happening, so many buildings, so much commotion, it feels as though we are all lost in it. Perhaps that's a product of being a foreigner with little or no knowledge of the language or culture, but I think that it's more a product of being one person among millions, and practically drowning in them. But don't get me wrong, I love people. I love watching them (more than interacting with them usually). Maybe I'm a voyeur of sorts. I derive immeasurable pleasure in watching an individual act when he thinks no one is watching, or watching two people or a group of people interact. I love giving someone a story based on one brief sample of their behavior. For absorbing people, for disappearing into the mass of people in order to merely perceive them, Hong Kong is ideal.

But to become someone, or something. To be known or distinguished. Hong Kong is not the place for that. Hong Kong is for the accomplished, those who have already become something, or those who do not wish to become known. There is no room for creating a name.

One thing I discovered about being in Asia is the nature of my attractions has changed. I used to tend to be attracted to white men (almost exclusively). After a week of almost all Asians (and tons of them), I find them growing on me (as far as attractiveness goes). Maybe it's just that there are more, and that with any given number of people, there is a certain percentage that is attractive, and when all the people are of a different type than what I'm accustomed to, those are the ones who are also attractive. Did that make sense?

Anyway, Hong Kong is a great city, but I am deciding that I don't want to remain silent and anonymous my entire life. Therefore, it is not MY great city. The metronomic ticking of pedestrian crossing signals, the almost ridiculously-deliberate elevator attendant, the ubiquitous cellphone stores and "Copy Watch"/"Copy Rolex" offers are beautiful, but they are not the beauty I seek. People told me that this trip would change my life. I agreed, though somewhat skeptically, but now I understand. It has given me time for contemplation. I think I know now what I am seeking. More to come.
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Comments

kaayla
kaayla on

Cant wait
i cant wait to see pictures from Thailand!

chaskemp
chaskemp on

love it too!
bangkok is one of my favorite places in the world, but i never have figured out exacly why. truly exotic and such a contrast to the western world. the temples(and even catholic churches-go in one if you get the chance)are among the most beautiful structures in the world,awe inspiring actually.yet, there are other places that compare but never hooked me the way thailand has.will be interested in your view. you certainly hit it right on re hong kong.love, mom

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