cold ??? lonely ???
A couple of days ago someone posted a question. Am I lonely in BKK ? It's a good thing to ask. BKK can be a very big and daunting place. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and, I guess, alone there. But, I rarely did. Sure, I lived alone, but I knew most of the faces (if not the names) of the people who milled around the ground floor coffee shop every day. I knew the people who sold food on the street 24-7, the joke and khao raad gaeng (curry) women in the morning and the luk chin (greasy kebabs) man, the 'sliced fruit' couple and the soya milk girl at night. I had a couple of friends in my building, who I'll miss talking to in the evenings. Plus there were the exchange students, 2 /2 years worth of them, the good (manuel, Bene, Paula, Yoko ...) the bad (mainly American...) and the indifferent who also wandered in and out during the months they were here.
I finally moved out of my room on Thursday. The last couple of days have been scarily hectic trying to give stuff away (it's not actually that easy... ) or find boxes and bags big enough to put it in and people willing to let me dump it on them for a couple of months.
I took the bus up north last night, dropped a big backpack, a couple of boxes and my mountain bike off at my friends mum's in Naan, then took another bus north towards Chiang Rai.
I wasn't planning on ending up in Ching Rai I'd hoped to get off at Toeng, and go on to camp at Phu Chi Far, a huge limestone cliff at the edge of the Laos border. But, the bus pulled into Toeng almost 1/2 an hour late. No one seemed to know whether I'd make the connection and I had no idea where (or even whether) there would be anywhere to stay. So Chiang Rai, a place I've passed through a lot seemed a much better option.
It's quite a nice little town, convenient for the mountains and surrounding hills, and a good place to stop before hopping across the Mekong river to Laos, or over the bridge at Mae Sai, and onto Burma.
It has several famous temples, a nice hilltribe museum and a great night market. Every evening, the streets surrounding the bus station are ablaze with colour as people sell silk, hilltribe crafts, trendy t-shirts and Thai souveniers. There's also a beer garden with 30 or so food stalls. Families and groups of friends sit at the yellow tables, order a couple of bottles of Singha, a bucket of ice, and plates of fried prawns, noodle salads and soups to munch on, as they catch up with each other.
I normally love sitting there, beer in hand, deciding what to order, and watching the entertainment onstage. Earlier this evening there were a couple of people singing folk songs (plaeng peura cheewit as they say here) and some Thai dancers. But tonight, i didn't enjoy it at all. For the first time since I've been back here I felt on my own.
Chiang Rai is definitely cold. I had my fleece on walking down the street, and it still felt chilly. But I never thought that I'd feel lonely here too. I've never felt that lonely here before. I've always met people in my guesthouse, suggested that we all take a walk up to the night market together, and tagged onto and chilled out with them.
I guess, this time, I'm staying in the wrong place. My guesthouse is full of dodgy old men with their young thai female playthings. The one next door (my old haunt) is full of the drinking and smoking our way around the world 'have you ever been to Pai - it's just sooooooo awesome' twenty something types. I usually have fun staying there, it's a big party, or drunken moaning at 3 in the morning place, but this time, I didn't fancy it, and settled for a room in a quieter place a couple of doors down.
It's Friday night, normally a big going out night back home. i'm sat in a net cafe sandwiched inbetween 2 sweedish girls. One is looking for a job, the other at places to stay in Phang Nga and Krabi... I could talk to them but they look busy... i guess I'm busy too... checking e-mail, moaning and rantnig as usual...
The bus from Naan to Chiang Rai takes around 6 hours. The first 3 or so hours on the road are spent climbing, and weaving a way through the mountains. It's a roller coaster ride through some breathtakingly beautiful scenery. There's some very steep drops and curves . My heads still wanting to be in the mountains, not in the city. It'll be there tomorrow afternoon but, I'm impatient, I can't wait. I want to be there now.
A couple of people in my guesthouse seem OK. They're not all old pervs.
I should say hi, be friendly to them, find out whether they're people I want to listen and talk to. But, i just don;t fancy it. I felel like I have nothing to tell these people, and that they have nothing to say that I want to here. i don't relate to them in anyway whatsoever anymore. Maybe I'm still on a downer from moving out. Maybe I'm just tired and sleepy. 10 hours on a night bus from Bangkok, sat next to a guy cluthching an acer laptop like his life depended upon it, and randomly kicking my feet or hitting out at my knee, (I'm glad I don't have the same kind of dreams he does...) followed by another 6 with my knees wedged against the seat in front, and a guy occasionally collapsing against my shoulder as his sleepy body lots its balance during all the twists and turns. i didn;t sleep at all. For almost 20 hours. Add that to the last 4 days in BKK, running around like crazy tryng to get things packed, and organised, or see people to say goodbye and I guess maybe feeling and being alone isn't such a bad thing after all. I wouldn't be a very sociable bunny if I was to make an effort to get to know anyone new.
Tomorrow morning I'll be on my way to the mountains. It'll be a different sort of alone there. Here, in the centre of Chiang Rai, being alone feels horrible. I feel lonely. Tomorrow, being alone, in and amongst the countryside I know I'll feel great. Tomorrow, feeling alone... I'll feel free.
|Create Date : 07 ธันวาคม 2550
|Last Update : 7 ธันวาคม 2550 22:30:34 น.
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