Thursday, October 23, 2014

Morning report

I can't figure out exactly what's going on at Villa Ratchathewi, the place we're staying in Bangkok. Don't get me wrong. I love our apartment and our host. The apartment itself is wonderful, quiet, airy, well lit and I love the view of the city from the bathtub. Plus, our host immediately replies to our emails. It's another fantastic find via airbnb, It's just that the lobby seems more like a student lounge and study hall than the lobby of an apartment building. We almost never see any adults around here. It's not that expensive by US standards but how can these kids afford to live here? Other than the old Chinese lady in the gym, who is perpetually walking on the world's squeakiest, most rickety treadmill, it seems there are almost no other adults in the building, and by adults I mean people over, oh say, twenty or twenty-five. And no. It's not because Asians look young longer than Westerners. Trust me. These are kids. So what exactly going on at Villa Ratchathewi? It's all very odd.


Clearly, the old woman is up to something. Whenever we go to the gym, she's there grinding away on that goddamn treadmill. She's there when we arrive and still there when we leave. I suspect she is the one who powers the Reality Generator at the hub of the universe and is responsible for maintaining the entire Cosmic Show. There is no other explanation. If she were to stop walking we'd all disappear. Don't worry. We'll never notice we're gone.

Frogs doing it in a mall pond

The other notable thing about this place besides, like I say, the bathtub in the window, is the mosque which we can see from all the windows. The first chant is before sunrise. It's really more like an open throated yell. The first few days, when we were still jet lagged, it was really annoying. It felt like 2 AM and neither one of us could get back to sleep. Then I got accustomed to it and one morning I actually got up and checked the time, 5 AM. Not so bad really. In the yoga community where I used to live, we started at 4 AM. According to a national survey at the time, our Society was ranked the most despised neighbor in America. People dreaded living near us more than they dreaded living near gang members. Anyway, the following morning, when the chanting began, I awoke to the charming mental image of a lone desert Mullah chanting in the courtyard of an outpost white stone mosque as a gigantic orange desert sun rose over the vast Sahara, its rays streaming across the horizon into the otherwise indelible silence. Then last night, we realized the chanting is a recording. Talk about buzz-kill. Plus, I just noticed that I dropped one of my ear buds in my coffee.

Bangkok massage parlor

3 comments:

Mr. Donut said...

The water line makes the frog on the bottom look pretty smiley, but it might just be a real smile, too. There are many things I like in this post, apart from not enough comics.

Roy said...

The chanting is a recording??? That would be, like, quadrupally annoying.

The lady on the treadmill finally, after all these years, explains "Walkin' Annie," the old "local" woman who perpetually walked around Independence, MO, we think 24 hours a day and who seemingly appeared in several different places simultaneously. She is obviously the original "reality check," a sort of existential fly-wheel. Small world.

asha said...

Mr. Donut, yes. Bangkok is known as the land of smiles although not all are as sincere as this frog's.

Roy, small world, indeed. Sounds like Walkin' Annie has so powerful mojo.