Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jul 08 2018

Bangkok, part 1

Due to my recent lack of decisive clarity, pre-departure preparations were a kind of slow-motion scramble over the course of the last few days, culminating in me still being nearly half an hour late to the airport MRT terminus. We got checked in ok nonetheless and boarded the train. A storm followed us out to the airport, and we arrived thinking we had more time than we actually did, resulting in a lot of deliberately fast chewing.

We took off just as the thunderstorm was descending over the airport, drops on the window as the windmills of the coast slipped past underneath, and then we were free to navigate over the sea south of Hainan Island, which we could see on the horizon. The plane was old, as were the movies on the tiny screen. I tried to sleep, but only got a half hour in before I was squinting at a low-res Kung Fu Panda.

And then we were landing, nearly half an hour ahead of schedule. Chenbl fired up the wifi, and I kept Rammy appraised of our progress from taxiing to immigration, and he met us outside customs and drove us into town. It was good to see him again.¬†We drove through some very nice light to Tavepong’s new book exhibit, and there I met him as well as Job, Larry Hallegua and many others. Many of my students, who arrived earlier, were on hand as well, and more showed up later.

The exhibition is on a scale I have hitherto not experienced, more like a small theme park, with molds and corridors and interactive displays. Tavepong was nice enough to talk to my students for a bit about the photos. It is impressive work. But as always, I was a little uncomfortable in such social situations, and going right to one in a new country right off the plane was a little overwhelming.

Rammy had to split, but he showed me how to use the Grab app to get taxis back to the hotel, which we eventually did. Driving through and over the city was surreal enough, but walking around our hotel in Chinatown was even stranger, with the big neon signs, street food and foreign tourists everywhere. People have told me that photography is difficult here. We’ll see.

posted by Poagao at 12:58 am  

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