wander process

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A Year’s Difference: The Buddhist Vegetarian Festival in Bangkok’s Chinatown

I’ve been falling into this habit: when anything happens, when I do anything of note, I think to myself, ‘what was I doing, where was I exactly a year ago?’

In the case of this past weekend, the answers were more or less the same. Last year, I made this video of my first time at any festival in Thailand.

This year, there was also lots of wandering around Chinatown to explore the Buddhist Vegetarian Festival. While I am perfectly content to mill around dark alleyways and crowded intersections by myself for hours, I couldn’t help but wish that I had friends to share in these experiences with. I’ve learned so much of the lay of the land in Bangkok and I wonder what will happen to all of this knowledge once I’m not in Thailand anymore. Will my sense of direction get fuzzy? Probably.

I suppose I had better enjoy it as much as I possibly can for now.

Isara Nuphap, one of Bangkok Chinatown’s most quintessential sois (sidestreets). Filled with dried foods, sketchy jewelry, and noodle shops. Always be on the lookout for motorcycles trying to make their way through!

There are small communities tucked away in each of the sois. This particular soi had an abundance of cats. I met this momma cat, May Lee, her kittens, Nueng, Song, and Sam (which translates to One, Two, and Three), and their kind, smiling owner who was willing to talk a little bit about the cats with me (in Thai!).

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The Best of the Rest

The last month of living Bangkok was wonderfully busy. I took every opportunity to enjoy the city and to share my joy with friends who came to and came through the city in late December and early January. Abby visited on her way back home. Adam moved here – http://adamsadventuresinthailand.wordpress.com/. Sophie came with her family (Sophie and I were on the Development Studies Departmental Undergraduate Group at Brown. I took over for her as head when she studied abroad in France and she has resumed the role of fearless leader). Continuing the Brown love, Nora came! Nora is currently doing Teach for China and came through Thailand for a little r&r before visiting home for a month. Her stories about sleeping on wooden board and having to walk 10 minutes to get running water or use the bathroom made me feel awful about complaining about not having hot water in my apartment. ALSO – Nora and I took Peoples and Cultures of Southeast Asia together, in the days before I knew a single thing about Southeast Asia. And look where we are now.

I shall let the pictures and captions do the talking.

Standard Thai condiments for our oh-so-frequent noodle stand visits: fish sauce, sugar, chilis, and vinegar with chilis. I use all but the vinegar with chilis.

Yentafoh. More like YENTAFANTASTIC. Yentafoh is a special kind of noodle soup with pink broth. We asked why the broth was pink. We were told it was food coloring.

A sad day at Baan Suan Thon. Nina's beautiful "Made in Candy" candy jar broke.

Nina sweeping up the colored mess.

addiction. i have one.

Adam's okcupid is SO benefiting from my willingness to take glamour shots with my new camera.

Pracha Uthit, I love you, I miss you.

We like going to markets, I like taking pictures of repetitive things.

The creepiest mannequin I have found yet.

Here, plants were purchased.

Nina bought a Wall Nut! He's so sweet. Plants Vs. Zombies is slowly encroaching upon Angry Birds as the most revered game in Thailand.

You can fill them with water and they chirp!

I fall in love with color combinations daily.

Temple photography prohibited - I snuck a picture. The floor evoked the South African flag.

chinatown! where else?

This was supposed to be a well-wishing for the New Year. I just had him write my name.

wat traimit floor

the largest solid gold buddha in the world, at wat traimit

with Sophie, we find Kali in a Chinatown antique store

lots of flags around Wat Pho - maybe for New Years, maybe for UNESCO?

sophie at wat pho

wat pho

I could never not sing praises of the cleanliness and efficiency of the skytrain.

cablife in bangkok

I took Nora and Adam to one of my favorite places in Bangkok - Taksura! Eat your heart out Peoples and Cultures of Southeast Asia!

I could've used this notebook when I was in college. Heh.

I think this is roughly the right size.

The view from my old living room in Bangkok, crazy underexposed and polarized.