The Bazars of Bangkok

Let’s go people watching and see what we can discover, as that is, always fun, isn’t it???  Translated…

I really loved the bazaars.  My very first experience of bazaars was in England, every weekend, I’d taken the busses, headed out to the various bazaars to shop around.  The secondhand classic clothes looked just like the drama costumes, each and every one of them cost a lot, back then I’d realized, that the good things really beats out the time, the cottons from the dresses that cost a lot never flurried up, and the color, never fade, with the higher waist lines, very straight, without the rough lines of the shoulders, totally showed off the attractiveness of a woman’s form.

Later I’d gone to Japan, and noticed how the culture never lets anything go to waste, it’d given the preowned furniture pieces new life, I’d gone to Norway saw how the culture was connected with the everyday things, seeing how those items lost their characteristics of being replaced easily.  Later on, no matter where I’d traveled to, I’d made my way to the bazars, I don’t necessarily need to buy anything, but I’d taken a lot of time, observing what the locals were, buying up.

a place that looked like this???  Photo from online…the food section…

The gigantic bazar of Bangkok is very well-known, but it couldn’t captivate my interests, I’d walked past the couture, and gone straight to the furniture section at the back, and in the end, my interests peaked as I got into the food stands that mingled within the shops and stands, as well as the massage booths too.  My friends and I didn’t get anything, we’d ran from the center of the city, all the way to the edge, found a foot massage place, and readied ourselves, for the two-hour sessions.

I’d found a spot close to the windows, lain myself down comfortably.  There’s a beer joint on the street, with a small group of three, singing their hearts out, the customers, cramped up inside that small space, with their ice cold beers in hand.  On the other side, there was a traditional Thai food place, although it’s past the noon hours, there’s, no vacancy.  There was also a café/exhibit nearby, looking in, I can see, that there was this oil of the emperor of Thailand hung behind the bars, with a small round table by the door, the few older men who were sitting there became, the tourist attraction for me for the two hours I got my massage.

They looked over fifty, and yet, they had on shirts with cartoon prints, with the shiny, bedazzled belts, their heavy boots, with their tattoos showing from their semi-rolled up sleeves, some had bandanas, others had ponytails, standing or sitting, smoking from time to time, sipping at their black coffees.  Several groups of people took up that spot, from the same cohort, as I can observe, with their cartoon print shirts, neatly, tucked in, their shiny belts showing, one of the men, had two children ages of seven or eight, the children greeted the other men shyly.  The little boy ran into the café, the girl with a small plastic bag, standing in the middle of the street, swaying, one of the middle-aged man gave up his seat for her, she’d smiled and shaken her head, he’d not insisted either, puffed out smoke toward the skies.

the home furnishings section…photo from online…

I’d heard, that some directors would find their next performers from the streets, but this was the very first time I was so intrigued by the act of people-watching, that it’d captivated my attention for so long.  I’d not just looked at them, I’d described the scenes to my friends, and added in the dialogues too, it’d made my friend laugh.  The lady who was massaging her didn’t know why she was cracking up, and just laughed along with her.  My friend told me, “It is like enjoying a movie, while getting a massage”.  And, I’m thinking, that all the stories inside those individuals must be, even more interesting than what we see in the movies.

Ahhh, this, is the joys of people watching, you get to observe what they’re doing, without intruding in their lives, at their most natural states, being themselves, living their daily lives, and to the observers, everything these individuals did feels so intriguing, interesting, but to these “performers” who are unaware that they were being watched, they’re just, living in their ordinary routines.

and there’s, this, also from online…a small place where you can shop for the souvenirs…photo from online still…


Elephants in THIS Room…

Is this, due to the hallucinogen that I’d, “accidentally” INGESTED a short while ago???  I really can’t tell…

There are, elephants in this room, and, they’re, blocking everything up!  Can’t you see them?  There’s one, eating the plasters of the wall (and god DAMN it, I just, repainted that particular wall, JUST last week too!!!).

Elephants in THIS room, they’d become, totally, distracting, they’d, taxed out both our attentions, that we could no longer, focus on the most important thing here in our lives: our marriage, this family we’d, started…

and see how there’s not much room for ANYTHING else, after that elephant got SHOVED, into the room here??? EXACTLY!  Not my painting…

Elephants in THIS room, maybe, if I just, ignore them, they’ll just, go away (uh, yeah right!!!), but, they’re, so enormous, they’d become, this EYE-SORE, they don’t even go with MY home décor, so, how can I just, overlook them, huh???  Elephants in THIS room, maybe, I should just, round them all up (like in a rodeo???), and, take them outside into the yard, or maybe, I should call in ANIMAL control instead, they’ll know what to do!

Elephants in THIS room, they’re not temporary, oh no, they’re, here to stay, indefinitely, until YOU start to communicate with me, but, you’d, SHUT down completely, and, nothing I’m saying, is getting through to you.  It’s like, I’m just, SCREAMING, getting ANGRY AT the W-A-L-L here, god DAMN it, it’s so, frustrating……………

Elephants are no longer, in THIS room of mine, I’d, handed them the EVICTION notice, as I AM the LANDLADY, and I took back control over EVERYTHING in my GOD DAMN F***ED up life already!!!







My New Pace

No more beating the morning rush here, adjustments for growing older, translated…

After I’d retired, I’d enjoyed heading to the centers for elderly activities, to take an assortment of courses, other than getting my hobbies going, I’d gotten the opportunities to meet more people, and this became, a huge part of my life.

But, just like back when I was in school, in the morning courses, I’d always, rushed, gone out with the people who goes out early for work, rushed to catch the busses.  Sometimes, the bus drivers are very kindness, and would open up the backdoors, waited for me to get on, then, close the door, and, I’d felt so good, that I’d, caught the bus; but, if I failed to catch up to the busses before the doors were closed, I’d felt awful, and it’d turned my stomach hard.

As I arrived at the MRT stations, the rush hour was, exacerbated by the crowd, the nonstop beeping from the gates, made me feel so upset again, I’d followed everybody else’s paces, and rushed onward.  And, in the passage, I’d feared most that my machines didn’t read my MRT card right, because those who came behind me would become so very, impatient, and in a panic, I took my ticket out of my backpack to scan it again.  If I got lucky and it’d worked, there wouldn’t be any more troubles, getting into the stations; but, if my card decided to sleep in, I can only ask for help from the station attendants, and, this would, delay me, seeing how the trains entered into the stations, and I’d followed the rushing younger populations, in a panic, ran up the left side of the escalator, the vibrations from beneath my feet, seemed to prove, that I’m just as able-bodied as the members of the younger generation, and I’d felt glad over this.

退休後,我熱衷於到各個樂齡中心上課,除了培養興趣,也藉機認識新朋友,儼然形成日常...illustration from the papers…

Sometimes, as I got up very early, I’d skipped the bus ride, and walked to the MRT stations, the twenty-minute walk is usually easy, but, I’d lacked the consistencies of mind, seeing how everybody else was rushing, so, I’d, rushed on too, and by the time I’d arrived at the MRT stations, I was already, sweating like crazy, and, I’d asked myself: What, am I hurrying for?  And, at that moment, I was, bumped by the crowd, and realized, that during this early morning rush, my slowed down pace became, out of place, that I’d become, a block in the midst of a crowd, and how, should I, adjust my own pace now?

Finally one day, as I’d finally slowly healed from my stomach problems, I wasn’t motivated, to squeeze onto the busses early in the morn, nor do I have the energies, to walk fast, and so, I can only, slow my own paces down.  What’s odd was, that everybody I saw on the roads looked very energetic, the air, refreshing to me, and, I’d gotten into the super convenience shops, picked up an edition of the papers, and brought it along, and my steps became, light, and to my surprise, it’d taken, about the same amount of time I usually take.  Entering into the MRT stations, I’d walked toward the outer rim of the gathering crowd, and got myself away, from this crowded vortex I usually got mixed into, and, my heart became calm, and I’d stepped onto the trains more steadily.  Turned out, that having changed my state of mind had given me a whole new perspective, to not follow the paces of everybody else around me, just go along with the slowing down of my own paces that came at the start of my elderly years, that, is the most fitting pace for me.

the morning rush, photo from online…the morning rush 的圖片結果

So, you’d rushed out in the morning, every day, until one day, you were slowed down, by some event, and, you’d realized, that hey, living slower isn’t at all that bad, and it’d made you wonder, why you’d, rushed so fast from before for?  And, after realizing this, you are bound to, start living slower, because, after retirement, there’s, NOTHING hurrying you, there’s no work waiting at the office, no meals you need to rush back home to prepare after work, you can just, take your, sweet time, slowly…

An Useless Feat

Not receiving the proper kind of emotional support you’d needed from someone, and so, you’d, stopped, trying, to prove yourself to her!  Translated…

“Actually, it’s quite useless that you wrote poetry.”, from time to time, she’d told me these sorts of immature beliefs of hers.

Naturally, even to this day, she’d still believed that firmly, no matter how hard I’d worked, in writing my poems.

I shall, continue writing poetry, for I’d come to the understanding of, I shouldn’t, attempt too hard, to change her beliefs about what I do.

Because to me, that would be, a useless feat too.

So, you’d, finally stopped trying, to convince whoever it is that’s so important to you, what you’re doing, is meaningful, because you’d realized, that you can’t change her mind, and this actually worked out better, for you, because, you’d, stopped caring about what the outside world says of what you do for a living, and just, worked hard, doing what it is you do, writing poetry!

Wind & Sand

The awe one felt, as he went visiting a place of grandeur made by nature’s hands, translated…

The wind passes through me, used the grains of sand and the valleys of Hexi, traded the time with the landscapes of Danxia.

My friend told me, that the scattering of the sand by the wind didn’t just vanish, it’d changed forms and materialized again.

I’d squatted down, looked at the wind as it moved, thought about if the roads I’d trekked down, belonged to someone else?  Could ti be you, my self in a past life?

I’d stood back up again, in front of that colorful rock formation, as if, returning to the beginning of chaos, staring into you, who’d become, the sand and the wind, hidden, within the layers of the accumulations, having endured through the eras of change, how burdensome it must be?  Especially as the Mother Earth found out about your existence, the crushing, the impacting that came afterwards, how thrilling it must’ve been?  And how sturdily you’d, kept your grounds.

And now I’m back.

風吹過我,用沙粒和河西走廊的丹霞地貌交換時間。朋友說,那風沙的逸散,並非消失...what the landscape looked like, photo from the papers…

I’d, examined all the wounds on you, as well as that, slowly, vanishing, memory.

I can’t help but wondered: Why the past life and this one?  And, to whom should I inquire this, and how would I, go about, asking?

You remained silent, with that peaceful look extending throughout your vast features, “the questions that the asking asks always can’t be answered.”

The dusts started settling down now.

I got back up, and continued, trekking onward.

So, this, is the experience you’d had, when you’re, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by this beautiful, majestic landscape, it’d made you wondered, who or what had the powers, to make this place look the way it does, and, you’d started asking questions of the existentialist sort, and that, is what being in the wilderness, near to nature can do to you, it’d, inspired you, to think about the origins of things.

The Findings on Her Trip to Bangkok

What she got, out of traveling abroad, and observing how the locals passed through their days, translated…

Starting last year, I’d wanted to travel abroad, from Germany, I’d thought about going to Vietnam, I’d originally planned to hike up to Jiaming Lake after work’s over, but because my body had something going on, I’d had to, cancel.  I’d wanted to travel to Thailand for three years already, and, as I thought on this, I’d, written this into my short stories.  My friend told me, let’s just go to Thailand this time, very relaxing.  All I thought about was, if it’s for a simple vacation, doing nothing, then, Bangkok would be the place to go.  Thailand, well, I’d, put that on hold.

That early morning as we arrived in Thailand, we couldn’t go to our suites in the morn yet, we’d gone out in the scorching sun, we’d still had some time to kill.  And, as we’d strolled, we’d, entered into the best café locally.

There were many chairs stacked up in the entry of the café, looked like those antique shops in Kyoto, with an old grocery shop next door, with a box of eggs, the red and the white next to each other, there were also the colorful snacks inside those plastic bottles, the elderly woman who’d owned the shop sat at the most distant corner of her store, with a fan in hand, fanning away, her toothless mouth seemed to be chewing on something.  I’m already, overcome with the heat waves now, the heat in Bangkok in June, as well as the rain in Taipei, both were, really awful.

As I pushed in the door of the shop, what hit my nostrils wasn’t the smell of the coffee, but the dired flowers.  In the narrowed shop, there were, dried flowers decorating the walls, and all over the floors too, then, there was, a wall covered in leather bicycle seat, with a black kitten with white paws.  In the depth of the shop, were bicycles, with the walls above the toilet in the bathrooms too.  I’d told my friend, if a sports fanatic opened up a café, then the coffees served there would totally be delicious.  My friend smiled and said that I played favorites.

The treats at the café were, made with care (but I still hadn’t figured out where the kitchen is), I usually only have the black coffees, but I couldn’t defeat the heat, and so, I’d, ordered up a glass of ice latte.  It’d been a very long time since I had ice latte, and that sort of a familiar milky taste, mixed with the coffee, it’d, livened me up instantly.  There were, so many choices for food too, I’d felt, that since I’m in Thailand, I’d needed to order a local food item, but, I still can’t help but ordered up a serving of blue cheese salad with that Thai-style fried rice.  Although I’m, very fatigued, but I’d still, cleaned off my plate.

On the ride back, we’d passed through a lot of amazing streets, and it’d made me want to get out of the cab and go for a strol.  But, in this chaotic state of my mind, would I be confused, that I was actually, away from Taiwan?  My friend asked, why is that after we’d arrived to a foreign city, we’d still looked hard, for that familiar cup of coffee with comfort?  I’d told her, that those independently owned shops, showed the clearest features of dreams.  Some of the features were blurry, some had lost heat, while others will continue to stay heated.  Living these smaller days, we’d just, selected an alternative attitude to life, so long as we put our hearts into it, we can always move those who come into our shops, and, living these regular days feel like blessings.  Every time I’d gone to a new city to visit, I’d really, put my heart and soul, into experiencing the local’s ways of life, and, these moments that I’d spent the days in ordinary ways, are usually, the times I’d savored very much of as I looked back.

So it’s not the grandiose sights you’d visited that impressed you, it’s the daily lives of these ordinary people of the cities you’d traveled to, and that, is what these trips are all about, realizing, that days are plain, but you can make them interesting, by becoming more observant to your surrounding environments.

a great way to enjoy your trips, by going to the local places, not my photograph…


Desperate to Find True Love, But Always Found the Wrong Guys

Lacking self-confidence, can’t get a good enough job, and can’t find a good enough man who loves here, yup, that would be, problematic all right!  Translated…

Q: About to Come Back to Taiwan from Her Work-Vacation Trip in Australia, But Her Boyfriend Was Too Unenthusiastic About Her Homecoming

Ms. K, who’s about to turn thirty, who’s currently work-vacationing in Australia, wrote me about her troubles.  After she graduated, she’d started working in a backpack designing company, and because it wasn’t in the field of her study, so she’d taken up the entry level positions, she was depressed about it; other than not having a job which allows her to shine, she’d not had any man to love either.  K felt that she is good looking, just a bit on the heavy side.  Mostly, it’s her lack of self-confidence, she’d felt, that the men in Taiwan all liked the petite ladies more.

Later she’d quit her job, and gone around to the weekend market fairs to set up shop, and met a man from the Pamir from Mongolia, she felt he is handsome, and he’d told her he loved her fuller figure too; the man pursued K hard, and kept the fact that he was already married from her.  And, this affair was put an end to after two short dates after his wife caught them.  After a short rest, K started working in another company, and met a coworker from India, but, he didn’t want to settle down, and just wanted to be bed buddies with K, and K believed that it was not worth it, and so, they’d broken up.

After two years’ worth of working hard, saving all the money she’d earned, K finally got her wish, headed to Australia, and started dating a man from locally; and yet, the work on the farm wasn’t easy, the boyfriend who’s five years her junior is also a temporary employee, after K’s family learned of his status, they became against them dating.  As K’s visa was about to expire, she’d needed to head back to Taiwan, they’d talked about the possibilities of them marrying in the future, but, the boyfriend started becoming very passive, said that whatever comes is fine, K doesn’t know that after her return to Taiwan, she should still go back to Australia, to keep dating him?

A My Advice:

I think K is too lonely, she’d carried that attitude of “so long as there’s someone for me to love”.  

If the Australian boyfriend showed a lot of passions toward her, giving her a diamond ring, or promised her the world, maybe, I would see, that this relationship can be worth it.  But, seeing how his attitude was ambiguous, why would she want to waste the cost of the airfare?  They are both not economically stable yet, and they won’t last, without true love.

K had drifted along already, and now she’s in Taiwan, she should just start working hard: if you don’t have the self-confidence, just lost a bit of weight, change a hairstyle for yourself.  What’s attractive to men are still your self-confidence and what you have on the inside, find a man who loves you for you, a person who doesn’t have enough self-confidence is attractive to no one.

So, this woman needs to work on herself, find out what she really wants, and after she figures it all out, everything will fall into its rightful places, because, as she changes on the inside, her appearances, her flair will also start to shine through, and that, is how she can become, more attractive, by changing on the inside.