Sunday, January 29, 2012

it's been awhile since i've explored new parts of bangkok, and i woke up this morning determined to do something about it.

i did some research online and found out that the neilson hays library was having a used book sale today---what luck! i've been meaning to check out this library for some time now, and was excited to finally go and hopefully come home with a few good books as well.

the neilson hays library was first established by a group of western women who were living in bangkok around the 1870's (i can't even imagine these women living in what was most likely all jungle and swampland back then, it's pretty interesting to think about). so within this group of women, there was someone named jennie neilson hays, who was married to a prominent doctor in town. jennie passed away in 1920, and in order to house all the books that she and her women's group had amassed, her husband built this library in honor of her.

i was so fortunate because the weather was nothing short of amazing today, and it felt nice to get lost and walk along unfamiliar streets. after asking numerous people for directions, all of whom had no idea that a library of this manner even existed in bangkok, i finally found my way and arrived at the library dripping with sweat.

the people running the book sale and library were all very nice, and i ended up buying a book about kenya (because i hope to go there once in my lifetime), along with a copy of 100 years of solitude by gabriel garcía márquez, at ฿50 each. after checking out the sale, i decided to cool off and have a fresh coconut juice at the library's cafe. i sat there and relaxed by reading for about an hour or so, and then went inside the main building of the library to peruse in its air conditioning.

today was a really great sunday.

"When it was opened by the giant, the chest gave off a glacial exhalation. Inside there was only an enormous, transparent block with infinite internal needles in which the light of the sunset was broken up into colored stars."

one hundred years of solitude by gabriel garcía márquez. page 25.

can you imagine seeing ice for the first time in your life and discerning it this way? amazing.
it's another beautiful sunday here in bangkok---the weather is just heavenly.

Friday, January 27, 2012

i could stand on overpasses and watch traffic for hours.

another friday night with nowhere to go so it's just me and the busy streets of bangkok...

walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think. walk alone. think.
i forgot how great it feels to ride a motosai through the bustling streets of bangkok's siam on a friday evening---it's enough to make any shitty day better.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"we need to talk about kevin" started playing this weekend at bangkok's lido theatre, and i went to go check it out alone.

have you ever had that feeling where after you've read a good book, you go watch the film adaption and am greatly disappointed? well, though i didn't read lionel shriver's 2003 book, "we need to talk about kevin," i really wish i had done so before watching this movie because it would have been nice to finally feel that perhaps a motion picture adaption has done justice to the original book.

i don't want to ruin the film's ending, but it truly left me feeling absolutely gutted... i walked out of the theatre and felt like i was in a daze. the movie made me think about life and some of its uncontrollable factors that bring us despair, and a sudden state of hopelessness came over me. while there were swarms of people all around me at siam, for some reason the only individuals i seemed to notice were all the beggars and disabled panhandlers that litter the streets of bangkok. there's a lot of them here and i've gotten quite used to them since i walk around on a daily basis, but on this night, i just wanted to give each of them the little money i had in my wallet. when i got to the siam bts (subway) station, i became really lightheaded for some odd reason, and had to stand to the side at an empty part of the platform to collect myself. i felt really manic and like i couldn't function. there were way too many people waiting for the train at the station as well, so i then ended up walking home at the speed of a crazy man.

anyway, it's been awhile since a film had such an effect on me, and i really recommend watching "we have to talk about kevin." tilda swinton's performance is nothing short of amazing, and the entire movie is beautifully shot as well. man, if only more movies of this quality were made instead of all the stupid ass vacuous garbage that's out there.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Some things can't be solved just by going wild every now and then."

1Q84 by haruki murakami. page 162
"But how long am I going to keep this up? Aomame wondered. How long can I keep it up? I'll be thirty soon, and before long forty will come into view."

1Q84 by haruki murakami. page 157

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

for new year's eve, two friends from chicago were in town, so i was BEYOND ecstatic to celebrate with them here in bangkok.

i took christine and ray to a bar called longtable, and i think it was quite possibly the best nye that i've ever had in my life. the venue was surprisingly not packed, and beautiful thai dancers in traditional garb elegantly strolled around the tables, adding a whole other element to the night.

here are some photos of the night that they just sent me, and thanks to the happy couple for making it such a memorable occasion.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

i think i'm turning into a crazy old dog man...

stray animals are rampant here in bangkok, so it's always heartbreaking for me to see all these cats and dogs living on the streets.

near my studio apartment, there's this overpass where a few stray dogs have recently had a litter of puppies. ever since i discovered these puppies, i like to check-in on them and make sure they're doing alright. because i don't really have people to talk to here, sometimes i like to go and chat with the puppies. while i'm sure that they can't even understand english (since everyone else is speaking to them in thai), it still feels nice to vent and unload my thoughts and feelings. there are five puppies altogether, and i'm happy to report that they all appear healthy and are continuing to grow.

anyway, today i decided to buy the puppies some treats before going for a visit, and here are some photos that i took. i'm still using an old camera that my friends graciously sent me, but unfortunately i can't seem to get the photos to come out the way i'd like. i really need to save up and invest in a good camera.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

what i would give to go on a nice scenic drive right now with somebody---i long to stare out a window and just converse.

it's saturday night here in bangkok. i'm staying in and attempting to get some work done while listening to porgy and bess.

life is great.

Friday, January 13, 2012

i really think the proportion of people here in bangkok who walk with their eyes glued to their damn cellphones, blackberries, iphones, ipads or other smart devices is out of control. maybe i've just been here too long and can't recall how it was back in nyc or seoul, but i don't remember feeling like this before. or perhaps technology has just reached a point where this is the norm in every city all around the world, and i happen to be in thailand when this change took place.

all i know is that when i'm walking around bangkok, this issue is definitely something i think about for mmm, pretty much every thirty steps i take.

thailand and bangkok's energy is pretty relaxed to begin with, so when already-slow-walking people are even further distracted, the simple act of walking down the sidewalk with these people irritates the hell out of me. when i'm hot, sweaty, and surrounded by a moving speed which is comparable to crawling, dealing with all this inefficiency gets infuriating, and yes i do actually mean infuriating. i understand that i have a stick up my ass and naturally walk fast, so it's not really the pace that's the main problem (okay, but it's a huge part of it), but the fact that these people become idiotic and completely unaware of their surroundings. i just can't comprehend how one can live in a metropolitan city and be oblivious to their surroundings, it just makes no sense to me whatsoever. and i'm not just talking about random sidewalks or streets of bangkok, but this is going on at major areas that are packed with hundreds to thousands of people at any given moment. i mean i know it's because these people are so busy and cool and need to check their devices all day every day, but that has nothing to do with me. if you need to send your friend a text message or update your facebook status for the umpteenth time, do everyone a favor and MOVE TO THE DAMN SIDE so you can get the hell out of our way.

sometimes, i really wish i could walk around with an air horn or whistle to wake some of these damn people up.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

i love receiving mail here in bangkok.

i get pretty lonely and bored, making it always such a pleasant surprise to find that a letter or package has arrived for me. i also appreciate the effort (or what 2012 would call it) that goes into sending mail, and so it always feels really special, too.

yesterday, i was heading out my door for the day when i was given a small box that had just arrived. i returned to my room to open it, and inside were some books that my friend in korea had sent me. he's authored three non-fiction books so far about his travels, and i so wish i could just read them and easily understand what he's saying. while i can phonetically read korean, it's still a pain in the ass to look up most of the vocabulary so i don't read too often. but i'm thinking it might be time to invest in a good dictionary because i told him i'd definitely read these. it would be my first time reading a book in korean, but it has to happen eventually so why not i guess.

"sometimes i dream bigger than I live,
sometimes i think better when i'm lit,
so go ahead and light it,
roll it up, ignite it..."

from the song, memories, by big sean.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Saturday, January 07, 2012

today while i was walking down the street, my left contact totally popped out of my eye.

i stopped dead in my tracks after realizing what happened, and started to search the sidewalk for it. this was right in front of a group of motosai (motorcycle taxi) drivers, and a few of them kindly began to help me look for it. just when i was about to give up on finding it, one of the motosai guys spotted it nearby. unfortunately though, it was all shriveled up by the time we retrieved it, and i was forced to put it into my mouth so it wouldn't dry out. yes, i agree---yuck x 100.

as i was standing in front of a storefront window in order to use the reflection to put it back in, the whole episode totally reminded of that scene in steel magnolias, when daryl hannah's character's contact falls out. for some reason that scene from the movie has always been burned into my memory, and i remember watching it as a kid and thinking, "what a load of bullshit, that would never happen." but, i was definitely proved wrong today.

anyway, here are some more of my photos of bangkok that i never posted.