Monday, August 27, 2007

Bangkok at night: shepherds' delight...

Bangkok in the morning: shepherds' warning

Until I moved to Bangkok I’d never lived in a city. I had lived for a year in London, but at only an hour from my parents’ house in the Weald of Kent, I punctuated my London life with regular(ish) weekends home.

Since husband and I got together (was there a time when we weren’t together?) we always lived close to the countryside – small towns or big villages. We’ve lived close by the sea twice. Before we moved to Thailand we lived in a valley with lovely hills in the background. I think this might be why I sometimes need to get away from the concrete here in Bangkok and find some wilderness.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m loving life in the city. I love the variety of places to eat, things to do, bars to go to and the immediateness of everything in Bangkok. I’m not conscious of needing to get out, but getting away or down to the river improves my mental wellbeing. Sometimes I just need to feed myself views that aren’t concrete or brick.

This is why I have to go to the Chao Phraya River. I can get a river taxi for a few pence and ride up and down the river, pulling over at designated ‘stops’. It’s clear to me that we’re still in a city, but it’s a wide open expanse of water and unpredictable. I love the movement of the river taxis: they whiz along a bit too fast, and you’re not quite sure if you’re going to be sprayed with water… And there’s air rushing past you which is all too uncommon in this tropical heat.

And, I think it may be why I’ve taken to gazing at the sky. Starting with Teddy and Dog, here, I think I’m hunting for landscape in the sky. I’ve had a worrying desire to post pictures of clouds, but stopped myself for fear of … well, appearing barking bonkers

But bonkers or not, these are some of my recent mornings. I get the kids up for school at 5.45am, yes, that’s right: 5.45am.

I see dawn in Bangkok every morning as they get ready for the school bus; I wonder and marvel at the shapes of its beautiful landscape, the hues, and then I go back to bed to sleep until it’s really morning.


Angie said...

Lovely pictures, JJ. I especially like the contrast and colors in the first.
I prefer city living, but grew up in the country, so can understand the need for green space now and again. The thing I miss most, I think, is the splendor of the stars away from city lights up in the clear air of the mountains.
Hope you enjoy the river journey. x

JJ said...

Thanks Angie, It's funny, isn't it? I've never been a sky watcher; my brother is quite into stars throughout our childhood. But I'm sure my recent sky gazing is about trying to find natural landscapes - I can't think of any other reason for it.

Carol and Chris said...

I think green is good for the soul!! I love living in Bangkok but, as you know, I grew up in a tiny village on the west coast of Scotland and I didn't realise how much I missed it till I went back in the summer. I miss proper grass, fresh air and cool breezes!!

You know that you can give me a shout any time you fancy going to the river :-)

C x

C x

Jon M said...

Beautiful pics. 5:45 is a little excessive! I sometimes think that city life would be interesting.

liz fenwick said...

i love both the city and the country and need regular fixes of them both. I think certain places are sky places and others aren't...Bangkok is clearly a sky place - great photos :-)

JJ said...

Thanks Carol. Hope the drawing is going well.

5.45 is way excessive Jon. That's why I return to my bed until it's really morning.

I think Liz that mostly Bangkok isn't really a sky place: too much pollution, but at 6am it's often the best time to catch some sky. Lovely.