Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Return of the Prodigal. Still travelling though...

So I never did get around to replacing the tagline on this blog to say, formerly full-time banker, now full-time traveller, etc. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't back home in London for long enough to spend the time fiddling with Photoshop to get it sorted (yes, I'm tech-savvy, and yes, I know how to use Photoshop. I even used to tell my office IT guys what to do when my PC froze and I didn't have admin rights for the damn thing to make the changes. So sue me. I'm brown - we're good with IT.)

So anyway - what is with these random digressions? It's like my brain has a GPS set permanently on scenic route. It used to be bad when I was working in the big bad corporate world, but generally I could focus on something long enough to be sensible and intelligent. Now that I'm travelling, its like I'm permanently like Dory from Finding Nemo (do I know you? are you following me? oh wait, I think I can speak whale...)


So this post is being written from a computer in the common room of my hostel in Bangkok. I got back to Thailand earlier this afternoon from Cambodia, where I'd spent the past four days gawping at the amazement that is Angkor Wat. Seriously, of all the places I've ever been to in the world, this one has got to be a top runner for one of the best. Ever. No shit. Interestingly, I wasn't as overwhelmed by Angkor Wat, the main temple, the first time I went, but the second time I was there I managed to find a quiet corner of the compound to just sit and soak in the atmosphere (and also soak up the moisture - it was like 35 degrees and 80% humidity). And it was there that I got this very tranquil feeling about the temple. I loved its ruined / preserved / restored look, with the large grey stones soft where the carvings had faded away, the black rainwater stains, the faint enscriptions in Pali and Khmer on the walls, even the thousands of damaged statues that litter the corridors. I also went back to the big bas relief carving of the Mahabharata and managed to inspect the whole thing in much more detail. So this time around, I found Bhisma lying on his bed of arrows, I saw Dronacharya leading the Kaurava armies, I saw Karna - one of the saddest faces on the block, plus triste - as he turned to free his chariot wheel, and I saw Arjuna's arrow piercing his neck.

Damn. Karna always gets me down.

So that was Angkor Wat. I think my favourite moments were walking through the old royal city ruins of Angkor Thom, smack in the middle of a park with NOTHING resembling cover when the July skies opened and all the water that the monsoons can throw at you descended from the heavens. It probably took less than a minute for me to be soaked to the skin, and I've never been happier for a waterproof backpack since atleast my camera, money and passport were dry (can't say that about my Lonely Planet though. Oh well.) But the thing is, my whole Indian thing creeps out whenever it rains in a hot country, and I'm like, woo hoo!

Rainy days, however, do not get me down. It's probably just a very little Sridevi trying to get out from inside me and frolic in the rain. Either that or its the pernicious influence of my parents' water-crazy Rottweiler, Cookie.

So while all the other tourists are scrambling for cover, I just keep walking around the site in the rain. Eventually though, I was convinced I was going to kill myself by slipping on the mud and splatter my brains out onto the rocks. I had visions of my red blood streaming out and blending into the red earth of the area (yes, it was red soil, so yes, it WAS a Red Earth and Pouring Rain moment.) So there I am, wandering around looking for cover, and this old Cambodian woman, who sells pineapples and mangoes to tourists, and was hiding under a very large Coke umbrella fixed to her bicycle, gestured me over. About two minutes later, two French tourists joined us, and since it seemed that French was the most widely spoken language in the group, we had a nice chat. I even bought some mangoes which were not bad.

It's like a joke - two French tourists, and Indian and a Cambodian are standing underneath a Coca Cola umbrella eating mangoes. The Indian says...

Anyway. So that was Angkor Wat. A friend (who was also a relapsed blogger) has shamed me into taking up blogging again through her now alarmingly frequent posts, even though she's just moved continents and is getting married in a month, so I really had no excuse to not get back onto the blogging wagon. Given that I'm travelling, I should have more interesting things to write too, so watch this space. The only thing I'm going to struggle with is uploading the relevant photographs, but hey, nobody's perfect. You can google locations if you're that keen on the imagery, right?

So now in Bangkok for just one night - flying out tomorrow morning to a new destination - JAKARTA!

Until the next country.

P.S. I'm reading the Eragon trilogy while I'm travelling, and they're pretty cool. It took me forever to get around to the first one after being subjected to what is probably the worst film adaptation of all time by a recalcitrant sister. Still, its like the universe was trying to convince me, a regular believer, that films are never as good as books, by torturing me with the worst movie ever. It's like, dude, what gives? I get your point, and agree with you. Stop making me watch this crap. I could have walked out, but you see that way I would let the evil cinema owners win and get my money without providing full service.

P.P.S. I want to see Bruno. NOW. And also HPATHBP (which is the acronym for the New Harry Potter movie). AND I want so see them without Asian censorship.

P.P.P.S Thai keyboards are cool.


ohslowburn said...

Don't worry about being random and off schedule. We aren't all meant to be *on* all the time. The Dooces and Daily Koses of the world do that already. (Overachievers, bah!)

And besides which, at least some one I follow needs to make me look not-so-undisciplined. :)

Sunny Singh said...

Wow! Angkor sounds brilliant. And yes, there is a definite "little Sridevi" within all of us just dying to cavort in the rain at the first given opportunity. :-)