It was the peak of winters.Another misty December afternoon and we were all set for our next trip coming almost a year after the previous one. We had promised ourselves this trip on the day we were boarding the flight back home and ending our first trip together in Malaysia . And after a year we re ready for it. The trip started off with me being down with fever. God has “perfect ‘ plans at times . Much against everyone’s wishes we chose Thailand as our destination and we re truly happy we did that.Well, the first leg of our journey started amidst chaos and mess , a part of the package deal that comes with your wedding may be . 😉 The excitement fizzled out a bit, in fact a lot. which was partly due to the fact that I was unwell and partly becoz of the ‘surroundings effect’ , say in a ratio of 20-80 :D. and to the extent that I might sum up the whole trip in just one post, while the one about our last trip was 59posts long . whooo..Is this what life does to you in just a year ? hmm..still wondering. A lot to wonder with no answers available. The best things is that we cherish being together , it’s just the ‘surroundings’ that keep stirring up the storms. 😉 :D. And as long as you are happy together nothing or ‘no one’ else matters. And I see a digression here, I am moving miles away from the subject. So better get back to the subject before I go completely off the track here.
A celebration called life Thailand was going to be a great option to unwind, relax and chill . Pattaya is a place where I discovered and learnt much more and completely opposite of what I expected . So I am going to write more about this particular aspect of the place rather than the usual travel details. You would usually go to this place for a good 4days of fun n relaxation .But it turned out to be a place for retrospection, analyzing and deep contemplation. made me see life from an all new angle. Its a wide known fact that the place is famous for its abundant nightlife and of course for the ‘ladies of the night’. Loaded as it is with beer bars of all description, a profusion of go-go bars and live music venues, and plenty of large discos that open at 22:00 and go on until late. Middle aged singles mostly from west would stay there for months hanging around with girls half their age for both companionship n fun.This is the main reason for many tourists to be here but not for all. It would be wrong to stereotype the place. It is quite feasible to ignore all this and spend your time in refined bars, plush malls and upmarket residential areas, or, indeed, lounge on a quiet beach.All you see around is a crowd of happy and carefree people, both locals and foreigners. A can of beer, a relaxed walk on the beach or a stroll on the road. Thats what sums up a perfect life. ..just that simple. What if life was that simple and carefree? . It actually is. Its just a matter of perception. We are just bent upon making it complicated. In the end life is about living. Why not do just that. LIVE.
The place starts getting more lively and resplendent as the night sets in. Things kick off around tenish. The whole town starts buzzing with activity. There are bands playing live music. There are these alluring ” ladies of the night ” enticing the men around with their seductive smiles and gorgeous looks . Dressed to perfection they light up the whole promenade with their chuckles and charm. You can not help stopping by and having a close look. Even I couldn’t resist staring and secretly admiring them for their beauty and vivaciousness. The place and the women will never find approval in our so-called morality books but then who are we to judge. There’s no harm in doing what you want as long as you don’t hurt anyone. They were doing exactly that. Some were there for fun , some looking for greener pastures in the west if they find a good guy from the west, some we heard had their whole families depending on them for a living . They were into the ‘trade’ to support their families. Even I was guilty of jumping to judgement at times. But eventually learnt that you have no right to judge someone unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. As they say ‘its easy enough to preach morality on a full belly. Morality is the custom of one’s country. Cannibalism is moral in a cannibal country. Our ideas of morality are too shallow . Who sets the standards and the moral code? . We have different concepts and different perspective on the issue. Its just a matter of perception , acceptance and maturity. And I was in sync with all three here. Sometimes you find wisdom and knowledge in the most unlikeliest of places. Every single person whether good or bad teaches you something. Saw life from a new angle and learnt how to smile n celebrate.
The moment is now..Count your blessings , don’t waste time waiting for perfect tomorrows. God was being a little innovative this time so wanted me to learn the new lesson inside the deep-sea. This was when I tried my hand at adventure sports and went para-sailing. G was the first to try and landed perfectly after a few minutes in the air. Then came my turn. My parachute was in no mood to make a smooth landing as everyone else’s and carried the adventure a little further by dropping me down in middle of the vast sea. It is not hard to imagine the plight of the person who is not comfortable with even boating because of the phobia of water and suddenly finds himself in the sea drowning deeper n deeper. Those few seconds replay your entire life before your eyes. My first thought was this is the end I might not go back to surface again, what an end to the trip. The very next moment those you love the most are in your thoughts..you think was it the last time you saw them ? But just when I started “drowning” deep into my thoughts, God somehow decided to say “lol..Just kidding ‘ and popped me back to the surface. Phew..what a relief to see the boats and people around.
I forgot all this while that I had the life jacket on and was tied to the parachute so I wouldn’t have drowned that fast . But my thoughts saw no logic. It was not my time to go yet .God had second thoughts may be. So eventually I was “rescued” and came back by another boat.And here I see my better half filming my ordeal so casually with a smile..hats off..I mean seriously wont u even panic for a sec man? Can life be any funnier than this ? I was completely at a loss of words here. Its good to be positive but to this extent??? Amazing!!! 😀 😀 .
On a serious note I realized that day that the distance between life and death is actually so thin. Its just a matter of a few seconds and a few breaths. Things change in a snap. Life is transient. What if those were my last moments? I might have gone away carrying a lot of regrets , lot of unfinished things , lot of wishes, longings. So why not make them all happen while you are still alive . I put a lot on my to-do list that day and made many promises to myself. Gradually I am Striking off the “done” stuff from my to-do list but the promise part was broken the very next day when G got on to my nerves and had me yelling and shouting . ( promise#1 I’ll never fight or argue with those I love ). Well promises are to be broken and are breaking day by day and the video is a source of entertainment for everyone these days n poor me being a laughing-stock. My version of the story still goes ‘ I struggled bravely and came out like a fighter “. And it is NOT funny. Ignorant people .huh. :p :p
Coming back to normal life or should I say coming back to life we decided to explore some more of the town. Pattaya is world famous for its cabarets.Shows like Tifanny’s and Alcazar introduce you to the famous ‘lady-boys’ who look so feminine and so eternally beautiful that even the best looking women would envy them for their looks and for the grace and elegance they present themselves with. You wont feel even for a second that they are actually men. The shows are truly mesmerizing and the actors just superb . They were earning their living by displaying the immense talent that they have.
. What tops my ‘unforgettables’ list is the Thai massage. Truly Ultimate and out of the world experience. The relief and relaxation it gives you at the end of a long tiring day is incomparable . At the end of the massage session they literally have to shake you out of the slumber you slip into during the relaxing massage. Miss it like anything. I would love to visit the “Sin city” again for its happy mood,warmth, fun as it somehow instills these qualities in you too. They are contagious.
Our next destination was Bangkok. Just another Big city, no different from a normal metro city. First thing I noticed about the place was the network of electricity wires. In hundreds n hundreds all tangled and unconcealed hanging loose outside the shops and houses. I still believe the electricity/telephone department people there must be some kind of super heroes to carry out repairs through that labyrinth.
So that was the first impression of the city which lasts till now. Bangkok being the capital city was way too crowded and fast moving than Pattaya. Life was different here. We could see regular working class people, people with families which we dint see in pattaya. Bangkok too stays awake and alive till late night but the nightlife was not the same here. You would see the ‘ladies of the night’ here too but they were not a majority as in Pattaya.Or they might be in majority in certain areas that we might have missed visiting . It was the Christmas time so the town was abuzz with excitement. full of shopping complexes, malls and small shopping stalls ,the place caters to all your shopping needs and has a lot of other activities to offer. You just need time, a lot of it to explore the place. We had a limited time but as on our every trip we utilized every second of it .
They say you cant touch the soul and pulse of a place unless you travel in their local transport. We traveled a lot on the sky train and the boats. The city has an excellent network of transport both land and sea. Due to the infamous traffic snarl ups in Bangkok people usually prefer to travel by sky train or boats which are so well connected with every important place of the city. Two days of stay there was fun. We visited various temples, malls, animal safaris and many small n big markets for lots n lots of shopping. As far as the shopping part goes, as always I literally had to drag G to the clothes showrooms while he longingly looked at some electronic stuffs counter or stared at random people with a bored look. He would grudgingly walk in. Similarly he had to shake me every time I zoned out and froze outside the bags and jewellery showrooms. A usual scene whenever we go out shopping. But somehow we managed to pick some great stuff and see some wonderful places. 🙂
Still a lot was missed out . You can’t explore all in such a short span . But we saw the best of it. Talking of the food we missed out the local food intentionally. Sea-food was not our cup of tea. I never relished it and after a really bad experience with the same in Malaysia we decided not to experiment this time. You could easily get Indian stuff there and moreover Mc d and Kfc never desert you. They always come to your rescue in strange lands. But we truly relished the local fruits especially guavas and mangoes. Might have eaten tons of those in these four days.So tempting and delicious.
The hotel we stayed in was owned by an Indian family from Delhi who were settled there for almost 30 years now. To my question on how they manage staying there in a strange country with strange people who dont even speak their language and not even English, the lady replied ,”I spent half of my life here.Its “home” now.”.True,you are no longer bound by borders and boundaries. It’s natural to develop a bond with a place you gave half your life to. In contrast to this we met a young man , an Indian who was an employee at the same hotel. Throughout our stay I found him feeling lonely sad and out-of-place. He would quietly serve the order and leave.Never heard him say even a word or even smile. I couldnt resist asking him the reason . He told me he came about two years ago in search of a better future in this country but could never adjust. He was longing to go back to India and in his words ” once I get a chance to go to India I’ll never return back”. Home is home after al. This place can never be home for me. Here’s one person who has made a strange country her home for years and is very happy and another one who always did and always will find himself a stranger there . Life’s strange ! Same human beings but so different. A matter of adjustments , emotional equations or just a different way to look at things ? Still wondering how to sum it up.
So a lot to ponder .Those four days have been full of insights , revelations and lot of surprises . They say such things and people cross our path for a reason . There was some learning to do and a whole lot of fun.
I learnt we must enjoy life despite the odds . Well its YOLO so make the best of it .
I learnt “Lets not judge”
Do not wait as time and tide wait for none . Well can’t say of time but thank God the ” tides” spared me, well literally. 😉
Last but not the least through our endless fights, tiffs and arguments I learnt that you can never change men .They will always be annoying and they actually get better at it with time… G so diligently proved it throughout the trip. 😉 😉 😛
But life is beautiful anyways.. These chaos and quarrels only spice up the life ..
So Keep living , keep loving, smile a lot , frown a little , fight a bit, get mad , get crazy , be weird but don’t let the fun die. Celebrate life, every moment of it.