Untold Tall Tales of Wanderlust, Foreign Lands, and Misadventures – Part 3, Chapter 1: Another Bangkok

Hey there,

I’m back, after another period of wandering around (yet again) and juggling between work and life (or should I say work is my life now? ~ yay! Sorry for the new proficiency in sarcasm; Hours have been long, and Life has been rough.)

“What did ya bring back this time, stranger?”

Well, of course, more tall tales of the “almost” latest trip I made to Myanmar early last May, this is for sure a way overdue post, for now is when? *blinking puppy eyes*

“August, Rose.” – you, strict faced.

I apologize for my lateness. Most of the time, it took my brain and heart, and body, and everything else in between a (frustratingly long) while to proceed the amount of data they accidentally took in during the trips, and the massive effect those have on my functional, rational and (the most complicated of them all) emotional system.If I may ask, a little more patience?🙂

So, where were we again? Oh, April. (Yikes! :P)

The Myanmar trip was quite decently planned by my colleague friends and I on the period after Tet Holiday (Feb). At first, this all started on a low-key working day, where Tuzki the Crazy Rabbit…

“Wait, wait, Tuzki the what?”

You properly would have known who she is if you have read the previous part of this tall tale series, but for those who don’t (which is most of you dear readers, unfortunately), Tuzki is a colleague/ my close friend/ my partner in (some very minor) crimes, code name Dalmatian and dear companion in many of my stress-release solitude walks. Nothing much, walking side by side, I tell her about my concerns, and she, me, hers. Maybe it is just me who has always been an odd one out, for sometimes, others seem to speak to me in alien language I couldn’t really grasp; where most of the other times, I was very much lost and overwhelmed by my own feelings. And Tuzki has this magic power to turn herself into a mirror reflecting all those unfathomable into something a bit more (well) fathomable to my system. Through her reflection and perspective, I have better knowledge of people around me and of myself. The feeling of being able to open up, understood, then encouraged is quite rare and very much appreciated. So yes, I fully intend to annoy her for a while more, for as long as time is on our side.

Ehem, enough of this starting-to-get-really-embarrassing love confession/ side explanation. Her real name is not Tuzki, btw, but the craziness, very true. A sweet pain I choose to suffer. Proof follows.

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She and I got hypergenic one afternoon and decided to doodle on each other’s hand. She didn’t finish hers though, so no weird picture from my side, hehe.

So *play button pressed* … this all started on a low-key working day, where Tuzki the Crazy Rabbit and I, out of sheer boredom, bumped into a traveling article about Myanmar. After a series of “wow” and *gasp* at the magnificent scenes of Bagan (that might have lasted hours), we decided to envy no more, and realize this dream “Us girls trailing under the Sun, the wind, and the Green.” – that sounded like the closest thing to perfection for our long Labor holiday this year. Later on, 2 more of my colleague friends wanted to join. To be honest, I was a bit reluctant at first, to welcome 2 new companies into this trip for I didn’t have the confidence to organization a trip for 4, as that would require a lot more planning and a lot less go-with-the-flow which form of travel I’m most comfortable with so far. “Right, less freedom…” signed me. “The more the merrier, Rose, and they are very capable young adults, ya know?” Tuzki, assuring. And turned out, Tuzki was right, my 2 unexpected companies were very active in planning the trip together, which was truly a bliss, for work was quite hefty for all of us during those months near the departure date. And let’s give them code name (yeah, I looove code names): 3P (his full name initial) and Ms.S (and no, S does not stand for Sadism, it’s Serious!).

It was funny how we made our choice of destinations of this trip. After some intensive researches done by us consultants, we concluded that there is no budget direct flight from Ho Chi Minh city to any city in Myanmar, AirAsia transits at Bangkok and TigerAir at Singapore. 4 mischievous minds thought to ourselves “Hmm, if we already have to transit at those places, might as well pay a visit.” Agreed, booked, done.

Our intended-to-be-Myanmar-exclusively turned 180 degree into a 10-day series of city/country hopping: Bangkok (Thailand) – Mandalay – Bagan – Yangon (Myanmar) – Singapore (Singapore).

Since this trip promises, yet again, a loooong post, just like all of the previous (which is sure a pain in the a**, even for the most faithful readers), plus these days, quite stressed out by day job and preparation for some future plans, my brain power and time dedicated to this blog are not as abundant as I want them to be,  please pardon me in advance as I will have to break down the trip to 3 small chapters.

The first one will be about Bangkok. Oh well, Bangkok.

CHAPTER 1: Bangkok – “Alright, I said we would try everything once.”

Up till now, I have been in Bangkok 3 times.

The first time was when I was 14 years old, and actually my very first overseas travel. I could still remember the the nervousness of being in an entirely foreign land with natives not speaking my tongue language. Though it was a arranged tour with a professional travel company, still the thrill was over the top, and guess in a way, I was already hooked with this hopeless wanderlust since.

The second time was July 2 years ago, celebrating my sweet 23rd. A good friend, my ex, and me, the 3 of us, we roamed the more local streets of the city and treated ourselves abundantly with good food and laughters. There was something so reassuring when travelling with that once-too-familiar face; the security just by looking at his back and intertwining fingers passing a crowded crossroad. Once upon a time, someone promised me an innocent foreverness.

And this year, for the third time, with 4 close colleagues and one’s little brother, I came back to this post-war battlefield. As Bangkok is no new news, and we only stayed for 2 days going with the flow, to keep this short and sweet, I will just highlight the most interesting part of our trip: transportation. In 2 days, we have covered:

  • Plane
  • Public Bus
  • (Dreadful) Public Bus
  • Metro
  • Ferry
  • Foot
  • Skytrain
  • Taxi
  • Tuk tuk

We didn’t do bike here, but hell did we abuse this faithful traditional means of transport once we got our consultants’ asses (Rose, language!) feet on Burma. A story for later, if time allows.

So, there will be a lot of visualisation on this checklist part: 

  • Just to show off how young, wild, and crazy we actually are, behind the serious faces and analytical minds of a bunch of professional service youngsters. (That is quite a gentle reminder that the below will be loaded with silliness, and fun; however, not predominant by pretty pictures like those before it).
  • To accommodate for the light and fun sure will be lacking from the latter free-writing, emotionally-drown part of this post. You will see what I mean later on, but worry not, the deliberation of choice where to read and where not to, is yours as always.

Ready? Here we go.

1) Plane:

Obviously enough, our trip needed to start with a flight from HCMC to Bangkok (from now on will be known as BKK). It was inevitable.🙂

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Being on planes, looking out of window seats, it always reminds me of a song “Nuvole Bianche”: “He can’t understand now. No you don’t speak to him. Because he doesn’t feel this heart anymore.” On and on it goes.

It would be very rude of me not to introduce my travel crew, so here is the 1st one: 3P.

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He is a colleague from another line of service: thoughtful, caring, but no less quirky; that would be the 3 adjectives I would use to describe him to strangers. Looking so soft and yielding from the outside, just like his warm smiles, you just couldn’t imagine he would do this…

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… in the hallway of the airport. Obviously, he can be quite shocking too, in the most pleasant way.

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And now comes the full pack of Myanmar trip (aka 2/3 of the BKK crew). Please take notice to Ms.S perfect smile, I’ll tell you why later. Hmm, almost forgot, who is Ms.S? She is the second from the left, in white, next to Tuzki, and the far right is me (in case you haven’t met my baby-chubby-cheeked face before, it is very pleased to meet you!). Haven’t got used to this much exposure and taken this many selfies. Well, practice makes excellence.🙂 Back to Ms.S, she is in the same team with 3P, is (of course) serious, far-thinking, and an awesome planner.

VV, the 4th piece of the Gang (a funny codename we use to call our little pack of 5 junior consultants recruited in the same year 2014, aka the brothers and sisters whom I’m very blessed to have finally found), is not in this picture, but I think delayed gratification will make the introduction of her more special. Anyway, us girls got bored so, a sneak peak of VV, on the left…

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Now, in our short 1h45m flight, we have yet encountered an interesting specie. Meet Kelvin, a human pup, who redefines cuteness but don’t be fooled by his innocent look, he can well throw his tantrum into the fire and cry like there were no tomorrow.

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Shortly after our arrival at Suvarnabhumi Bangkok International Airport, we were presented with 2 choices: 1) taxi: fast, door-to-door delivery, quite fancy (another word for freaking expensive); 2) MRT, fast (too), need intermediate transport to reach nearest stations, cheap, a little walk or public bus was implied. Just enough time for us to going through the list of pros & cons, analyse our capability (both financial and physical) to make a choice. Decision came quite quickly. 2 it was.

2) Public bus:

Nothing too significant about it, as it was just a short 7-minute ride to the nearest MRT station. We had loads of fun though, now that 6 mischievous minds came together. One thing I found amusing is this ticket ribbon.

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Yes, easily excited over cheap thrills, that I am.

3) Metro (MRT):

Like any well-developed public transport system, BKK’s offered a pleasant ride. Here to boredom, our ticket tokens, hope you find it interesting as much as I did too.🙂

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Guess whose is whose, hehe?

4) (Dreadful) Public Bus: This is where things got funky.

Getting off the metro station, we were still kilometers away from our guesthouse. No biggie, we took public bus again, the last time was pleasant enough, right? Right… how we were naively wrong.

After a good 30 mins wait outside a convenience store (just enough time for Tuzki to take a sneak picture of me and my growing restlessness. Post it anyway, for fun.)…

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… We got on our unforgettable Thai bus. In my 25 years of existence, I truly have never seen a vehicle that was more deteriorated than that one, and I am not exaggerating a single bit. Rusty doors welcomed us into a closed box reeked of old men’s sweat, body odours, and wet wood floor. Reluctantly making ourselves comfortable in the front faded-fake-leather chairs just behind the driver, I think the same thoughts running through our heads “This is going to be a long, painful ride.”

As expected, the trip was real bumpy for a good 45 minutes. It felt like we have travel one round of BKK and back . Bored to the bone, we goofed off again, with selfie of course.

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Here is (yet another) masterpiece of Tuzki, capturing my full frustrated (in the most expressive way) face, with the couldn’t be messier hair… Nice shot! (Notice how Ms. S still looked so gorgeous?) 

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Me, I was no nicer myself, here is my payback.

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Hmm, on second thought, she didn’t look half bad… argh, it’s tough when you have a very photogenic friend. But I was determined, payback is coming. Also, I took the sitting postures of the rest of the crew. Here comes 3P, VV, and her brother. ^^

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Time passed slowly, especially when you are bored, so I had a little too much of a thrill capturing the city  through the bus side mirror.

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And another over his shoulder.🙂

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Yep, my name is Rose and I have a fetish for human back. I don’t know, there is something about it, the moment somebody turns their back on you (not to walk away though), it says “Just follow me, I will protect you.” and “I entrust my utmost vulnerability to you.” at the same time. Sweet, no? Guess I must have read too much into silly little things, or that is where the phrase “get stabbed in the back” comes from. Ehe, I kid, I kid.😉

To my defense, the vibe of them two, I meant the pictures, oh so very BKK, rite? Still having time to kill, we took another elaborated group selfie… A more decent one (aka the many perks of travelling with cool and good-looking companions).

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Told ya, we are a bunch of crazy. This period marked a personal record on selfie. I was never good at that, but have been practicing very diligently. How about you?

OK, finally now, the introduction of VV, the last girl of the Gang. She is the pretty babe in illuminated green on the very left of the last pic, spot her yet? She has a dog code too (if ya know what I mean). To the group, she is…

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… this little ever-curious Beagle. And, without her consensus, we took the deliberation (like we always have) to choose a secret profile picture for her. Poor her, such sweet, innocent girl have to suffer and be educated by such nasty gang.

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Enough selfies and bad jokes made, there we got off the dreadful ride, in the middle of God-knows-where road of Khao San area, Sun burning our bare heads.

5) (Old faithful) feet:

Having not been able to wrapped our minds on where we were, it took us a few friendly Thais to locate the right direction to our place, “Not too far, just a kilometer away”… Sound decent enough, we decided to walk some more calories away. On the way, I felt a bit weird… there was this far-away past stirring up, stumbling inside, for seemingly, I have walked this path before. At first, the feeling was just a vague sense, then it became stronger. “Pass this crossroad, on the right side, there should be this little Thai sweet shop that sells crispy pancake.”, my effort to pin it down.

And there it was, as it has always been. Just that, things changed, people are gone. The little treats were still yummy though, we tried one each. Know the name of it now, Khanom Bueang.🙂

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Shaking old things out of the cache memory and churning it down the little box where it belongs, I continued the on-foot journey with new faces. It was a kilometer filled with thoughts. And somewhere in this absent-mindedness I captured the city’s contrary.

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6) Ferry:

Settling down easily at a Khao San Baan Thai Guesthouse, a lovely little clean place tucked away in quiet local residence area, well away from from the ever-sleep Khao San, but still close enough to let us wander there later into the night.

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The afternoon was still early, and knowing too well how obsessed (ehem!) fond I am of the Sun, my companions were kind enough to suggest we heading off for the sunset on the Chao Praya river.

A lot of fun we had on this one long ferry ride, since it was (dirt) cheap, we didn’t blink once when randomly drop ourselves here and there, killing time, food and water intaking, goofing off, inventing inside jokes, etcetera and etcetera (implying too many to list out). Tuzki spotted a fair-haired little angel in her front…

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… And 3P’s attempt to devour the river, on her back. (Please don’t be mad if you are reading this… :P)

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I had rather satisfying random catch too, in one of the ferry stops, like the vibrancy.

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We arrived at the Temple of Dawn – Wat Arun (for sunset, yes, we know) on the Old Siam side of BKK. Very unfortunately, the temple was under reconstruction at the time so no perfect sunset to show, but this…

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A crimson sky, a hiding Sun, and books, now Rose’s talking.🙂

Of course, Tuzki wouldn’t miss the chance to record my awkward pose on the edge of the temple’s balcony, taking the sunset photo.

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And, a proper group photo, finally.

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I have a funny thought about this temple, instead of being name the Temple of Dawn, should it be the Temple of Stray Kitties? For there are just one too many here, like this miniature panther resting under a bush…

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Or this little tiger purring under my hand.

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Oh, this wrinkly pug too, though he is not a feline, nor stray.🙂

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7) Skytrain:

After such long (but hopefully not tiring for others) on-water journey, the hunger brought us to Sathorn, one of the major stop of the line. It started to rain, first drip-dropping, then pouring all over BKK. Coincidence or what not, a street singer was singing “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” with his guitar, and we were amazed. I like Joanna Wang’s version of this song the most.

“Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head
But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red
Crying’s not for me
Cause I ain’t gonna stop the rain by complaining
Because I’m free
Nothing’s bothering me” – We hummed along.

After such unexpected yet very pleasant performance, we took the skytrain to downtown for dinner. A ticket picture is kinda assumed.

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Caught these 2 pompoms behind a tailor store, lovely.

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Nothing too significant about the rest of the evening, except for this crazy me jumping up and down colourful fountain again (no dancing though). It brought back good old memories.

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And BKK traffic as crazy as ever…

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8) Taxi:

The night was still young for a Saturday. We took 2 taxis from where we were back to Khao san road. The drivers were decent enough to drop us at designated areas. The fare was pretty affordable too, and the cab was air conditioned (and smelled good 😝).

The famous backpacker road, as always, fully loaded with tourists from all paths of Life and with Thais who try to make a living out of this fiasco. Seeing a young lady sobbing on the street, too drunk to keep common sense, we decided not to join the crowd and call it a night instead. It is dangerous when you cannot control yourself when travelling, so my personal policy stands, no alcohol.

On our way back, I managed to spot a group foot massage…

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… and capture alive a Malamute (Hm, this post is getting crowded with canine, isn’t it?)

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It had been a productive day: we had (too much) fun, lots of good food, and exhausted in the best way. Sleep came easy, and rather pleasant. Next morning, we were warmly welcomed by the owner’s friendly smile and a freshly prepared breakfast. Basic morning toast and egg, and a sweet reminder not to forget to smile (and sipping only good coffee). 😌

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Full and well motivated, we started our second day in BKK redoing a few favorite means, like ferry to the famous Wat Pho.

Another shot inside the lovely local neighbourhood.

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The icon of the temple is the massive Reclining Buddha statue. His horn (?!) almost spears through the roof. 3P had a joke about his hair style, but in deep respect that is much needed here, I keep that story for more courageous ears.

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Somewhere in between this religious visit, I caught another human pup in his innocent mode. Such a cutie with those hair curls and dreamy eyes. Love the proud and loving look in his mother’s eyes. 

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I do aware that we suppose to pay serious amount of respect for this place, but man, we couldn’t refuse to have our little fun time when opportunity came. Ehem, please pardon us girls’ moment of weirdness.

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The boys had their fair share too.😀

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Please don’t judge, oh well, judge anyway if you must, what was done, done and we had our fun.🙂 To say an embarrassing truth, sometimes, I felt like a little baby travelling with these guys. I was pampered, waited for, led, missed, spoit, and fed, quite literally.

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Told ya 3P was caring, hehe.

And I like capturing those random presence of the Thai monks in orange coats, it brings peace and, weird enough, understanding. “I’m not sure about the randomness of those moments, but you sure are, extremely, Rose.” this thought must be dancing in your heads and I totally get it.

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I have a pretty good catch by Tuzki of the same spot too. Thanks, dear.

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Bidding goodbyes to Wat Pho, we seeked our way to the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It was a Sunday so yeah, shopping mode to the max.

9) Tuk Tuk: (Couldn’t really say you have been to BKK without stepping on one, right?)

Seeing us struggle in bargaining with a flock of tuktuk vultures, one man approached and offered the best price in town. Really, it was insanely reasonable, too good a deal, we couldn’t say no to (though at the end, we realized that we should have. Well, we were young, and not well paid enough to know any better, lol.) Here is the man standing next to his weapon of choice (oops, my bad again) vehicle of living, and us, scurrying inside like a school of nemos.

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He was very friendly and took us another group photo.🙂 Wish I could have taken a group “after” pic.

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Because, wow, such a ride of a lifetime!

Like Batman with his Batmobile, the orange-haired Thai tuktuk man fled his way through the horrible traffic of BKK. Sudden breaks followed by abrupt acceleration almost threw Tuzki and VV’s brother off the tuk tuk a couple of times. A well-perceived 20 minutes of rollercoastering later, we arrived at the Market in one piece (~phew), bodies still attached but souls must have dropped somewhere along that road of horror. It sure was exciting, but to repeat this anytime soon, we were all weary…

Chatuchak is the biggest open market I’ve ever been to, and suppose, ever will be. Rested on a area big enough for 88 football fields, it is home to thousands merchants that sell almost everything, from vintage cars to spice, and many many, Thai street food to nibble on.

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We had our stomaches satisfied with durian ice cream cubes and grass jelly (selfie time, yet again, yay~)

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… and Thai milk tea.

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I was wearing red at the time but actually, I was green with envy. See how Ms.S looked like she just stepped out of a fashion magazine and I made that silly octopus expression. Hmm, enjoying my tea way too much.😛 The only picture that slightly touch the impossible to have her look any less than perfect is this…

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Another girl selfie in Wat Arun, pouting.🙂 Tuzki’s expression was gold, lol.

I didn’t make any extreme purchase here like I did in the last trip (11kg of books sure still means something to my shopping tendency), just some small home decors and some raw wooden boards that were intended for room signs in my little messy oasis. Will boast about it when I have the chance to finish them all.

A misfortune happened here was that Ms.S lost some silly money. And as professional and calm in handling tough situation as she always does, the girl reported the accident to the police, “Not that I have hope to get my money back, the police needs to know about that shop owner to avoid the same thing in the future.” She is a serious thinker, yes. 😎 Little did she know that this police incident was the start for a series of unexpected encounter between her and this government force later on of this country hoping trip. Again, not going to step ahead of myself, later.

Determined not to let the misfortune shadow our fun, we headed to the city center, having dinner, and another selfie, now in a fancy, no regal is a better word, female bathroom, just because, it was HUGE (bigger than my oasis, for crying out loud).

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Very relating, Rose, nice. Warned ya, no pretty pics, only a bunch of 20-crazy-somethings living their age.🙂 To end this post honoring the same spirit, here I give you, 3P pose on the metro….

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And Tuzki in her truest self…

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And myself ), trying hard to avoid burned monkey head… in Myanmar though. Should have let them burned, burned, burned, but that is another story for the future.🙂 (Tuzki was in here too, lol, she is the Mother of Weird Selfie and I love her for that.)

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All the idiosyncrasies just to end this chapter in the light and bright. Thanks for reading up to this point, I know it has been a lot of craziness to take in in such “short” post.

Until next time,

Rose.

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[Please be warned: You are at the borderline between my outward bright persona and the darkness that truly rumbling within. From this point forward, sadness tangling, mixed with frustration, pain and bitterness. I am not always light and fun. Kindly turn away if that person is not what you would like to see or are seeking from me and this blog.]

CHAPTER 1: Another Bangkok – “Life goes on relentlessly, it always does…”

It was truly amusing how your body’s memory is way more vivid than your mind’s, how your feet knew the way where it needed to go, your eyes spotted familiarity from far away, how everything seemingly just stood still the way they were before. Good memories of a past so far away, it came creeping in, made you smile that soft sad  smile, because you know things changed, time flied, and people had moved on from this playground a long, long time ago. You remember that younger you, who were much more naive to be able to believe that always is a possibility and foreverness do exist.

Now when all impure rage and resentment has subsided, giving back the cleanliness and fairness to one’s judgement, she finally understand what all that fuss was about.

There was a time that the boy did love the girl, the one who cycled the nights with him for some hard-earned money, the one who baked him his favorite yellow butter cake every time he made his demand with  that too-cute a face, yeah, that girl he fell for, wasnt’ it?

And there was a time that the girl did love the boy too, the one who held her hand on the way back from supermarkets talking about their future, the one who gave up more than half of his own stuff just to give the her some extra space to bring home some more useless kitchen utensils, the one who let her place her ice-cold feet onto his warm thigh on a winter night despite how annoyed he must have felt, the one whose embrace so safe in the drip-dropping of those early autumn rains, yeah, that boy she fell hard for.

As surprising as it turned out, that little silly boy and that little stubborn girl, they loved each other, dearly. It just… didn’t happen at that perfect timing like both wished it would. He arrived too early, she caught up too late. They both once wanted to be each other’s source of happiness, and perhaps in one way or another, they had been. Once, paths had crossed, but then, no more.

The thing is, everyone deserve to be happy in their own way, and when his happiness wasn’t her anymore, it was just natural that he move on towards his true one.

He just is, same as she. No one’s fault, or is it everyone’s? Have anything good come out of forcefulness anyway?

Some said to her: “It was such a waste of time, spending all those youthful years on someone that didn’t choose you, at the end…” Well, who could know that there would be an end, and is there anything else in human relationships one would better do but strive for the best, and prepare for the worst? And for some parts of the statement, she must agree, there were things she wanted so badly to happen differently including many of her own behaviours, and there were things that this connection restraining both from doing. Valuable things come with hefty price tags, don’t they always? Safety she chose at the time, so commitment was the price she had to pay. The equilibrium existed at some point, both parties were satisfying with what they gave and received. Then, it didn’t, the relationship itself demanded more than it offered, maybe for both sides. Thus, it broke, as simply and as complicated as that.

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I was rereading my old unfinished draft of the last BKK trip, the first time that I practice Vietnamese writing. “Man, did I write that? Wow… so deep!” *really laughed out loud*. Then found this little picture of you, well, your back to be more exact, in an old, intentionally hidden corner of my laptop.

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I believe that sometimes a picture speaks a thousand unsaid words. Of all the photos I took of you, I liked it the most. This fact stays true still 😌. It conveyed just so fully how I felt about you, what and just how much you meant to me: a protective brother I was blessed to have, a loyal friend who knows how to listen yet eccentric enough to have plenty of silly fun with, a rock when things got tough, a shoulder to cry on, and a wonderful first love one could ever dreamt of. Those were the beautiful years of my youth, I hope those had been yours, as well.

Well, wise men they said, it is better late than never… This is my stubborn-as-ever way of finally saying a long-lost proper thank you, for all you have done to me. I’m always grateful to have met and been with you. Please find peace and let us forgive each other for we are just not one’s happily ever after. The other day, I saw you smiling big in a picture of one unexpected mutual acquaintance, and I am glad, wholeheartedly I am.

I hope you have found your true happiness or path to reach it, and for me, to find mine too.

Farewell, L.

From R, with gratitude.

Do you know that on Friday the 28th July we had a “Blue Moon”?

“Really? Blue the color? Wicked!”

No, silly, it’s not that the moon turns blue, it is always this silver globe shining, no bigger than the size of your thumb, so close it seems to accompany your every step, yet so far because you know it will never belong only to you. A blue moon is an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year, either the third of four full moons in a season or, a second full moon in a month of the common calendar.

There was this song on my iPod forever ago.

“Just once in a very blue moon

Just once in a very blue moon

Just once in a very blue moon

And I feel one comin’ on soon”

Like a soft sad rhythm, it repeats over and over since that day…

“When was the last time someone waited to pick you up when you had to stay late at the office?” – It asked, seeing her half sleeping on a taxi ride home at 0230am.  — “I don’t recall such revelry.” – She, yawned.

“When was the last time someone cooked a decent dish, just for you?” – It asked, seeing her rush through the first meal of the day at 1100pm on a Friday. — “Don’t remember.” – She, famished.

“When was the last time someone clean your wounds when you suffer from yet another road test?” – “I can do it myself.” She, pale and trembling under those bruises and scratches. “When was the last time someone buy you medicine when you catch a nasty flu?” – “Can handle that myself too, can’t I?” She, between lung-exploding coughs.

“When was the last time someone pulled you into their arms, place that one kiss on your forehead, tousle your messy hair, told you not to worry of those thunderous nights because they are right there, their embrace is your one sanctuary on Earth?” – It, continued. — “…I…I… ” – She, stuttered.

“When was the last time someone told you that you don’t have to try so hard on your own anymore, because they are willing to try, with you?” – It, went on. — “I don’t know. Gosh, stop asking me things I don’t have the answers to.” She, face buried in hands.

“Is it that you don’t have the answer to? Or you actually do, but don’t have the f*cking gut to say it out loud?” It, leaving her gasping for air. “When was the last time someone did something for the first time, way out of their conformity, for you?”, it smirked. “When, Rose?”

“Alright, you asked for it.” He, enraged, standing tall upfront, covering her sobbing in the back. “No one have ever done those for us, nor I doubt anyone ever will. No matter how special we feel about them and no matter how hard we try to be true to our heart and soul, to make sure no important words left unsaid, if they just don’t feel that same way about us, then they don’t. People always try hard for whatever they prioritised, and I suppose we are just not one of those. Lucky us, ~yay! They don’t even remember our Birthday, for God’s sake. Hope is the sweet poison we picked that slowly kills. Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise. Santa Claus doesn’t exist, nor do miracles. Exclamation point!”

.

Now, now, easy…*She standing up, one hand wipping tears, the other on his shoulders*

Look R, there was a quote I read, sometimes ago: “There are two hardest tests in Life: Patience to wait for the right moment, and Courage to accept that you have been waiting for nothing.”

I agree, but speculate that there is one more behind them, one test that is very well hidden to most bare eyes but maybe more visible to ones that look through the scope of their heart: “Kindness to be grateful for whatever encountered and to walk away with no resentment”.

I don’t see the point of fussing over something that is not meant to be, for us. Really, I don’t.

Would that recklessness change anything? Would I feel better after inflicting the enormous amount bitterness and ache that are tumbling inside on someone or something that were once so very important to us? – I think not.

Sometimes, despite how much we want to be there for the other person, we just no longer have enough a decent reason to. Sometimes it’s just as simple as the uttering of an unthoughtful word; sometimes it’s that indifference to the efforts we tried so hard to display; sometimes it’s that twitching uneasiness in our heart, warning us that the relationship is leveraging on more courage and patience than we could afford, and that the baobab seed of resentment is sprouting, and that we are at risk of losing ourselves again in the process of appreciating others. That is our hard limit, so we stop.

Instead of devaluing the whole experience and meaningfulness of the encounter, should we rather remember them of all those sweetness and warmness they once casted upon us and pray all the best would happen to those special ones, moving forward on our own lonely path with gratitude and faith that somewhere along this road we are taking, we would finally find what we’re looking for? – Maybe.

So yeah, I choose to swallow this pain, not to let others have a gulp of it. Just because, “Sometimes, we run the risk of weeping a little, letting ourselves be tamed.” These are, unfortunately, of those times. Some call it martyrdom, well, maybe it is, and maybe I am enjoying this more than I thought. *light sign*

“Someday, we will be old enough to start reading fairytales again, R.” *pat pat*

Sorry, I’ve drifted away into way-too-abstract writing, and I’m more than completely irresponsible to blame it on an excellent read I found myself with just recently, “The Little Prince”. And yes, I know it is another no-new news. But if you haven’t read this masterpiece, give it a try, be amazed, and puzzled, and finally enlightened by the philosophic meanings well implied within this seemingly little children book.

Hmm, anyway, shouldn’t leave you on a low mood like that, now should we? Let me think. Aha, travel, it always cheers us up. What are next on our calendar?

CERTAIN TO HAPPEN

August

  • First weekend (07-09): Phu Quoc isle ~ pure awesomeness, a long-lost dream fulfilled, maybe some diving would happen, we will see about that. (Updated: no diving due to the unexpected storm and left with a nasty flu that hasn’t gone away *sobbing for real*. Good pics of the rumbling sea though. Here is one by the good old friend whom I roamed BKK the 2nd time with, like the seawater drops. She has the eyes of a photographer. I have some myself, taken with my phone, can be found on my Instagram.)

11245091_1171878996160257_248429622_o-2

  • Third weekend (21-23): Advanced Open-water Diving Course in Nha Trang, one that has been postponed for way too long and see about the Divemaster internship the Rainbow Diver Centre offers.

September

  • First 2 weeks (28/08 – 13/09): Europe (yes, yes yes, yes, yes… echos on.) Finally, after 3 years longing, I’m now coming back to the land of Nostalgia. Itinerary: Finland – Sweden – Denmark – France, upon these 4 places, 3 I have been to.

November

  • One weekend of the first 2 weeks: A Road trip to Moc Chau Plateau with colleagues.

22-27th June 2016

  • Kinabalu Mount, Malaysia. Flight booked so here to the highest mountain of the country, hopefully the dreadful recent incident’s effect would have subsided by then.

04-10 July 2016

  • Son Doong Cave (Yep, yep, throwing-fist-in-the-air YEP! I’m going to this special expenditure and this is to celebrate my Birthday next year, just like the Fansipan trip. Hehe, my certain “new age’s crazy thing”! >D<)

LET SEE WHERE WE CAN SQUEEZE THESE IN

  • Ca Mau to touch the furthest South point of Vietnam.
  • A small adventure to Tu Lan Cave (Well well, us and caves *a dark smile is curving at the corner of the lips*. More to that little cave trip in June later, if time/ energy allows, a story not for every ear.)
  • A little water sport in Dalat, may include jungle trekking, white water rafting, canyoning, and camping.
  • Ly Son Isle, Quang Ngai
  • Cliff of Stone Plates, Phu Yen to touch the furthest East point of Vietnam.

WISHLIST (hmm, let be positive – BUCKET LIST)

  • White Christmas (I miss my white Christmases so much it hurts *sobbing for real*)
  • Northern Light (I like to call it Aurora better)
  • New Year Firework (Not the lonely, tear-snatching one again on thag beach of Langkawi but the real, magnificent, sky-filling, breath-taking one with dear people in your Life right beside you.)
  • Japan in Sakura or Wisteria Blossom (or both, hey, a girl can always dream.)
  • Son Doong Cave (I registered this special expedition for my Birthday next July, yay! Let see if they would accept my pending request, finger crossing…) Too eager to officially cross this off the list in July next year. See? Bucket list.😀
  • Bungee jumping in AJ Hackett Macau Tower, Macau (double the happiness if it will be a couple bungee jump)
  • Time Square, NY and The Grand Canyon, Arizona, US
  • Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt
  • Taj Mahal, India
  • Machu Picchu, Peru

Thoughts interrupted by this weird monologue:

  • He: Hey wait!  It would be way too long to list our travel bucket list here in this post, Rose, for our readers’ sake, STOP!!
  • She: Can I have one last one? *puppy eyes*
  • He: Alright… How can I resist this? Shoot!
  • She: ~Yay! With me?
  • He: Fine… *fake sign*

  • Everest! *Both, equally excited*

“OK, satisfied?” – “Yes, and very looking forward to.”

So it has truly passed, our birth month this year… Just want to say, happy very belated birthday to you, R! I was the first to wish ourselves a meaningful 25, might as well let me be our last. And you have been writing to me for sometimes now, please let me reciprocate. Yeah, Love does not base on obligatory but does thrive on reciprocacy. Mutuality and voluntarity, those I firmly believe in.

During our 24, we have learned a thing or two about “courage” (such a beautiful and poweful word): to face our deepest fears; to go out of our norms to open ourselves to new hellos and bid proper goodbyes to things we no longer belonged; to set concrete goals, ceiling and limits to what we would do for ourselves and others; to explore all possibilities and determined to get to the heart of the matters, and to not be afraid to be honest with how we feel about people and things; and to follow through with our words. We have known freedom and have also tasted loneliness. Though the road was rough and pains have scarred us times again, we chose to push through anyway. You have been brave, very brave, and I couldn’t be more proud.

R, I know you and I have planned a totally different birthday celebration this year, one that would have involved following the impulse of our heart and doing something crazy, one as we promised each other we would always do, upon conquering the Fansipan last year. There were incidents that hindered us from doing so, and oh man, did we frustrate.

A month later, as I am writing to you now, I hope you start to understand better the way I take it. Maybe, just maybe, this year, the craziest thing we did was to do nothing at all. Maybe, just maybe, this year, “never” was better than “now”… Sometimes, on our convicted roll to our heart’s command, we haven’t put enough consideration into how our acts affect others’ feeling and their current lives beside ones they chose to share with us, so miserably had we failed to match our emotional pace and intensity with theirs, leading to one too many misunderstanding and misfortunes in our encounters.

Maybe, just maybe, R, we need to slow down and allow ourselves to take that leisure road, give us, and others a chance to fully absorb the sensation brought by the surrounding nature, the warm glow of those connections flickering in our heart. Sometimes, we need to wait for our companions to catch up, to truly listen to what they have to say beyond the outer harshness and frustration, to walk some steps in their shoes to understand their circumstances, and finally to connect, if we do want them in for the long run. We might miss out more of Life speeding up on our lone highway. You arrive faster, but what’s the peak in that when we turn our head around and there was only you and me and that silver steel-cold triangle at the summit? I admit, there are some we could not salvage despite our best efforts, but at least we should always be grateful for having met them and set them and us free, in peace. Just like the rain falling on both the just and unjust, should we trouble ourselves with selfish judgement and what-ifs? People care, or they don’t, give your best anyway, just because, you do. Some resources like time or efforts are limited, but kindness, well, I think the more we give the more we have. 😇

This year, I wish you a cup full of courage (yes, a learned lesson still needs to be mastered), a hefty spoon of patience (we could always use more of it, couldn’t we?), and a generous pinch of kindness (because we are, can be, and want to be. In caee you forget, R).

Love as always,

Rose.

Hmm, that is some sentimental love letter, Rose. *blush*

Some of them I have to agree to disagree… Please pardon my hesitance for like you have already seen, I haven’t felt motivated to keep faith in the people matter for a while now. People keep leaving, they always do. Life goes on relentlessly, it always does. This human relationship thing, it is just too complicated, and exhausting. I am afraid, hurt, and drained.

But thanks, much appreciate the thoughtful words, it makes me think. We all are trying hard to be better everyday, I understand.

Farewell, turbulent July! (Have you ever not been?) Here to  August, and our getaways… Please be kind.

Ah, almost forgot… Songs. (aka, recent repeats. Quite literally I meant, just pick one and let the rhythm repeats itself, these loops could go on for hours, very soothing.)

  • Say You Love Me (Jessie Ware, my new-found pure gold, a song that is sensational and emotional at the same time. Her “Keep on Lying” is so worth repeating too.)
  • Waves (Mr. Probz – the original slow, acoustic version, not the remix version by Robin Schulz. Love the edginess in his voice. Just wondering why sometimes people perceive the remix more highly than the original, “Reckoning Song/ One Day” of Asaf Avidan is another sad example…)
  • Somewhere Only We Know (Lily Allen’s version, because I’ve loved her since “Littlest Things”, and the piano calms me, always. The cello/bass cover by Simply Three was pretty good, like the video, reminds me of “Waiting on Heaven / to Make a Move” by Adam Zwig.)
  • No Freedom (Dido. Hmm, questioning my years of loyalty to Dido’s music? No? Yep, that’s better! The cover by Miley Cyrus in her Backyard Sessions triggered some reminiscence.)
  • Do I Wanna Know? (Hozier’s cover version on BBC Radio 1. The original by Arctic Monkeys is good too, but different mix and voice conveys different tone of meaning. Listen to both, and you will know what I meant.)
  • Lean On (Major Lazer & DJ Snake, feat. MØ. Just because my music wouldn’t be complete without at least one EDM. ^^ Do not watch the music video though, I mean it.)
  • Waiting for Love (Avicii. Here comes another EDM, with meaningful lyrics, badass music videos – both the lyrics and the official one. Yep, I’m soft for words and beauty, as always.)

To tell the truth, I was a bit frustrated with writing my thoughts out loud lately, sent messages that were drafted with honest thoughts and sincere feelings were not understood… I keep asking myself why spending the effort on it? What am I so afraid of? Not getting response? Or finally getting a response?

White noises…

Thinking of adopting a kitten, maybe 2, “Sun” and “Moon”, their prospective names.🙂

Ho Chi Minh City – August 11th, 2015.

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