Sunday, 16 August 2009
Free Time Wondering
Hellish Hondas zip past like belching bees, under a bruised and nebulous sky.
The relentless waves of heat and mugginess stultify the brains capacity to think.
Movement feels unnatural; awkward - controlled by an outside force like some celestial deity lounging in wicker furniture with fingers poised on a remote.
The heat stifles and entraps the form squeezing like a boa constructor.
There’s no escape, nowhere to run.
A refreshing, albeit, short-lived breeze massages my face, allowing me for a short moment to escape the tiresomeness of natures onslaught.
Quaint housing lines the narrow streets lined with pretty tropical flowers and trickling streams.
Families sit on plastic chairs, some stare into space and others watch them do the same. Life is on the move and so am I.
Breathe deeply and know your alive.
Feel the aliveness of the moment and march into battle.
The queen of Thailand stares down from her perch over the intersection, watching closely the circus show below.
Chaos and pandemonium compete on the roads for superlative status; wild driving and obliviousness of danger dominate the scene.
How does one stay alive for long in this rat’s nest?
One can duck and dive, but sooner or later a brush with death is on the cards.
Myriads of students dominate the sidewalks, unmistakable in their regimental white and brown uniforms; shining lights of impeccability.
Minuscule paces and grease smeared faced surround; seas of youth and happiness; every step an image of the beautiful spring time of life.
Beads of sweat continue to lose their grip with gravity and make their saline decent south.
Following the shade I come across Thalang Road which is like looking into a crystal ball at Phuket’s past.
Shops many more times longer than they are wide are adorned with heavily accented latticework entries, and brightly coloured exterior paintwork.
The scene is like that in Pennang, Malaysia crossed with the Big Bad Wolf’s sugar coated residence in the famous children fairy tail; a multi-coloured vista of brilliant colour and intricate bi-gone architecture.
Just off Thalang Road lies Soi Romani, an interesting little back lane that has had, even by Phuket’s standards; a sordid past.
This quaint blip on the map was once a red light district for the many Chinese labourers who came to work the tin mines.
It has been restored to it’s former self in recent years and now is full of small drinking holes.
This grandiose Sino-colonial spectacle, once occupied by Phuket's tin barons, stands as a living monument to the town's past.
The name of this soi is intriguing as 'romani' is an old-fashioned Thai word, roughly translating to 'naughty with the ladies'.
Having frequented this area by night I can reassure the reader that little has changed in a century.
By night, young ladies, scantly dressed prowl the street looking for ‘customers’ and men of all ages and nationalities do the same fueled by booze and a wanton lust for fresh meat.
There no point being shocked. No one cares. This is Thailand after all.
As the propitious locals would say,
“Relax......Same same, but different...... not serious”