Sunday, July 15, 2012

A รถจักรยาน Built for Two

Each weekend that comes and goes, Stephen and I jet off by train or bus (air-conditioned or not) to our desired Isaan location to get away from the noisy, busy city life. However, this weekend we failed to commit to a second trip to Ubonrat for some swimming in the sun and ended up enjoying a few simple pleasures of Khon Kaen which we had not yet experienced. After three trips to Bueng Kaen Nakhon, seeing giddy Thais bicycling around the lake, it seemed necessary to make a trip to take a tandem bicycle for a spin. For only 80 baht, Stephen and I rented a red, rickety (as is everything here, it seems), floral blue basketed tandem bicycle for 2 hours. We pedaled (after some practice runs) around the lake twice, laughing at our shadows on the ground and the thought of what we two silly farangs on a tandem must look like to the Thai people around us. We found a cart selling one of our favorite Thai treats--fresh fruit smoothies. I ordered mine with cantaloupe, dragon fruit and pineapple while Stephen had canteloupe, pineapple and banana. Delicious. We also came across a dilapidated skate park and had a good time impressing one another with our X-treme tandem trix. On Sunday, after a slow, lazy start to the day finishing up some laundry and lounging in our new, brightly-colored, over-sized fisherman's pants we bought at the ASEAN Trade Fair at Central Mall...we ventured over to the Pullman Raja Orchid Hotel to try out the pool. I cannot begin to explain how amazing it felt to lay in the hot, Thai sunshine and take a dip in the cool, refreshing pool. On top of working an exhaustively requiring job,we are surrounded by city smells (that's being polite...mostly just weird Thai smells), crowds, traffic and an overall run-down, uncared for environment. Making our way to the 4th floor of the Pullman, we found ourselves all of a sudden seemingly in another world. It was like I had somehow escaped Khon Kaen and was now on vacation. I never would have thought that my experience in Thailand after 2 1/2 months would leave me feeling that I missed the simple beauty of nature and aesthetically pleasing sights. I thought that living in Thailand would mean being surrounded by lush, blooming nature I could walk through on the way to school everyday and see from my apartment window. Situated where we are, I get lost in the disharmonious atmosphere and find myself longing for peace and beauty. As I swam and soaked up the sun's intense rays, I found myself thinking about all the little comforts of home and reminiscing about the beach on Lake Michigan back home where all my friends and family are currently enjoying the simple joys of a Michigan summer.

 It's a risky move, trying to take a picture on a decrepit tandem bicycle.

 Some kind of Vietnamese building on the lake.

 There's something very sad about one person riding a tandem bicycle...

 Some of Stephen's cool moves.

 At the lovely pool at the Pullman.

It really was a lovely weekend for Stephen and I. Now we're working on planning our next weekend trip. Looks like it will be Khao Yai National Park!

We miss you all!


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