Lingering in Limbo

Trip Start Dec 31, 2004
Trip End Apr 22, 2005

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Monday, January 10, 2005

There are worse ways of spending one's day than by lounging on silk cushions and pillows in the leafy shade while an antique fan clatters a cooling incensed breeze. All the while you read and eat then read and drink and read some more. This is purgatory in Bangkok.

Having seen the sights that interest me and now awaiting my final dental process on Wednesday -- of what I hope will be the final dental process I have little to do other than relax. In-between relaxing I'm planning my escape to my next stop, Cambodia and reading about the hotels and sights, etc. And just when I'd decided yesterday that I should get up and go for a stroll and visit a temple or two I fell and one of my toes began to swell -- yet another excuse to return to the cushions for another iced coffee.

Prior to my tumble I had just had an hour long intense foot massage ironically enough. Being naturally leery of massage parlors in general Bangkok is surely the place where one should raise an eyebrow or two when you hear one mentioned. The place a few doors from my hotel proved legitimate however and I was immediately comforted by the large Buddhist shrine in the main area and rested assured that this was more of a family run business. Two monks, the older one in orange silk and his protege in cotton entered and sat across from me on the teal sofas in what I assumed was the family's living area once the time clocks were punched out for the night. The entire family came and knelt on the floor before them and offered them tea and fruit from trays. While I was fading in and out of consciousness I watched the interaction and tried to figure out what was happening. The pummeling of my feet combined with the various scented oils that were massaged into my legs then wrapped up in warm towels was so soporific that at one point the drool on my chest woke me and my head snapped back up to catch the monk looking at me smiling. I returned a bewildered wide-eyed embarrassed smile back.

Within five minutes of leaving I misjudged a three inch step and fell on the sidewalk looking like a damn clown. I knew that I'd twisted a toe because it was setting funny and even though it didn't hurt I felt I shouldn't be walking on it too much until after I saw the doctor at the clinic downstairs the following day. After diner it had swollen to the size and shade of a purple fingerling potato. When I saw the doctor at the clinic today he seemed to wonder why the hell I'd even come in since it just happened yesterday and I was not in any pain. He was seriously a little put out that I was bothering him but I felt that by God I bought traveler's insurance and I'm getting my damn five dollar doctor visit in if it kills me. He pretty much shrugged me off and told me to come back if it's worse tomorrow.

Last night I met some fellow travelers and the three of us, Wendy whom I had dinner with the previous night and Trisha and I went to have Indian food around the corner from our hotel. And so the three tall Americans sat in the Indian restaurant in Bangkok and proceeded to talk about what else but our mutual contempt for our president, traveling in general and the complete religious fanatics in Pensacola who go from bar to bar yelling that the patrons are going to hell. Trisha told us that they do it all the time down where she's going to school in Florida and I was thinking that those freaks would loose their minds and seriously have their work cut out for them if they came to Bangkok. It seems we'd all but forgotten that we were in Thailand as our conversation was so engrossed in the politics of America and then suddenly Wendy pointed out that an elephant was walking down the street.

Today I've done little else than get some visa photos taken and spoken to some travel agents about securing a flight to Phnom Penh hopefully on Thursday afternoon. For now however it's time for a shower and costume change because it's almost cocktail hour and I need to put my foot up and hoist an orchid-topped glass of gin and tonic.


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