Thailand

Climate Control | How About Me? An African Violet not a Daisy

Climate Control | How About Me? An African Violet not a Daisy

The idea that the weather and people’s moods are connected is quite old. Do you agree? If yes, how does the weather affect your mood?

Why do I say I am an African Violet and not a Daisy? Well, from experience of travel and living in my home country, I have realised that I need the ‘right’ conditions to thrive, just like an African Violet, which I have never been able to grow, they are just too sensitive. I am physically somewhat fragile.

Traveling in India, I became violently ill on three different occasions over a three-week period. There seems to occur a kind of violent physical travail of some kind, for anyone going on a quest or seeking (spiritual) journey. A kind of leveling or karmic cleansing.

Traveling and living in Thailand, I was plagued by skin ailments which I shouldn’t have had, for example, Chicken Pox, which I had already had, apparently the chances of getting it twice are slim. Rashes of strange kinds appeared and a thing called Prickly Heat. I thought I was losing my mind. I felt as though things were crawling over my skin and scalp, like tiny microscopic bugs, the horror of nightmare imaginings. I contemplated, yes my mind had gone, like the stories of falang (foreigners), who had lost their minds and perpetually wonder Khaosan Road, or the French guy I met who had sold his passport in desperation for Baht, now stuck, wandering round and round.

khaosan_Road_Bangkok

I succumbed to bronchitis, food poisoning several times and even ended up in hospital because of my ability to be poisoned. I was visited by Gastroenteritis so many times, it became like a familiar friend.

So, coming from an African Tropical Climate, the above visitations were rather shocking, given that I thought I would be somewhat immune. Not so, viruses and bacteria thrived and colonised wherever I traveled.

Even at home, I really suffer when it is too hot during December, January and February. Autumn and Winter are my best times. So I function optimally it seems during those times, when I am less flustered, less agitated and more calm. Yes, climate does affect me, put me in the right spot on the window sill, with the right nourishment and care and I will thrive. Even though life seldom offers the right conditions, the trick is to manage and balance the in-between, staying in the moment by moment. I work on this day by day.

Image Wikiepedia Gnu Attribution Image by Mr Bullitt 2005

 

Bangkok and Sri-Ayuttaya

guest house

Photos of some of my stay in Bangkok at Sri-Ayuttaya and a couple of other pictures. I wish to record how thankful I am to the owners of this Guest House, for their kindness and for visiting me when I was in hospital over Christmas, with what the hospital thought was a collapsed kidney. The Bangkok Mission Hospital is fully vegetarian, so that was a treat.  I would recommend Sri-Ayuttaya to any traveler and they made wonderful Thai curries for me, with Tofu. The joys of good vegetarian food. Where: Sri-Ayudthaya Soi 14, Behind National Library Dusit,10300, Bangkok Thailand.

How sad I felt, tethered to a drip, prostrate in white linen with Christmas Carolers singing downstairs. How traveling challenges you with a kind of violent physical purging, especially when traveling in Asia. Physical afflictions plagued me in both Thailand and India. My romantic notions of living in India soon smashed into reality when I become violently ill the moment I ate something in a Delhi eatery. My sensitive sensibilities protested wherever I went. Strange coming from Africa and a warm tropical climate. Just like the mosquitoes like moths, the bacteria and viruses saw a wonderful if unwilling host, territory to be conquered.

Wat Pho – Reclining Buddha Temple

reclining buddha temple

 

The Reclining Buddha

The Reclining Buddha

 

My Breakfast Spot

My Breakfast Spot

 

Tiger Temple

Tiger Temple

Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.  It was an incredible experience, there were tigers all around…this one turned his head and put my whole arm up to the elbow into his mouth…the monk quickly put a white powder on the rock and the tiger let go and turned to lick it…WOW AND WOW! Almost sans arm!

 

Where I used to sit.

Where I used to sit.

Aha at the Mekong

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But, at the Mekong River, I had one of those AHA moments. I was doing a visa run into Laos. I was sitting at a table watching the expats and their young Thai partners, thinking how I saw the worst of my own culture in this place so far from home. Then my gaze shifted to the Mekong. The mother of all rivers. I watched as it became dusk. At once, more conspicuous as a person than I had ever been, but never more independent. The lights came on over in Laos. Small craft passed by, I could hear the gentle voices floating over the water. I was utterly alone. Then I had this flash. Nothing is impossible, I could do whatever I set my mind to, all I needed was courage and probably foolishness.

Image purchased at Creative Market.

Pai in the Sky

the_red_bus_to_pai_bw

I loved this place…sat in the lounge of a wonderful house under a huge tree…people from all over the world were jamming…smells from home – pasta – children playing dogs mingling…a wind came up and leaves and rain blew through the slats at the top of the wall onto my face…the cool…after bangkok…i wept…pai in the sky…how one comes to value the simple pleasures of life…it was Songkran…people were throwing water everywhere…street happiness…largess…i found a magic place after several tries…garden birds…wafting white mosquito nets…green…friendly people…wood everywhere…akin to a paradise…how lucky i was…this was my last journey…after this…when i got back to Bangkok i became sick with chicken pox…after…came home…AFRICA!!!! I came into the airport having wished so hard, like a child wishing for Christmas, that i would hear african singing when i came back home…customs…welcome home…smiling faces…AND african singing. As my luggage was pushed out into the cold highveld air, i screamed AFRICA! Big open skies…my home.

A Pai street:

pai street

Homeless by Ladysmith Black Mambazo from KwaZulu-Natal. I had been homeless and now I was home. Grammy award winners.

They played with Paul Simon, remember Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes? How South Africans can sing, dance and laugh.