7 Sep 2013

A very welcomed visit from the depths of childhood

Since I live in Bangkok I have received a few visits of relatives and friends from my home country, Spain; some were in Thailand as part of a broader South-East Asia trip, others came specifically to see me, and others have been here more than once. But none yet had come here combining all those conditions at once, and then some: Pedri and Diana arrived in Bangkok after 8 months of traveling around the world. It was Thailand's turn at last!

The roof of Bangkok I, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
The roof of Bangkok II, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
I know Pedri since years ago, when we were both mindless teenagers in search of days that would last longer and nights that would never fade into dawn; the roots of our friendship, therefore, are firmly engraved underground, as we shared discoveries and experiences at a time when almost anything is new, and possible. Such a bond can sustain itself forever without further feeding, such is its nature. But, of course, watering the plant every now and then is a delightful exercise on melancholy, fun, and growing.

Sunset kiss I, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
Sunset kiss II, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm
When they told me about their plan of traveling together around the world for a year, I knew Thailand would be part of the route, sooner or later. Ever since they left Spain, last February (you can all follow their adventures and discoveries at their blog here) I had been looking forward to this reunion; and so, after eight months, the day finally arrived, and we met again, after a long separation. And to celebrate, we decided to visit some of Bangkok landmarks. We started at the Royal Palace.

Sanam Luang, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm
Evening romance, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm
Then we continued to Pak Klong Talad, Bangkok's biggest flower market, that spans a few streets in the old quarters of the city. This market, open 24 hours, is the main distribution hub for the flowers in the whole city, and you can find and buy any flower you want at ridiculously cheap prices. But perhaps the nicest part of the market is not the flowers themselves, as one could expect, but the vibe of the whole place, full of activity anytime of the day or the night, with people coming and going, cutting, arranging, transporting, dealing, selling and buying. 

Mobile garden, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm 
Colors and smells, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm
But flowers were not the only things we could see, and smell, at the market, for wherever there are people in Bangkok (and that means mostly everywhere), there will be food; as soon as we spotted the street peddler offering insects buffet, Pedri didn't think twice: they were traveling around the world with one clear motto, after all: taste it all!

Insect supermarket, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm 
Insect-taster, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm
After the protein appetizer, we strolled a bit longer in the market, seduced by the colors, smells and smiles of everyone around, but we started to grow hungry, so we decided it was time to switch to a new location where we would have a copious dinner.

Flower seller, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm
The goods guard, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm
Chinatown received us in a very surprising and unexpected way: camera and microphone in hand, a small TV crew stopped us in the middle of the crowd, they were shooting a documentary about international travelers in Bangkok, and they wanted to interview Pedri and Diana about their experiences in the city so far.

Interview I, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm 
Interview II, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm 
Once the brief minutes of screen glory were over, we started searching for a nice place to eat, as we were quite hungry already, and the countless food carts around us didn't help things very much in this regard. We walked up and down some streets, saw a few interesting street restaurants with very long queues, and walked some more.

Thai-Chinese restaurant, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm
Pomegranate juice, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm
Finally we found a little corner with a table that was being left by the former diners, and we quickly took possession of it without any flash of hesitation. We were starving at this point, so we ordered full of greed, ate, ordered some more, and drank all along. Definitely, it was a nice dinner. And this is just the beginning, for they are staying a whole week at home with us. Let the fun begin!

Noodle soups, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

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