On Elephants and TiGer Shows

19 August 2013

Oh Best Beloved,

We were in Bangkok, Thailand during the long weekend. But of course, you already know that. We were there for ICPM 4 so we didn't get to tour much. We had one free afternoon, though, and the stories I shall share will come from that time of exploring.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Google maps says Damnoen Saduak is 103 kilometers away from Phaya Thai Bangkok. That's a 1-hour-25-minute-or-so ride if you're going at the speed of - something. You do the math. Anyway, since we wanted to try something new and wanted to see something other than the temples of Thailand, we decided to go there and discover what the floating markets were all about.

Imagine a village where the road system is made up of rivers and canals. To get to your next door neighbour, you have to hop on a tiny boat and row yourself over. To buy fruits or groceries, you have to paddle away and haggle with fruit vendors riding small boats themselves. That's Damnoen Saduak.

Water, water everywhere.

Friendly vendor.

Branded items are available. LV and Gucci, anyone?

Going over the selection of fruits.

Monkey Show. We didn't buy much in Damnoen. Mostly, we were in it for the ride. It was fun nonetheless and had us geared up for the next part of our adventure - the monkey show. It was enjoyable but the poor things were tied up while they were doing their routines. What would they say if I told them about the freedom that my monkey friends had in my kolej in UKM?

Poor monkey was bored and tired.

The show was rather short. That's why when our tour guides suggested we go see the TiGer shows next we almost jumped into the opportunity to do so. That is until we realized he wasn't talking about tigers as in the striped, gigantic felines. Oh no. He was talking about ThaiGirls. 

Uh. No thanks.

At least we got to see some elephants.

I promised you I'd catch an elephant!

Royal Palace. We rode back to the city soon after. Most of the temples had already closed down so we said we'd just drop by the outer courts of the Royal Palace before dinner. It's too bad we weren't able to go inside. I could imagine how majestic it was. We only got a shot of the palace's rooftops. It was beautiful, nonetheless.

This was the best shot I could get.

Night Market. We went to the night market after dinner. I didn't dare get any pictures - I was too busy trying to protect my hand bag. We were pretty tired so we didn't do much shopping. As soon as we had bought all the pasalubongs we needed to buy, we were off.

So there you go. Thailand. It was different from the Hat Yai experience. One day I might come back for the temples and the palace.

Missing you,


Those Were The Days

I woke early this Saturday, tossing and turning between 4:30AM and 5:30AM. Bouts of homesickness and loneliness usually overcome me during those wee hours in the morning so I decided to just get up and make myself some breakfast.

Staring at the dark sky outside my living room window, I suddenly remembered how my old life used to be. Back when I lived in Kajang, I would already be wide awake during that time. 5:30AM. I'd be taking a shower or I'd be fixing myself up some peanut butter on toast - whatever. I'd be doing anything but sleeping.

My route to work was perfectly timed. I was still on probation, I was running on a tight budget, and any minute of lateness on my part would throw my schedule off by at least a half hour or so or would cost an additional coupon amounting to RM 13 or so.

I had to be at Perhentian Kajang by 6:20AM to catch either the Rapid KL U40 or the BAS MINI. Since the sun rises later here in Malaysia, it would still be dark out and the morning call to prayer would just be starting to fill the sleepy semi-provincial part of town where I lived in.

Dawn would have not yet broken out by the time I would reach the Kajang KTM Station. I had to be there to catch the 6:40AM train. KTM trains are popular for not arriving on time but I noticed that the morning ones were still rather punctual.

KTM Kajang at 6:30AM.

My next stop was three stations away - UKM, Serdang, and then finally Bandar Tasik Selatan. At Bandar Tasik Selatan, depending on how slow the KTM was, I would usually make a mad dash for the ERL - I had to catch the 7:10AM KLIA Transit or else I would have had to get the 7:40AM train instead.

The next train arrives in 7 minutes.

The train only made it as far as Putrajaya - I had to take another two buses to Cyberjaya. One bus to the city centre, another to my workplace. The bus from Putrajaya left between 7:30AM-7:45AM. The bus from the city centre came every 15 minutes during weekdays so I'd catch the 8:00AM or 8:15AM bus, making it just in time for the 8:30AM clock in. 

Rapid KL Bus at Cyberjaya.

I did that whole shebang for an entire half year before we decided to move somewhere more accessible. Instead of starting my commute at 6:40AM, this time, I started going out of the house at 7:10AM. Big difference, I know. Lol. 

I did that for another five months. And then I eventually got myself a car.

Would you believe that my morning commute now takes 20-30 minutes, giving me more time to sleep in and dream during the mornings?

Sigh. Those were the days, those were the days. :)

I'm thankful that I went through all that. It makes me grateful for every convenience I have now, reminding me not to take the blessings I have for granted. It reminds me that everything is worth it, everything's going to be worth it all, as long as you have the determination to stick it out and overcome.

Yep. It's gonna be worth it all.

It's going to be worth it all. :)