Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ruins, dominoes and a crash

Today I explored the Sukhothai Historical Park, which is what everyone comes for. Sukhothai was the original capital of the first Thai Kingdom in the 12th century. The park is full of moats and Wat ruins. I rented a bicycle and toodled around. It was absolutely beautiful. Bus ride to the park:

Soymilk offerings:
At my second Wat, I ran into Chris again. We paired up and rode our bikes to every Wat. At one point three girls asked if they could interview me for a school project. Giggling they asked where I was from, if I like Thailand, if I like the food etc. I’m assuming it was for English class- it was adorable.
For lunch we found a cafĂ© and I had my first phad thai… yum. The owner’s little girl came up to our table and handed us a domino set. She and I taught Chris how to play. It’s a very universal game with no words necessary. When I had to draw many, many pieces the girl laughed and laughed. When I won, she said “you win. Play more”. We played and stacked dominos while being utterly entertained by this girl with a large imagination. Some day we’ll see her on a Thai soap opera I’m sure.

After lunch we ventured outside of the gated park to another ruin. Directly behind us on one of the turns in the road, two motorcycles crashed into each other. We heard the bang and saw two guys lying in the street. I turned around not knowing what the hell to do. One guy stumbled up and helped the other. I felt utterly helpless. I couldn’t ask them if they were ok or tell them not to move and I didn’t know whom to call. They were both conscious, but not okay. I waved down the next truck and they stopped. After I figured they had help, Chris and I left. It was extremely frustrating and unnerving to feel like I couldn’t help because of my language. Neither of them was wearing a helmet.

We stayed in the park until sunset to get that magical light on the ruins. I told Chris about America and she educated me on Malaysia. We stayed after dark hoping the ruins would get lit up, but after a while we gave up. Well, the stray dogs started to freak us out. We were the last to leave and had to jump the gate to get out. I think the hardest thing for me so far is seeing the stray dogs and cats. The dogs appear to have no energy and just sleep curled up in the street. The cats are skinny and howl louder than my old Siamese cat back home. Today at the ruins a tiny kitten with a corkscrew tail came looking for food. It nearly broke my heart not to pet her. I know I need to get over it and I know these animals aren’t pets, that it’s culturally different here, but it kills me. Anyone have any enlightening thoughts?

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