Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rain O'er Me

It's the tail end of the rainy season here. Last night I ordered dinner (palak paneer) from an outdoor restaurant on the street. It had just started to sprinkle, a raindrop landing here and there on my arm or face. This had been a long, hot day and each drop of water felt delicious. The man who took my order directed me under the canopy to wait for my meal, but I savored the rain for a few moments.

As I ate under the canopy, I noticed people with umbrellas and more than one person walked by with a plastic bag on his head. It wasn't more than a drizzle, even as I walked back to my guesthouse. I guess it's a Washington thing that people don't mind when it drizzles a little. Overnight it rained. I wondered before I opened my door this morning, whether that faint smell of decay that seems to be everywhere in Bangkok (covered briefly by street food or jasmine or incense, but always there) was going to be cleaned away by the rain, or whether instead the water would saturate the ground and let whatever putrid smell is there float up to the surface.

Either the rain cleaned the air, or I'm getting used to the smell of Bangkok. It was a great morning. There was still a slight mist, and I brought my umbrella just in case when I went for my walk. My feet were sore from all of the walking I did yesterday, so today I would just visit Santichaiprakarn Park a few blocks north of Khao San Road.


The first thing to greet me when I crossed the street into the park was this pavilion.


Santichaiprakarn Park is on the Chao Phraya River. That's the Rama VIII bridge. There was a wonderful breeze at the park today which combined with the mist to make the most perfect day.


That's a little boat in the canal next to the park. The vegetation reminds me that this is a jungle. I made a new favorite tree at the park. It's a Malay Banyan (thankfully there were signs on the trees which gave their names in English.)


I think it would be absolutely perfect for a Swiss Family Robinson-style treehouse.

Prasumen Fort is one of the biggest draws to this park. It used to be a part of the wall around the old city.


I walked across a little bridge next to the park that took me over the canal. The canals are supposed to be the stinkiest thing about Bangkok, and yesterday the one I crossed to visit the Grand Palace almost made me retch. It might be because of the rain last night and today, but this one didn't smell.


On the other side I saw this kitten on a roof next to a spirit house. I thought it was a perfect representation of Bangkok: cat, spirit house and sattelite dish. I also thought it was a cute picture.


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