Sunrise In Bangkok

Sometimes, a girl just needs to go out for an early morning walk with her guy.

Like when he wakes up before sunrise with a headache, needing some food so he can take an Advil, and you’re sleeping in a tiny room in a strange city, you can’t just let him go out alone.  And so it came to be that Stu and I ended up going out for a sunrise walk in Bangkok. And I’m really glad we did.  My only regret is that I didn’t think to take my camera with me at that time in the morning.  But maybe I can paint the picture for you here.

We went out expecting a quiet pre-dawn Bangkok, but in actuality, the streets were teeming with people.  There is a temple and monastery across the street from our guest house.  This would be delightful in any other place I’m sure, but in Thailand, you can’t throw a car without hitting a temple.  This early morning, as every early morning, the monks were out receiving alms – their food for the day. There were vendors all up and down the streets with freshly made food in small plastic bags, ready to be handed to any monk who went by.  And I don’t mean fruit and sandwiches, though there were those also.  But there was rice, noodles, curries, buns and all other sorts of delicious foods.  The food was handed to the monks in exchange for blessings and maybe a little spot in heaven.  I noticed that when approaching a monk, a lot of people removed their shoes as a sign of respect.  There were a lot of hands in prayer posture, and even some kneeling.  It was all quite fascinating.

Along with the monk feeders, there were the usual vendors out in the neighbourhood with food and clothes and the like.  We ventured for a walk to a different street this morning and came upon a market with dozens of vendors selling the same thing:  lottery tickets!  Lottery ticket vendors also lined the adjacent road.  Imagine dozens and dozens of people selling a dozen or so lottery tickets a time, all pre-printed and fanned out on a table waiting for the next big winner to come and buy them up.  Who knew?

The image I most wish I had captured on film was that of an altar on a roadside.  The alter itself was not unusual – there are religious alters with offerings of food, drink and flowers all over the city.  This particular alter had a mini-monastery on the upper tier, with the usual statues of Buddha and other religious symbols.  The offerings on the lower tier included food and a cup of milk.  And perched up there on the offerings tier was a stray cap, happily lapping up that cup of milk like nobody’s business.  Priceless.

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