Living the Dream

Who could say that all this monotony
Would end up being what life is about?
Who thought we would be excited to see
What it is like when we are going out?
But here we are stuck at our front windows,
Listening to the ticking of the clock,
Waiting to see which way the morning goes,
Wondering if they will unchain the lock.
I connect through my social media
To my family and friends I once knew.
As I try to avoid acedia,
I am aware that it already grew.
The only thing that bolsters up my dreams
Is the new batch of Covid-19 memes.

Where Have All the People Gone?

Remember the days when they were around,
Clogging up our paths with their noisy cars.
No matter where, they could always be found,
Way more numerous than the nighttime stars.
The dog have now gained control of the soi
And we may roam wherever we may please.
There’s no reason for us to remain coy
As we strut down the streets with perfect ease.
No more being chased away by a broom,
Or to growl and bark at the passersby.
The weak among us claim that it is our doom
That without the humans we may all die.
But I tell those dogs that they had their chance,
And it is our turn to take on the dance.

 

The Toilet Paper Baron

The rush allowed me to build this tower,
And buy this throne upon which I now sit.
The money made me crazy with power,
I was the man who cleaned up people’s shit.
I increased production on brand new rolls,
And made sure to stock full ev’ry market,
For the masses wished to fill all their holes
By hoarding the tp stash they could get.
I made the mistake thinking that the boom
Would last forever, and would never end,
But no expiration date was my doom,
While with all of my money, I did spend.
Now this tissue is what no one does buy
‘Cause they overextended their supply.

(Writer’s note: In this new age, the traveling I used to be able to do is no longer happening. I am going to have to put my plans on hold for awhile, but I felt I needed to put into context what I see on the news while I am sequestered in my home, and show the absurdity of our lives right now. It is just my take on things, and I hope you enjoy the following poems and as soon as life returns back to normal, I will return to the usual travel posts, and poems inspired by those travels. Thanks for tuning in.)

The Moment

Why do we feel the need to get away?
Should we not see all in the moment?
After we have been a part of the play,
Do we realize how our time was spent?
For in the small time of experience,
When we believe that it does not matter,
It actually holds the most importance
Of what we’ll eventually remember.
The passing does not give explanation
Of why we should stop and pay attention.
It is nothing more than an extension
Of giving my life representation.
Should I worry about the moment spent,
Or never care about where it all went?

Should I Order the Curry?

What’s life without a little bit of spice?
Shall we dread that explosion of flavor
For the way our stomach will pay the price
As pride brags of the pain we can endure?

But what do we get from a life that’s bland?
Can we experience the excitement
From a dinner that never takes a stand
To remind us of how the dining went?

How safe do I wish to make this moment?
Will I make it one of my favorite
While in the morning I have to repent?
Or will I make it or I will forget?

Who knew this much thought went into dinner,
But life depends on finding a winner.

The Coming of Spring

The winter snow crunches under our feet,
Showing to all the path we have taken.
Over the hills, the morning sun does greet
The frosty breath that our mouth are makin’.
We made it to the muddy fields outside
The bird whose wings will fly us to our home.
Though the seeds on buds in the soil still hide,
In a short time, over the grass, they’ll roam.
We finally arrive in the sun’s land
And we shed the clothes we had worn this day.
The moon shines on the waves hitting the sand,
Licking the bare soles of our feet in play.
It just takes the rotation of the clock
To dismantle the winter’s icy stock.

How We Communicate

I don’t know what happened to this beer hall
For it was a boisterous atmosphere,
And we made sure that it included all
To its nightly revelry and loud cheer.
But a hush has settled over the crowd
Who have come to dine here in recent years.
Their attention is in a diff’rent cloud
That plays into the irrational fears.
They once gained warmth by the burning embers,
And the conversation with a stranger.
They stare at another glowing member
Unaware of its inherent danger.
Each person in this beer hall is alone
Because of the possession of their phone.

Our Blind Eye

Do we want to see the atrocity
Taking place in the darker part of town?
Would we rather look on what is pretty,
Pretending that nothing is going down?
It is easy to do while the money flows
Because we can spend it on forgetting,
But as a conscience of a nation grows,
Will we be the ones who are regretting
Not standing up for what we know is right?
Will it be worth the pain we will endure
If we don’t side with justice in this fight,
And hide behind the economic cure?
How do we convince the population?
By playing into their desperation?

Staying in the Hills – Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

The full moon rising over Sala’s parking lot

Very rarely, when we are traveling, do we ever splurge on a luxurious place to stay. We usually look for those small, comfortable places where we can find some down time after a long day of touring around the area where we are. We don’t go travelling for the hotel. We rather go out to experience the world, and see what different cultures have to offer to us. But we were not travelling just the two of us this time. We were off with Christine’s parents which caused us to make different decisions when it came to accommodations.

The view from my room when I opened the blinds

After a long day of riding around in a song tal (a covered pick up truck with two benches in the back to sit on) throughout Khao Yai National Park, we drove thirty minutes through the countryside, avoiding the big town, to find our really nice hotel, Sala. Very rarely do I talk about hotels during my adventures, but this one was exceptionally nice. It sat on top of hill that looked out over the valley that we had just travelled through, and was far away from the hustle and bustle that we had grown accustomed to by living in Bangkok.

The sunset over the pool on the back porch of Sala Hotel

We arrived just in time for the sunset, and as it sank below the horizon, it left a beautiful scene over the pool that sat on the edge of the deck. While we checking in, we were able to take a couple of pictures and make a reservation at the restaurant. We really didn’t need to make the reservation because there were only seven tables in the restaurant and there were only seven rooms in the whole place. People still came out from the city to dine here from time to time, but it was not a regular occurrence, and we were the only people at the restaurant for dinner. It was a great meal too with many options from both western and eastern cuisine.

The lived in look of the room at Sala Hotel

The room was even really comfortable. The bed was just soft enough to give the perfect night’s sleep. Sometimes in Asia the beds are a little too hard, but this was not the case at Sala. The room had two walls that were basically windows that when opened gave spectacular views of the valley down below, and because the hotel sat on top of a hill, there was a cool breeze that made me want to cozy into that warm bed.

It was a great way to end a great day, and Sala was the perfect place to stay when visiting Thailand’s oldest National Park. It is a little ways away and there are a couple of surprises along the way to get there, such as a golden wat on top of another hill and reproduction of an Italian village with its own leaning tower of Pisa, but it was worth the forty minute drive to make to this great accommodation.

Thank you, Sala.

The Big Mountain – Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

A swing at the gate to Khao Yai National Park

One of the bigger draws of Thailand lies outside of its bigger cities, and long white beaches. There is a whole ecological playground out there for people to enjoy, and the most popular spot is only a two to three hour drive away from Bangkok, and is the oldest National Park in the country, Khao Yai. The name basically translates to big mountain, and though it spreads itself over a very hilly terrain, it is more of a tropical forest out in the middle of the farmlands. It is a beautiful place with many varieties of animals all over the place, and you never know what you will find with every corner you take.

The view of the landscape, and as close as I got to the horn-billed birds

The most famous of the animals that live in the wild in this place are the elephants and the horn-billed birds. The elephants are in the wild and allowed to roam freely among the 300 square miles of the park, and during the dry season they are often seen taking mud baths, and heading to the many waterholes to get a drink of water. Unfortunately, I did not come across any of them during my time there, but they are doing well especially after the devastating news about them the previous year. There was an accident involving a baby elephant, and its parents as they went over a waterfall in the park, but measures have been taken to try to prevent this from happening again.

A stuffed horn-billed bird at the visitor’s center

I did get to witness the majesty of the horn-billed birds. There was a flock of them flying off towards the distance from the road we were on. They are huge birds whose wings span out to almost 180 centimeters, and their bright colors bounce off of the green landscape of the trees that populate the park.

People waiting to get their picture of the horn-billed family during their meal time

I was lucky enough to witness them from the road, but there is one spot where many photographers go to try to snap a shot of these birds. There is a nest in a hole in tree where one of the female birds was raising a couple younger birds until they were ready to fly out on their own. Basically the female bird will tear out her wing feathers to keep her young warm and feed. They eventually grow back, but during the time she has to wait until they return, she is completely reliant on the male horn-billed bird. The male goes out for food and returns to the nest to feed the young ones and the female bird. If anything happened to the male bird, it would be the end for the whole family as the female and the young ones cannot leave the nest to fend for themselves.

This is one of the problems that come with the park. Many people come and visit the park, and are looking for that perfect picture to bring back with them. Some of the more ambitious visitors will set up camp with their cameras waiting for the perfect time to get that picture. Sometimes they get a little too close to the nest which scares away the male horn-billed bird. Rangers visit this spot constantly to ensure the survival of these birds, and make sure the place remain amazing for other visitors who come back generations later.

Haew Suwat Waterfall, the one used in The Beach

Another popular spot in the park is the waterfall where they filmed the Leonardo DiCaprio movie based on Alex Garland book, The Beach. Even if the movie had not immortalized this location, it would still be the perfect place to hike down to. It is only a hundred meter down some strange stone steps, but there are many places to nestle among the stones down there to enjoy an afternoon next to the cool water.

The park is a must see for anybody coming out to Thailand. It really demonstrates how diverse this country actually is, but I would highly recommend hiring a tour guide to take you around. There are only a couple of roads through the park, and if you do not know what you are looking for, you will miss a lot of what this park has to offer.

Of course, you will still be able to see the occasional deer, and spot the elephants at some of the hotter spots. There is also many monkeys that come out of the forest looking for a free handout or something shiny to steal from unsuspecting travelers.

But our guide was able to show us the more hidden treasures like the vipers hanging from trees that we would have only found by accident.

And I don’t think I would have enjoyed the surprise we would have had when we came across one of these dangerous snakes.

She was also able to look into some of the pools in the river to show us the animals that lives under the rocks there.

And the craziest one that I would never have found in a million years. There is a spider on this tree that blends in perfectly because of its camouflage. If she was not there to point it out, I would have never seen it. I’m looking at the picture right now, and know where it is, and I still have a hard time seeing it.

The viewpoint half way up the mountain

It was a nice way to get out of the smog and heat of Bangkok for a couple of days. The clean air, the cool nights, the amazing views, and the fun of seeing all of the wildlife in the preserved spot in Thailand worth the trip.

I still wish I could have seen the elephants though.