Travel During Covid19 – Siam Summer

Even the stuffed animals are fitted with face masks

Usually, during this time of the year, I will have already hopped on a plane and have taken a long plane ride back to the United States to visit with family and friends. I would be unwinding from a busy school year, and trying to get over jet lag while making the adjustment to the new time zone. It would be a time to cover a lot of ground that I have already been over before, but I would be looking forward to the familiar.

This year has been a little different with the emergence of this new virus that has stopped the world in its tracks. It is an extremely dangerous time to travel, and I had no idea if I would be allowed back into Thailand for my job if I decided to leave it. There were options, but the most logical one was to stay put for the summer and hope that I would not go crazy doing something different while still stuck in the rut that I had experienced at the end of the school year.

So I am here in Bangkok, trying to find ways to enjoy the summer as best as I can.

Luckily for me, Thailand has done a really good job of getting the pandemic under control in its country. It has basically banned anybody from entering the country for unimportant reasons, closed down all of the shops and public places to make sure that the spread of the virus did not happen, promoted a culture of social distancing and wearing face masks, and creating great programs to track people so if there is an outbreak they can quickly get it under control before it gets out of hand. Because of this, many places are starting to open up again, and it is starting to return back to normal.

Of course there are a couple of places that are not allowed to open up yet such as bars, sporting events, and certain kinds of massage parlors, but there is really only one of those that I partook in anyways, so I can patiently wait for the bars to open up again, and it is probably a good thing that they have not done this yet.

There are a couple of hot spots in the nation as well that have not opened up its doors to people inside of the country yet. The pandemic is getting under control in these spots, but it has not been long enough for the government to feel safe to open them up, but most of them are a long ways away from Bangkok and not something that I could get to easily, mainly Phuket, Chiang Mai, and the national parks. There is also talk that the parks will open up at the end of the month and the other will follow soon.

In other words, Thailand is taking their time to make sure that they are doing things right so by the time the dry season starts and tourists want to make it back to the country, they should be able to do it safely. It just means that Thailand will be a quiet country this summer, making it the perfect time to explore it. The plan is to make sure that we are not spending more than a week at home at a time, and spend the rest of the time exploring the different parts of the country. It is still a little too early to go crazy on the coast or the northern mountain regions, but it is a great time to head down to the downtown area and explore the places we haven’t seen there yet. We won’t be able to visit the big tourists sites, or enjoy the rooftop bars, but we are okay with this. It is just nice to be outside of the house, and get to look at four different walls. It is not the summer I would have planned a couple of months ago, but I am still going to be able to make the most of it, and have a great Siam Summer.

Graduation during Covid-19

I have been looking forward to the pomp,
But it’s gone because of the circumstance.
Against the travesty, I want to stomp,
And participate in my tantrum dance.
But against whom do I direct my yell
For the virus does not care about pain
Or has even heard of the place called hell,
So why would it listen to me complain?
The better choice is to accept this fate
Rather than wallow in my misery.
Promoting anger only breeds more hate,
And there’s no way to fight this history.
On Graduation Day, my pride won’t show;
Instead, I’ll take this last lesson to grow.

Waiting for the Door to Open

While watching our society restart,
I know you have wondered where I have been.
I have been huddled down, doing my part.
And waiting for the front door to open.
The bolt has been fastened for way too long
That rust may have locked it into its place.
It will take more than muscles that are strong
To untrigger its mechanical face.
It will take the resolve in me, knowing
That living life is taking that first step.
Though the curve is returning to growing,
Do I worry ’bout where the virus crept?
I guess I’ll continue to hide out here,
Waiting for a new world with little fear.

The New Normal

I look to my money for protection
Because I have found comfort there before.
I can hold it during isolation,
As for the outside, I can now ignore.

I look to all of my guns to save me
For only they can take down any threat.
A danger that’s impossible to see
Won’t survive the power of a bullet.

In these times, I look to my government
Because wisdom comes from democracy.
It is my interest that they represent
In this country called the land of the free.

Holding on to the normal when it went
Does not teach us what’s really important.

(It is week four of quarantine, and this poem is another in the series that tries to explain what life is like now that Covid-19 has changed so much for all of us.)

Rebranding

At first, you thought if you just closed your eyes
That facts would change to your reality,
But action requires what you care for dies;
People are less than the economy.

Competent leaders do not shift the blame,
But take on the responsibility.
Quit making it a political game,
And look beyond your constituency.

Big numbers is where you always found pride.
Well, you are getting your biggest right now,
Yet the truth you are still trying to hide
While performing a narcissistic bow.

Your ineptitude brought more pain on us;
That is why I now call it the Trump Virus.

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.)