Sunday, July 16, 2006

i was fortunate enough to have a room with a view in the city i visited just for a short time. it was around 7pm in the early evening when the sun really set and left the sky ready to rest for the day. the chao phraya river that cuts in the heart of the city became alive with the lit up vessels that cruised along its body of water. the brownish water in the daytime was becoming like a mirror to the glowing lights from its surrounding.

bangkok is romantic. it changes from a busy and a dusty city in the daytime to a quiet, relaxed and beautiful city in the evening.

bangkok mungkin lebih kecil dari jakarta. pertama kali mendarat di kota ini, saya diingatkan, "di sini, macetnya dua puluh kali dari jakarta! jadi kalo mau kemana-mana, tolong waktunya dihitung ya..."

luckily, we arrived on a two-day national holiday -- the starting of lent for the buddhists' month. so, the street wasn't as crowded as it would be on a regular day.

saya membandingkan jakarta dengan bangkok. apa yang ada di jakarta ada di bangkok. tapi tidak semua yang ada di sini, ada di jakarta. Of course.

contohnya suan lum night bazaar. pasar malam dengan areal yang amat luar. di sini, kita bisa nemuin berbagai macam kerajinan dan suvenir khas thailand. bukan itu saja, dari mulai kaus-kaus 3 untuk 100 bath sampai pernik-pernik untuk desain interior ada di sini. semuanya dapat ditawar dan semuanya murah untuk ukuran jakarta. sayangnya, saya paling malas menawar dan tentu saja itu hal bodoh. karena begitu tau saya orang indonesia, harganya jadi lain dan karena saya malas menawar, tertawalah si penjual.

satu hal yang menarik dari kota bangkok, kota ini aman. mungkin jakarta dengan pasar malam seperti ini akan menjadi ajang empuk untuk para pencopet seperti hal-nya di jakarta fair. tapi di sini, semua orang, baik turis asing atau penduduk lokal, dapat berjalan santai dan merasa aman.

dan tentu saja, kota ini penuh dengan waria dan lady-boys yang cantik-cantik. my God! semuanya terasa biasa, orang tidak memandang rendah waria di sini. mereka dapat bebas bekerja di mcdonalds, seperti yang saya temukan atau bahkan saya bertemu dengan beberapa editor dari dua media di bangkok yang - waria, dan mereka mingled dengan kita seperti mereka adalah kita.

itulah negeri gajah putih yang saya kunjungi.

the evening after the event came when we decided to venture bangkok at night. the girls wanted to see the famous patpong area. and, of course, the idea awakened my curiosity.

at the end, we skipped patpong for a better place - Suan Lum Night Market. from patpong, we hired a tuk tuk, like a bajaj in jakarta, to take us to the place. four of us - all guys - were in the same tuk tuk and it was a helluva experience to ride that kind of transportation!

in split seconds, i took some pictures inside the tuk tuk just for the sake of taking a picture.

i was at MBK when i saw her.
her beauty captivated me and i was astounded to see a perfect creation
for seconds, my eyes were stripping her
giving thoughts to the dirty mind inside the brain

she was wearing a white tank top
with pink bra straps peeking out on her smooth shoulder
intoxicating me

my heart raced
just paces to pass her
when i can smell her soft parfume
giving senses to my mind

a man rushing to hug her
just when i passed her

for the first time i can hear her voice

"hey..." she said firmly

with a strange low intonation
to awake my intoxicated mind
pinching my consciousness
that she is a he!
and this is bangkok.

a white envelope came to my desk. inside, a return ticket to bangkok was waiting. yes! after feeling so burned out, a two-day trip to bangkok was like a relieve i was looking for. and, yes, it was just a two-day trip. for sure, i wouldn't be complaining about this short trip to the fact that it was a business class return ticket inside the envelope.

i've been visiting bali twice the past month. both were invitations to attend some launchings. bali is nice and being in bali is -- nice. but, if you ask me right now -- i would have said i've been to bali too many times and at the point i have to drag myself to fly to bali, literally. it's still in july and i've visited the island for more than my fingers can count.

i long for a vacation in the island. time to relax and unwind without thinking about deadline, writing and photographing. of course, i'll shoot some pictures but those just for my own collection OR i won't bring any camera, laptop, pda that would take me into working and not relaxing.

i really need to have a vacation. don't know when i can get one.

being human
a forever breathless
the moon's quite slip
in the shadow
brings only the freshness
of flirting
with the lasting
beauty of stars,

as - if you blinked
and left

in the momentary
absence of your eyes
the sparkling rest
of why a man
could fall so far
into being --


kansas city, 29 may 1997

deep sigh from deep within
entwined with the breath of the night
cascading invisibly
through my open window,
giving life to the curtains,
shadows --

shadows and night breeze
skimming, soothing, teasing
and half asleep
in my drunken stupor,
I dream that it's you
your face
your hands

and not a soft --
lonely --

summer wind...

kansas city, summer 1995