poem: Thailand 2011

Thailand 2011

We tried to miss the dreadful floods, but in
The end Bangkok was less affected, though

In central Thailand much was lost. Each day
We crossed the hugely swollen River Chao,
Our little ferry floating fast and steered
So surely. Vast polluted city holds
Nine million souls who mostly smile and make
The hai, though only met for seconds. King
And Queen look down from hoardings everywhere,
Their status that of gods, their real estate
Commensurate. The food is very good
And cheap; the taxis scam you, tuktuk pimps
Are best avoided – you will end up ‘clipped’
For certain. Bangkok’s sights fantastic; see
The mighty golden wats and buddhas. Wats
Are shining gold, mosaic colours, mirrors;
Effect is awesome, overwhelming. Then
The sleeping buddha fifty metres long,
Its massive feet inlaid with moth’r of pearl.
Khao Yai the famous park a day by car
We rode on bullock carts and on the backs
Of elephants, saw lots of tortoises
And bats. And then we flew to Sukothai,
The ruins of an ancient capital.
We motor scootered ’round the crumbling wats
And bots and chedi’s, way too hot to walk
Around the great historical park. And poor
Rochina suffered Bangkok belly, soon
Improved and bought a puppet from a Thai
Trans-sexual – very pretty both. They pinched
My i-phone, smiling all the while, from room
At Paolo’s guest-house; smiles and hai’s a bit
Less lovely after that. We bussed up north
To Chiang Mai through the rice-bowl; paddies full
Of toiling peasants. Lots of kitsch and great
Night markets; shops for silver, textiles and
All else compete throughout this busy place
For your attention. Time to have a rest
At Phuket – Rochi’d won some free accom.
We found it was a large marina piled
With yachts of millionaires. No nearby beaches
But transport’s cheap to town and other side:
Pattaya’s glitzy shops and beaches full
Of deck chairs – very fine if quite intense.
We took a trip to James Bond Island, loved
The karst formations, though our boat was packed
With Russians rather grim. High fever on
Return – I had the Dengue, not so nice –
But soon back home and on the mend despite
Another Jetstar cock-up. That’s it for me
And them – I think I’d rather pay for ease.

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