10-04-06

koh chang

 

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29-08-04

SO LONG CHIANG MAI

From my window in Silver Park Mansion: isn't that the foothills of the Himalayas on the distant Western horizon?
 
 


though all the maps of blood and flesh 
are posted on the door
there's no one who has told us yet
what Boogie Street is for




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BACK ON BOOGIE STREET


 

a sip of wine, a cigarette
and then it's time to go
I tidied up the kitchenette
I tuned the old banjo

I'm wanted at the traffic jam
they're saving me a seat
I'm what I am
and what I am
is back on Boogie Street



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AUGUST 29, 2004

this wittily doctored photo courtesy of my brother Bernard, sent to me on last year's birthday, with the caption:" little pieter on his way to the knowledge"
 

 
 

we must not cease to explore

the end of all our exploration
will be to arrive where we began
and know the place for the first time
through the unknown, unremembered gate
when the last of the earth left to explore
is that which was the beginning
 
Today is my 50th birthday. Sort of a special day, one might say. I started my celebration last night. Here I was, a Belgian residing in California, journeying through Asia, having dinner at a fine Italian restaurant, La Gondola, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in company of 4 fine Greek friends from Yoga class. The conversation at the table was mostly Greek, it's Greek to me, while the restaurant owner, Stefano, a friend from Yoga class, was singing traditional Italian songs  (O Sole Mio - Santa Lucia - Funiculi, Funicula etc ) One would start an identity crisis under less confusing circumstances, no? 
 
Today, while adding to the blog, I went to visit http://journeytonepal.skynetblogs.be , week (25/08 to 31/08) to see where I was on last year's birthday: Bodhnath, Nepal. Not bad. A very moving journey through the past.
 
Here I am, one year later, the expected end of the journey. But as my friend and teacher Marcel so aptly put it: "When does the journey ever end?"
And so I signed up in the big book of life for an extension to the journey. After a short visit to Belgium I return to Chiang Mai from where, in September, I join Marcel and friends from Yoga on a journey to India ( something about loose ends comes to mind ). This time going North into the Indian Himalayas, destination Badrinath, Uttar Pradesh.  www.sacredsites.com/asia/india/shiva_temples.html.
 
And I'm back on boogie street...


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SILVER PARK MANSION

up on the white veranda
she wears a necktie and a panama hat
her passport shows a face
from another time and place
she looks nothing like that
and all of the remnants of her recent past
are scattered in the wild wind
 
 
Up on the 5th floor, my residence in Chiang Mai these last few months. Greeks to the left of me, Thais to the right, here I am ...

it seems there was an earthquake there, left nothing but a Panama hat and a pair of Greek shoes...





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27-08-04

STREETS of CHIANG MAI CITY

baby - you can drive my car
yes I'm gonna be a star
baby I love you
beep-beep, beep-beep, yeah



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25-08-04

CLOUD HIDDEN

Well I've got to get out of the rat race now.
I'm tired of the ways of mice and men
and the empires all turning into rust again.

Out of everything nothing remains the same.

That's why I 'm cloud hidden
whereabouts unknown

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MONSOON TUNE


 
rainy day, dream away
let the sun take a holiday
 

There are three seasons in Thailand: hot, hotter - that's monsoon - and hottest. I survived the hottest season in Pai, in April. Now the rain brings welcome relief from the heat.  The rain ain't so bad after all. It's not like it rains all day, every day, anyway.
 
you gotta dream on a rainy day
lay back and groove on a rainy day





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20-08-04

MOONMUANG ROAD LANE 9

is where you find The Blue Diamond, one of the favorite farang restaurants in town. Great Western breakfast - mmmm pancakes - and the best Pad Thai and whole wheat rolls and cinnamon buns ...

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THE FOOD SECTION: LOCAL FLAVOR

rambutan, longan, dragonfruit and mangosteen ...
 
next to the green oranges are the rambutans at 15baht/kg; to their right the longans and the dragonfruit at 36baht/kg; bottom right the mangosteen.
 
The lychee season has come and gone. Then came mangos, not to be confused with mangosteen. Not so crazy about mangosteen, but I looooove mangos. Yeah baby! I have the good fortune to have been here during the mango season . Plain ripe mango, food for the gods. But paired with khao niaw, sweet sticky rice with coconut milk ... is a favorite of mine. MMMM. 

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WAITING FOR GODOT at WAROROT

have a Coke and a Smile




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CHIANG MAI SCENE

Lining up at the Warorot market

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VESPAPHONIA


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POSTCARDS FROM CHIANG MAI

two of a kind

Vespa 'rules' in this University town.

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09-08-04

CHIANG MAI REVISITED

The Chiang Mai gang at Wat Suan Dok, as seen through a telephoto lens from Silver Park Mansion 'Fifth Floor' ( little inside joke for San Francisco folks).

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SAILING AWAY

Son don't wait until the break of day,
because you know how time fades away


From the stern of the ferry, I watch with mixed emotions as Koh Pha Ngan fades out of sight. I shall return some day soon with more time to explore and enjoy one of the world's last oases.

 


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TANGLED UP IN BLUE

early one morning the sun was shining ( ? )
I was laying in bed
wondering if she'd changed at all
if her hair was still red
 
 now I'm standing by the surf on the beach
rain pouring on my feet
looking out to the East coast
Lord knows I paid my dues getting through
tangled up in blue

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PIRATES BAR

Misja's favorite!

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26-07-04

LIFE'S A BEACH

Had Yao, our beach on Koh Pa Ngan

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KHAOSAN ROAD


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BANGKOK

Wat Po - reclining Buddha.
 
Call 'm temples, Mandirs, Wats ... or what have you, after a while in Asia I've reached temple-saturation. Wat Po however, was worth the visit, if only for the impressive reclining Buddha: this gold leaf finished statue, 46 meter long and 15 meter high is out of this world. 
We played tourist for a day in Bangkok, a lay-over between two overnight train rides taking us from the Laos border down South to the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan. I look forward to the beaches.


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CROSSTOWN TRAFFIC


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SUNSET

colour is not in the sunset
but in ourselves

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MONK ON THE HILL


day after day
the monk on the hill
is keeping perfectly still
 
 

Practicing silence means making a commitment to take a certain amount of time to simply BE. Experiencing silence means periodically withdrawing from the activity of speech. It also means periodically withdrawing from such activities as watching televison, listening to the radio or reading. If you never give yourself the opportunity to experience silence, this creates turbulence in your internal dialogue.

Late afternoon, we went up Phou Si Hill to go watch the sunset. We climbed stairs to the hill top Chedi, That Chomsi, until we lost count. Judging from the moss on the steps, we thought we were walking the path less trodden ( the path less trodden gathers mo' moss ). But at the top, the booth requesting our 10,000kip per farang shattered that illusion. At the foot of the Chedi, a small crowd of farangs and a few Thai monks had already gathered with the same idea.


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SCENIC TOUR

let me take you down coz I'm going to
Luang Prabang


 
 
view of the Luang Prabang valley on the way to Kuang Si water falls

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STELLAAAAAH!

At the corner of our street was this beautiful building, housing the Maylek Pub, where they serve Stella Artois. This is where they came up with the famous scene of Marlon Brando in 'A Streetcar named Desire', I think. I mean, it's possible, no?

PS/FYI for all non Belgian readers: Stella Artois is the number one Belgian beer, in sales volume, if not necessarily in quality.





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FACES

a little bit of history
a little bit of mystery

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FACES OF LUANG PRABANG

the children solemnly waiting
for the ice cream vendor
where the ads take aim and lay their claim
for the heart and the soul of the spender
 

 
Day after day, the ice cream vendor rings his bell riding his bicycle up and down the streets of Luang Prabang. We met him on our first morning,  enjoying a breakfast baguette with butter and jam at a sidewalk table at Luang Prabang bakery. He stops, flashes us a wide grin and greets us in French. A farang walks by looking for a place to watch an ice hockey game. But on the wide screen TV inside, the news of former president Reagan's death takes precedence. A new day, a new town.

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29-06-04

LUANG PRABANG

 
 
Wat Mai Suvannaphumaham.
A gorgeaous little Wat in the Luang Prabang style.
 

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LIVING ON MEKONG TIME

0

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