Tuesday, July 15


dragon carving at the bottom steps.

[both at wat lam duan. nongkhai. thailand]
brilliant gold at the top of the stairs to the roof.

"about three weeks ago, i'd allowed myself to come to a complete standstill at nongkhai, a small town of three parallel roads to the mekong in the northeast of thailand. the people seemed to live at the same languid pace, and i had two days to contemplate the mekong, the sculptures at sala keaw ku, and myself a year after being on the opposite of the river in vientiene, laos.

two days in singapore is a pithy period stretched thin by work, engagements, responsibilities and urban entertainments. but between the afternoon i arrived there and the third evening, the initial restlessness and utter boredom had condensed into ... a still vague, but quiet purpose. external boredom quickly turned to a reflective solitude.

the few days there seemed a dense mini lifetime as i swung between ennui and wonderment, at the little thoughts that bubbled forth and the odd sights i'd come across. just as the heat was relentless (i wont be forgetting a semi-heatstroke at sala keaw ku), activities, then thoughts got pared down. it was like an exfoliation process: i had nothing to do, or see, and didn't seem to be capable of much thought. i was left to face the congruence of physical place and time.

-- the sun seared burns across my neck and the mass of water a continuous linear brown. it was quiet, silent,

and i started remembering the lessons i'd learnt with the project at nongduang; re-mused at how my life has narrowed in some ways, streamlined in others and felt reassured i would surely take something back from what seemed like superficial wanderings across thailand.

ill also remember nongkhai for my first fun roommate (also my first long conversation with another human in thailand), zack from michigan and his hilarious "other half, nick". i didnt expect the easy camadarie. ...its a pity our trips to chiangmai didnt align, and that im only expressing my fondness here."

[back of wat lam duan.]

[wat pho chai.]
squares of coloured lights in the sun.

a girl drying isaan sausages outside a shop.
the town was full of sausages-

another sign proclaiming the proud isaan sausage. ironic pig, that.

[the mekong.]
i sat, fidgeted, then let myself be lulled by it..

[the mekong.]
.. the strip of trees, short buildings and scattered huts across the river became a darkened silhouette- it did seem highly evocative in the sunset, as i met the ghosts of a year ago and withdrew a little from concrete chases.

[[nong khai. thailand]]

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