Posted by: irisgodd3ss | June 24, 2007

Girl, Lonely in Bangkok

It’s my only day off for the week, and I could choose to stay cooped up in my apartment all day or I could do some exploring. The latter was definitely more appealing. After all, I am in a new city with so many sights that I am yet to see. I am also in a new city with very little money. Not only do I have to watch my spending, I also have to make sure that I could find my way home without having to take a taxi.

I thought about spending the day writing and people watching in Chatuchak Park. I come from a city completely devoid of parks so the ones here in Bangkok are a bit of a novelty for me. I decided against it, however, because it is scorching hot today, the way Bangkok usually is after a night of rain.

After some thought, I took the BTS sky train to Siam, took the first exit, and found myself in Siam Paragon – a gigantic monolith of steel and concrete right at the heart of Siam Square. It’s no wonder of nature, but it is indeed a marvel of modern architecture, with its 9 floors of designer shops selling everything from clothes, shoes, computers, books, cars, and the list could go on and on. It is where the crème de la crème of Bangkok converge. I suddenly found myself in the presence of fashion legends that I’ve only ever heard of in many an episode of Sex and the City – Jimmy Choo(!), Balenciaga, Dolce and Gabbana, Pucci, etc. When I saw a real Ferrari up close, I knew I was on hallowed ground, and in my gauzy rainbow skirt, t-shirt, and flip-flops, I felt completely out of place. But I was in retail heaven and it would’ve taken an army to drag me out of the place. I knew I couldn’t afford anything, but it didn’t mean that I can’t look.

After walking past Jimmy Choo for what seemed like the 50th time (I couldn’t bring myself to go inside the shop. I was afraid I’d break something!), I was starving. There was a floor dedicated entirely to restaurants so I figured I could find the cheapest meal possible, or starve. I was surprised to see that everything was so affordable. I thought the food would be ridiculously overpriced like everything else. I found a little Italian restaurant, thinking that I’m finally going to satisfy my craving for pasta. I got lasagna, or at least something that they called lasagna. If that thing was any indication of the state of Italian food in Bangkok, I may never eat good pasta again. And yes, it had parsley, lots and lots of parsley.

I burned off my rather disappointing lunch by checking out the other floors. They had about 20 cinemas on the top floor. Once again, I was surprised to see that tickets were priced quite reasonably. I wasn’t in the mood for a movie, though, so I continued exploring. I was really excited to find a huge bookstore with a big selection of English books. The best thing about it is you can actually just sit there all day and read a book if you want to. I was tempted, but I wanted to be home before dark so I tore myself away from an annotated copy of Pablo Neruda’s poetry and hurriedly got down the nearest escalator. There’s a huge aquarium on the bottom floor where you can see all sorts of marine animals. I wanted to check it out but the tickets were quite expensive so I figured I’ll do it some other time when I’m not pinching pennies. I would’ve wanted to see that shark up close.

I walked around a bit more and found myself in an area called The Lagoon. There’s a manmade pond with huge kois, a wooden bridge, and a wooden dock where I sat, listening to the pond’s bubbling filter and almost feeling like I was in a beach somewhere. I looked up and the ceiling above the pond was painted black and spattered with tiny, twinkling lights to mimic the night sky. It was rather pretty.

I sat there for a long time just writing. I watched lovers strolling past, and I couldn’t help but feel a pang. I watched families spending quality time together, and I couldn’t help but miss mine. I watched a group of friends laughing hysterically about something, and I couldn’t help but feel lonely. It’s sad, really, I’m on the most exciting adventure of my life and I have nobody to share it with.

But as I sat there, watching the kois swim lazily and the pages of my new notebook as it absorbed the black ink of my pen, I realized that I wasn’t really sad. I chose this life, and I really won’t have it any other way. There will be time for family, friends, and maybe a boyfriend later. For now, this is time spent for myself.

Advertisements
Posted by: irisgodd3ss | June 23, 2007

Of Parsley and Homesickness

I’ve been feeling quite blah today so this post is going to be completely random. Bear with me.

oooOooo

Probably my least favorite spice (or vegetable) is parsley. Unfortunately, it seems that it’s also the favorite spice (or vegetable) among Thai people. I’ve had parsley on my food since the day I arrived in Bangkok. Usually, I just set the pesky leaves aside. It doesn’t really have any effect on the dish’s general taste as long as you’re not chewing it.

Anyway, I decided to treat myself to a different lunch today, one that didn’t involve street food. I went to the mall nearest my office, Future Park. I decided I wanted chicken so I went to KFC with the idea of ordering my favorite Zinger meal. While I was on queue, however, I happened to glance at the colorful menu behind the counter and I saw it – the spicy chicken meal. It looked good, owing to the fact that it had a lot of onions. For the record, I love, love, love onions. I eat ‘em raw, fried, baked, chopped, un-chopped, whole, you name it. But I digress. I decided right there and then to get the spicy chicken meal.

After much pointing and gesturing with the food server, I finally got my exciting new dish. With tray in hand, I headed to the nearest corner table, eagerly started eating, and promptly gagged. The whole thing was crawling with parsley. The worst thing was I could barely see the evil leaves so I couldn’t set them aside. They were chopped so fine that you’d need a microscope to see them.

Because I couldn’t possibly waste 77 baht on a meal I took only one bite of, I forced myself to eat the rest of it, taking big gulps of my Pepsi in between bites. I managed to finish almost three quarters of it. The sad thing was it would’ve been a very good meal. It was a tad too spicy but hey, this is Thailand. And unfortunately, because this is Thailand, I’m in parsley hell. Indeed, it was the best of times, and it was the worst of times.

oooOooo

Unable to successfully get the nasty taste of parsley out of my mouth with a large Pepsi, I decided I deserved an ice cream. I walked around the mall, looking for Hawell’s, my favorite ice cream stall with their excellent 15-baht vanilla ice cream cone dipped in amazing chocolate fudge. I never did get to find Hawell’s.

There it was, it’s pretty pink sign a beacon for parsley victims everywhere – Baskin and Robbins! It shouldn’t be a big deal, I know, but I come from a city where there isn’t a single Baskin and Robbins. I remember there was one when I was about 12 but for some reason, they closed it down, and I never saw a Baskin and Robbins again. I’m not even sure if they have Baskin and Robbins in Manila. I’ve never seen any on my frequent trips to the capital.

But once again, I digress. I eagerly perused the divine display of ice cream, obviously chockfull of calories. But I was in ice cream heaven and, like all addicts, I wasn’t thinking straight. I was confronted with one of the hardest decisions of my life – what flavor should I go for. After about 10 minutes of walking up and down the aisle and peering rather seriously into every cooler, I finally decided on a double scoop of Jamocha Almond Fudge and Chocolate Escape.

Being Baskin and Robbins, it was rather pricey, but I suppose 69 baht for a double scoop of ice cream is a pretty good deal. I’m sure it’s at least double the price in other countries. It was worth every baht. The rich flavor and sublime creaminess tickled me all the way to my toes. It was an almost orgasmic experience that got me thinking: who needs a boyfriend when you have Baskin and Robbins?

After the sugar rush, however, I decided that a girl can’t live on Baskin and Robbins alone. She would definitely need a boyfriend…to buy her Baskin and Robbins. It makes perfect sense.

oooOooo

I love the rain. The rain is a beautiful thing. I love walking in the soft drizzle and just feeling the tiny droplets on my face. I love listening to the rain pouring outside my window, especially while I sleep.

In Thailand, however, one can easily hate the rain. It could be perfectly sunny one moment and pouring the next. The rain in Thailand comes down without warning. And not only does it come down, it comes down in torrents. Buckets. You’re guaranteed to get drenched in less than a minute, which is exactly what happened to me as I was heading home. I keep forgetting to buy an umbrella, and I’m definitely getting a good, sturdy one tomorrow. That is, if this rain is ever going to stop.

If that isn’t bad enough, dig this: my area floods. If you’re unfortunate enough to be caught outside in a downpour, expect to wade in water at least 5 inches deep and pray there aren’t any potholes. It’s one of those rare moments when I’m thankful that I’m living on the 5th floor of an elevator-less building.

oooOooo

I love corn. No, it’s not a typo, I do mean corn and not porn. See, I love it so much that I can be corny too!

Anyway, on my way home, I often pass through a market that always smells of that thing we leave in the toilet periodically. They sell some really interesting cuisine in this market, such as some mysterious animal’s tongue and fish heads the size of my own head. I was hurrying through the market when I saw this little old lady selling bags of huge yellow sweet corn. She was only selling them for 10 baht a bag, with 3 juicy ears of corn in each bag. I immediately bought one. I ate all three of them within minutes! And here you were, thinking I was buying them for another purpose. Nope, fresh produce is not my style.

oooOooo

I don’t know if it was the rain, the ice cream, the parsley-infested dish, the corn overload, or the fact that I just spent the last hour and a half hand washing my clothes, but I found myself crying. This is the first time I’ve cried since I got here. I always thought that I’d be crying everyday out of homesickness but I haven’t – until now.

I suppose it’s a good thing. It proves that I’m not such a bad person for not missing home more because I do, albeit slightly delayed. I just finished watching slideshows of pictures of my family and friends. I have also just finished crying hysterically. I miss my mum. I miss my sister. I miss my best friend. I miss all my friends, especially the ones at work. I miss my dogs. I miss lechon, adobo, sinigang, pochero, mum’s mango float that she told me she was making today, and Larsian. I miss having my own broadband Internet at home. I miss my bed. I miss having a helper to wash my clothes. I miss IT Park. Hell, I even miss my call center with its centralized air conditioning.

Yes, I miss a lot of things. And with that said, nope, I’m not coming home. I am home.

Posted by: irisgodd3ss | June 21, 2007

Secrets

Secrets – no matter how innocent or seemingly harmless they are, somebody is always guaranteed to get hurt. Secrets are deceptive. Just when you think you are in control, you’ll find out, often in the worst possible way that you’re not. Secrets come out of nowhere at the absolute worst times to bite you in the ass.

I have very few secrets. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had a secret since college. There are no skeletons in my closet. My life is an open book that people are free to judge or praise, and I want to keep it that way. Without secrets, there are no unpleasant surprises and no unforeseen judgment.

No, I don’t like secrets. I don’t like secrets that involve me, or are about me. Especially when I’m the secret.

Posted by: irisgodd3ss | June 20, 2007

Heading Home

I walk on the familiar footbridge to my bus stop. I breathe in the acrid fume-filled air, so different from the fresh breeze that passed through my lungs this morning, and my head throbs. I long for my hard mattress, my lone pillow, and the modicum of familiar things in my sparse little room.

I descend the steps to the street below, and then I see it – the 356, that elusive behemoth that offers the best route home. It has already started to pull out of the bus stop. Will I catch it in time? I know I must. It will be a long time before the next one comes along.

As it pulls into the outbound lane, I catch the bus driver’s eye. He could see in my eyes how desperately I longed to be in his bus. It was too late to stop, but he can slow down and I can run. And run I did. My right foot makes contact with the bus’s first step. So far, so good. I take another step. I almost lose my balance. What a travesty it would be to fall from a moving bus! I grab hold of the railing just in time. I pull myself up. I was in!

I look around. It must be my lucky day. There is a lone seat waiting for me. I sink gratefully into the bus seat with its torn upholstery and leaking cushions. I smile. I am going home.

Posted by: irisgodd3ss | June 6, 2007

BKK and Me

After being quiet for days, I can finally say it: I’m in Bangkok!

This city is gargantuan! Manila is reduced to the size of a pea compared to this place. Its awesome. Today, I successfully commuted from Thonburi to Don Muang District. That’s quite a feat, I tell you. Its uber far and I did not get lost at all, thanks to Rose’s directions.

The couple I’m staying with are absolutely wonderful. They’ve been really helpful and accommodating. They’re totally cool. I’ll be moving out this weekend. I might live in the building I work in, or if I get too scared, get a place of my own.

I’m yet to explore more of the city so I’ll totally be writing more about that. And I have to take more pictures.

So far, I’m loving BKK. I’m living the dream, baby! 

Posted by: irisgodd3ss | May 22, 2007

I Think

I think about my life. Is it possible that after all these years and after all I’ve been through, I’m finally being given the chance to live the life that I have always wanted? Is it possible that I can finally shake off the complacency that have kept me rooted to where I am for this long? Is it possible that, little by little, my dreams are coming true? I’m ready, I know I am. I’ve always been ready. They say luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I’ve been preparing for this all my life. Is it possible that I’m about to meet that elusive other half, opportunity?

I think about fear. Will it hold me back again, just as it always had in the past? I fear change. I fear failure. I fear being selfish. But not this time. I can’t allow it. I can’t let fear keep me here. I can’t let fear waste the lessons I’ve learned. By succumbing to fear, I don’t only let myself down, but also the people who have so much faith in me, the ones who believe that I can be something great. I can’t let fear stand in my way. Fear is not an option.

I think about circumstance. Do all things happen for a reason, or are some things merely coincidences? At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. There are lessons to be learned in every event that happens, every person that we meet, and every mistake that we make. There are lessons to be learned every single moment of our lives. Unbeknownst to me, I’ve been learning. Though sometimes delayed, its a neverending cycle of learning.

I think about destiny. Is there really such a thing? Or was it something made up by fools to give their meaningless lives hope? I believe in destiny. I believe that at any given moment, we are all exactly where we’re supposed to be. But I also believe that we are all given a certain degree of control over our destiny, not to manipulate, but to pave the way for the things we desire.

I think about a lot of things. My thoughts are a huge jumble, waiting to be made coherent.

Posted by: irisgodd3ss | May 22, 2007

I Don’t Know How

I don’t know how… 

…I let you get too close.
…you became somebody to me when, barely weeks ago, you were nobody.
…you became a possibility.
…you crossed my mind and never left.
…you understand me so well, or even why.
…I can possibly feel like I’ve known you forever.
…you made me hope and dream again.
…I can be with you.
…you can be with me.
…you can teach me so much and take back so little.
…long I can keep ignoring what I feel.
…I can want to feel it, yet not want to.

Posted by: irisgodd3ss | May 20, 2007

I Left My Heart in Boracay

I’m supposed to be writing about my Boracay trip. I’m supposed to be writing articles for Ms. Renault. But for some reason, I’ve been struggling just to string 2 words together since I got back from Boracay.

A vacation was supposed to get me re-energized, ready to live life again. But since I’ve been back, I’ve been in a worse slump than ever before. Its like I left my heart and my soul back in the island.

I’ve always wanted to leave the city and live more simply by the sea. All my life I’ve never really wanted to get rich or to be incredibly successful. I just want simplicity, and I caught a glimpse of that in Boracay. I saw it in the locals and the expats who’ve made the island their home. Most of them are far from rich, but they’re happy. I saw more smiles in 4 days in Boracay than an entire lifetime in the city.

I want to pack up my bags and go. I am a single, 25-year-old girl with virtually no responsibilities. I can just do it, right? My mum’s situation is okay now, my sister is all grown up. I don’t have a boyfriend. Nothing is keeping me here, except a job that I hate and friends who I know I will never lose, wherever I am.

Is it selfishness to want this so bad?

Posted by: irisgodd3ss | May 17, 2007

I heart Boracay!

I’m back from Boracay! I got back yesterday afternoon. But I stayed awake for 36 hours on my last day because I didn’t want to waste a single minute on sleep, so by the time I got home, I was so exhausted that I practically crawled to bed.

I met a couple of really awesome guys, made new friends, partied like crazy, splurged on food and watersports, and soaked under the sun for hours. In short, I’m very tanned, tattooed (1 henna, 1 glitter, and 1 new permanent), half in love, and broke.

I had the best 4 days of my life and I didn’t want it to end. I’m so in love with the island! My heart broke when I left. For the first time, I wasn’t happy to come home.

So now I’m back in the real world. I’ll blog some more about the trip and maybe post some pictures. I say “maybe” because we probably don’t have pictures anymore. In the middle of the trip, the camera we used ran low on memory so we had the pictures burned to a CD on a local Internet cafe (Yes, they have Internet cafes in Boracay!). As luck would have it, the computer won’t read the CD. We’re still trying to get the files recovered somehow. We did have a few pictures taken with our camera phones but that’s not enough. The best pictures are in that CD. Thinking about it makes me want to weep.

I love Boracay. I want to live there. Maybe I’ll quit my job, buy a laptop, and write SEO articles by the beach for a living. Ahhh…wishful thinking.

Posted by: irisgodd3ss | May 12, 2007

White Man, On the Loose!

Apart from running around like a scalded dog, trying to finish everything before I leave, I’m all set to go to Boracay tomorrow. I’ve packed 4 swimsuits, board shorts, wraps, party clothes, sunblock, you name it. Of course, I won’t leave town without a great book and thankfully, the book I ordered from eBay, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, arrived yesterday. So I look forward to lying on the sand at White Beach, reading and scoping out hotties.

Yes, life is as perfect is it gets…if not for the text message that jolted me out of bed a few minutes ago. It was from N, saying that he’s about to board a plane to Cebu. Its enough to send me on a blind panic.

He’s still on the air right now, so I don’t know how this is going to go. He is totally not keeping me from Boracay. He can have the whole city to himself.

So if any of you see a tall, white man with curly light brown hair and a to-die-for smile, be careful. He’s a whore, looking for fuck number 900 or so.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories