Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Visa run

coffee vs. tea
I traveled in an air conditioned cab and was sitting
in a high back red velvet chair at the Singapore
airport, sipping on my latte with 'skinny' milk and
eating an almond croissant. Twenty four hours later I
am sitting in the Ideal Railway cafe, an Iranian tea
cafe near the Andheri station in Mumbai sipping chai.
Reaching the restaurant after sitting in an
autorickshaw for 20 minutes sucking in the face level
fumes of a transport deisel truck and being blasted
left and right by horns. Mud on the floor and the only
decorations on the wall are signs instructing you to
watch your bag from thieves.

Singapore (I was visiting for an ultimate frisbee
tournament, my first chance to play in 6 long
months)had former laws barring chewing gum...ha! India
home to paan graffiti (red stains on the roads,
sidewalks from people spitting their bettel nut chew
juice bright red in color).

Strange to be in two different worlds in a relatively
short span of time. I did not see a lot of poverty in
Singapore..it must be there. No begging, no trash,
really no character. I still love India. Even though
I was sweating this morning on the packed to the walls
train and have to roll my pants to avoid dragging my
pants in the mud puddles on the station floor and
sidewalks from recent rains. There is an energy here.
All the people? the action? movement?

I like the smells. I like the imperfections. Sure it
could use some cleaning up and it would still retain
it's colorful character.

Most people make there visa run to a neighboring
country, I raced off to Bangkok. Thailand is a
friendly place - I needed to take care of my ultimate
fix and who can't love the 'land of smiles'? Spent a
couple days in Bangkok to apply for a visa (mean man
at the embassy made me cry, ok I am a bit sensitive
sometimes, but he threatned to not let me back in
India) ultimate frisbee practice with my Asian adopted
team the Bangkok SoiDawgz and SoiCowboybz and then off
on the overnight disco train to Chang mai.

I told Mukesh who met me in Bangkok a day later, about
my fun disco ball, christmas light Sangsom party on
the train when I visited Chang Mai in Feb. The great
ladyboy staff and meeting a neighbor from portland on
the train! Thought I may be dissapointed this time
around, b/c my hopes were too high. Wrong! Tip to
traveler: to get the party started buy the staff some
drinks. Mukesh, Me, and two other foriegners were the
only non-thais in the car, the rest were uniformed
staff and a few that were off duty.

NO lights but the music was blasting and the booties
began shaking. I wish my camera was not five cars
back I would have loved some photos...about half the
staff and all the foriegners were shakin'it on the way
to Chang Mai. What a blast, I highly recommend the
9:21PM train departing Bangkok to ChangMai...twice I
have had a festive experience.

We left the dining car and proceeded to bed, the staff
use it for their sleeping quarters. In the morning
one of the dancing staff enters our car selling coffee
and tea..."oh no!"he laughs with a thai accent, seeing
me sit up and rolling up in my top bunk, I say "wanna
dance?" and he does a little jig!


__________________________________________________________
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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

How'd you do in the ulti tourney?

dissenter said...

we beat our seed by two or three spots!

http://www.singaporeultimate.com/
see the pic of the month. I traded for a Vietnam t-shirt and have some fun pics from our game with them.

Asia has some great ultimate.

dissenter said...

oh this is really sad.
this photo grp was out taking pics at the tourney and has them on the net for sale. I can find one of my attempting to play defense.
But the true action shots are of me in a boat race!
I really did play.
http://livestudios.myvnc.com/suo/index.php?path=Soicowboyz

it is on the 4th or 5th page if you have the time.