lunedì 22 giugno 2009

18/02 BANGKOK


It's gonna be quite hard to say that bangkok is beautiful from an european point of view: streets are dirty and pollution and traffic are almost overwhelming, the whole town is wrapped in overhead sealed roads and, during the day, life is spent at the fresh, air-conditioned, closed environment of big buildings.
After a while though you can appreciate the qualities of this amazing city. The marvelous ancient thai palaces and temples are only the pick of a mountain to be discovered. The nightlife is fast and various, offering almost any kind of show (with particular attention on all is considered “on the edge”), but is the whole “underground” part of the city that is the most beautiful: walk along the little canals sneaking from the main river throughout the city is my favorite way to get in touch with the real bangkok. You can see wood and steal sheet huts just sheer on the water, with thai people cooking in big pots, playing cards, bathing, playing music. Over there cars cannot get and the atmosphere is more peaceful and away from the trumpeting traffic, is also tourist free as most of the people prefer to take the boat tour in the floating market with their own peace.
Under the overhead roads (namely in places where we would never seek the “beauty” back in Europe) are other authentic spots to taste the charm of Bangkok: shabby food stalls serving delicious traditional food (for less then 1 euro you can have a great, tasty meal), romantic old-fashion stands markets selling almost everything you wanna buy in Asia and ambulant vendors of refreshing pineapples and melons ready-to-eat.


I have also been to a real, traditional Thai wedding. A dutch friend of my cousin Andrea in fact married a beautiful Thai girl, and we all celebrated together (I had the pleasure and honor to attend at the ceremony). Everything started very early in the morning, when the whole company moved to the bride's parents house. Over there a dozen of monks have long blessed the house, the couple, and all the presents, then they preyed a lot. After that they ate a good meal and they went. So the ceremony itself started: all the relatives and friends of the groom had to walk on line bringing gifts for the bride's family, and on our way to their house we had to be as loud as possible, to show everybody around that we were coming plenty and full of gifts. The groom at the head of the line was carrying a good amount of money, as he has to buy from the parents his way to the bride. After the bargain, the couple kneel in the house, with their heads linked by a white line, and in turn all the relatives and friends have to bless their hands with water, make a wish, and tie up a little white string to their wrists.

An important part of the wedding is also the following buffet, rigorously each table needs to have a bottle of whiskey as it is considered nowadays a status symbol (no matter it was 11 o clock in the morning)....................................................................

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