Friday, April 2, 2010

Giant Lizards in Downtown Bangkok

From Africa to Asia. Here I am!

I arrived after three flights totaling about 22 hours (counting layovers) - Windhoek to Johannesburg, to Doha (Qatar), and then to Bangkok. My brother Randall picked me up and we came here to his high-rise apartment in downtown.

Culture shock, anyone? Traffic, people, NOISE, and no critters in my bed! (I do admit that I was worried about this last thing, so in the Jo-Burg airport I bought a stuffed cheetah. It helps.) Add a little jetlag, and I was a mess for a day. I just slept and tried to think.

And oh yes, it's HUMID here. I mean WET. I mean walk down the street and have sweat drip down your body and onto the sidewalk. Quite a change from the dry heat of the Kalahari.

I'm all right now, though. I've had lots of sleep, good Thai food, and my first (of many) Thai massage (one hour head and shoulders - less than $ 10. Yes, be jealous. Be VERY jealous.) My brother and I are here in the city for a couple of days, and then we leave Sunday through Friday in Koh Samui, an island in the Gulf of Thailand, for some scuba diving and chilling and eating and more massages.

Today we had lunch at the US embassy where he's James Bond (or Jack Bauer--choose your reference). Afterwards, I walked over to the huge park that is near both the embassy and his apartment. It's called Lumpini Park and is truly beautiful. Winding paths, beautiful lagoons, people doing some kind of Thai dancing / martial arts, and LIZARDS. Monitor lizards, to be exact. Some as small as two feet long and some as long as eight. They live in the lagoons there - eat fruit and fish, not people - but look like something from a sci fi movie from the 60s.

I love them. They crawl right up on the grass next to people and bask in the sun. Children play around them. Americans (like me) take many many pictures of them. Most Thais ignore them. It's as if a group of harmless alligators decided to take up residence in Central Park. Very weird. And very cool.

I told you I'd find wildlife. Even in the Big City.

1 comment:

  1. We like to think of Randall more along the lines of the Captain Kirk of the US Embassy. Don't tell the Ambassador.