Easy, Thailand has been just…… easy. Good roads, small villages everywhere and therefore food and water at hand… it is so cheap to eat out and so much variety that is not worth or cheap cook by ourselves.
Thais are simple and friendly people very easy to deal with, very smily and quite.
Heat, the humid and sticky heat that we already had in Malaysia has continued accompaning us daily, along with the rain, but with regard to this everything is simplified knowing that the temples (which here are called “Wat”) are always open and welcome us.
When in 2007 Aitor crossed this part of the world, he did the same and this, still has not changed: If you come to a temple always have a roof to protect you from the night rain, always a bath to cool down, water for cooking and 90% of the times… a wonderful extra: fan.
Due to the heat, we have further simplified and instead pitch the tent, we have assembled the mosquito net, just that, to take advantage of any possible movement of night air that would alleviate the intense heat, which has made us spend long nights and heavy moments.
We have often used the day-rains to refresh us, there isn’t anything better than that… a bath on the bicycle!!! These tropical rains are not “so politte” and from the moment they begin, until you get soaked as if you had fallen into a pool… only pass few minutes.
Soak up pedaling on a lonely road in the middle of the jungle is a magical experience…. it makes you feel in communion with that wich surrounds you, attached to that all, plants and trees that do not run to shelter from the downpour, but celebrate it and absorb it enjoying; frogs that appear to sing that famous “Singing in the rain….” and rain itself, seems to laugh out loud and rejoice watching you to get wet, savoring it.
The fact of pedaling with Maria and Zigor has made us laugh, have fun and learn a lot. Being more people to decide, and having different customs and ways of doing things, teaches how to assign and made flexible, accept and share, wait and adapt, develop empathy and listening capacity. You can grow a lot through relationing with others if you forget the judge and look at them as a reflection of yourself.
Confuccio said: “when you see a wise man, think about addapt their strengths. When you see a man without virtue, examine yourselves.”
So we were learning from this intense coexistence that travell together by bicycle is.
Be 4 means also (as we’ve discovered) that people approached us less, they invited us less, they opened to us less… they were more distant seeing the group and that made that we learned much less about the reality of the country. Anyway some things are obvious, such as the change of religion: from Malay Muslims to the Buddhist Thai.
Zigor, that loves to search for information, and research in the computer, explain us that this type of Buddhism here (Theravada) is the most conservative, and the tradition as in Burma says that, every man at least once in his life, must experience the life of a monk at least, for a few days. It is curious and interesting, especially seeing that in many other countries what is done and has by custom is to lead the life of a soldier.
The monks live of charity, they eat two times a day and leave the temple very early in the morning,
at dawn an after meditating to pick up the food that people give to them.They walk barefoot to the sides of the road, with a special calmness and harmony. They meditate and learn something than more as a religion (as we understand it in the West) is a philosophy.
It seems that the Thai love to bet and something more… the fights.
A mix that makes them to organize all kinds of curious Championships ranging from the well-known Thaiboxing and the so typical Cockfighting,
until something that left us open-mouthed: fights of bulls and…even fish-fights. Yes!!!, we finally did not have the opportunity to watch it but as they has told us… “it is just kid stuff, elders are more serious and prefer to see more blood.”
In Thailand, the industry is growing a lot in the recent years, also the education level of childrens and the quality of life in general. They mainly live on rice farming and fishing, some agriculture and the production of latex.
This (larex) comes from the sage of a tree (Hevea) which they cut and take the juice that solidifies and becomes a kind of white clay, which, after passing through a simple machine, is transformed into a thin layer of rubber that seem to be the final product. Here the cultivation for Palm oil that I talked about Malaysia, barely exists.
When you change countrie, always that brings new features but in Southeast Asia we have felt, underneath the surface differences, a continuity that due to be permanently attached with the easy life (as cyclotravellers), predictable and without any kind of uncertainty, it has begun to be so monotonous for us, something like cloying: as the one who has a very rich and delicious cake… take a piece and you feel Gloria, and even the second piece may have their charm but if it is… more… create indigestion.
We look around and we see us in dreamy beaches,
in bucolic landscapes that evoke peace and relaxation,
but our innerself asks us for party. We live not stressed and we don´t need to relax… that (relax) is intrinsic in this way of life which of course is tired but not stressed. It does not make you feel to need a holiday.
We have begun to have a yearning for that feeling wich Aitor, remember by explain to me details about the days when he was cycling alone the Mayombe jungle, in Congo. Those moments when you have to give out everything from you to advance into the wild. Those moments wich are the hardest ones but also the ones wich make you feel so alive!!!!.
Easy life is being hard for us… funny huh?.
The final stretch of Thailand brought us a new start. After crossing the challenge that means to cross a huge city by bicycle, we splited from Mary and Zigor.
From here, our roads, although very similar, they carry rhythms and differents direcctions, and because of that we have to say goodbye. But not before to say thank you, for everything and then, return to that pedaling in partner: less words, more silence.
A new dawn, a new cycle.