Bangkok safari

On Sunday my usual place for breakfast, Lizard View, was closed. I called it Lizard View because the first time I had breakfast there, I saw a big monitor lizard sunning on some reed in the murky khlong. To my surprise I saw it slipping into the water and swimming to some garbage where it caught a big frog. For some time it was happily engaged in banging the frog on some stones, amid some incredible filth as I was eating my breakfast. Bangkok Safari. Later I saw another of these dinosaurs walking through a small park next to the Chao Phraya river, its head low while it flicked its forked tongue exploratory in the air.

On Sunday the eatery was closed, but I found a nearby stall where the proprietor didn’t speak any English and had to call her neighbour for help in negotiating with the farang. At least this was Bangkok and people are used to foreigners. In the past I’ve been in situations where the vendor, upon seeing me, got in a panic and started to frantically shoo me away, not able to deal with a foreigner.
The meal was nice: a spicy salad with mint leaves and some sticky rice.

Other culinary adventures involved scallops, but I found them without taste, and chewy, like pieces of rubber, hardly worth the effort of scooping them out of their shells. A score or so of these marine creatures had died for nothing.

One of the reasons I like Bangkok is the fact that I’ve been here many times and so I don’t feel the urge to go around and see the sights and so it was by accident that I stumbled on to the Nationl Gallery. The entrance was free and it had nice air conditioning.

To get some photos for the blog, I visited a nearby temple, which in Thai is called a wat .

takeoffshoes

Rule number one: take off the shoes of anyone on the premises

The temple was called Luang Pho To and it sported a giant standing Buddha that possessed magical power. Especially if it was presented with a head of a fish of the mackerel kind, a boiled egg and a garland of flowers. Thinking about this,  I imagined it took a lot of experimenting when monks first built the statue. Something along the lines of: okay, now let’s try the head of a frog and a Spanish omelet…
This is a photo of its feet:

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… and thanks for all the fish…

Nearby I saw a Buddha that looked as if it was sculpted out of giant beer bottle. I wasn’t quite sure what the material was, but I dubbed it the Beer Bottle Buddha.

 

beerbottlebuddha

Beer bottle Buddha

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Gold leaf Buddha

The pious buy tiny flakes of gold that they apply to statues that need gilding, which made this bust look like it suffered from some skin disease.

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Inside were some nice paintings of rural life. The detail in the photo above seems to show some ladies wth D cups, having narrowly escaped a crocodile…

 

 

 

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