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What It Means to Travel

WORLDWIDE | Monday, 28 March 2011 | Views [298] | Scholarship Entry

The echoing sound of a distinct “clunk” was what hit me the most. Never mind that my knees were stinging and I could see lights from when my chin hit the pavement as I slipped, treading over a puddle. The clunking sound, was actually my camera hitting the pavement about the same time I tripped and landed on all fours. As I picked myself up, all I thought about was my camera, pray it has not been severely damaged. It would be devastating if it were, I've only been on my second day in Bangkok and I could not wrap my head around the idea of not being able to document my travel without a functioning camera.

The puddles, were a result of the steady yet light rainfall that Bangkok has seen for the past two days. Despite the rain and wind, tropical countries will see you drenched in sweat. So that was me, that afternoon, sweaty from the early morning walk around the neighborhood and drenched from the rain I was trying to evade going back to my humble hotel, tucked away in a quiet road. My sister and I had just come from a series of visits to temples around the area. Walking the streets, we weaved our way through the famous Khao San Road, the very touristy spot for all knick-knacks, street food and souvenir items. I had wandered into a side alley thinking it was a short cut. We ended up getting lost. But I think it was one of the best things to happen. I found myself surrounded by novelty shops with an array of merchandises I have never imagined I'd find so easily in the streets. You know how you get to a point when visiting a new city in a different country and every single shop starts to look the same. Accidentally finding gems of a store hidden from the most common spots is indeed what I call a sweet find during any travel. And getting lost is not necessarily a bad thing. We ended up scouring the stalls for hours. My sister was able to find souvenirs for her friends, and I got to buy some poi at a steal of a price.

The lost afternoon we had walking in and out of the hidden alleys and roads just around Khao San Road (because we realized later we were going round in circles, just going through stalls and alleys). Have been a productive one. The photographs taken would be a testament to that. The street foods we got to try. The smell and visuals pleasing and colorful. That's how you discover a city or country. In the end some plans are meant to be broken

In the hotel room; checking my camera for anything broken. The lens was fine, the mirror got dislodged but I pushed it back in place and prayed. Turned it on again and snapped, it clicked. I tried viewing the photographs from earlier in the day, and just as real as the scene was for me being lost in those alleys having all my senses stimulated; the photographs jumped at me in full color.

Tags: #2011writing, bangkok, getting lost, hidden alleys, khao san road, thailand, travel writing scholarship 2011


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