Can't sleep or won't sleep, thinking about that wakeup call at 6:30 to take on the Bangkok Chinatown. That's what'll always do you in you know, excitement. They say it's one of the last remaining real Chinatowns. They say it's the largest one in the world. In my brief memory from a walk with local friends, thats tonight, I recall a whirl of colors, people, food, smells, a whole lot of gold, shark fins, and charred surfaces. I recall my mouth dropping, and my mind forcing this scene down like a soul imprint. It's the kind of memory you want to keep forever, along with holy, that radiating smile of his, or fuck mate, the grace he puts in making steak, or I am a piece of shit, the way a man can shatter like that. It's a heartbreak. All heart and all break melting with the canvas that is Bangkok Chinatown, the last real big Chinatown in the world, with the gold and the shark fins and charred surfaces until I can only smile in absolute shock. This place sticks. It remembers.
As for what's real and what's not, I'm not so sure anymore. I change my mind every other second. The deep revulsion I felt for this city as we drove deep into its concrete heart was only three days ago, the shock was like being fucked in the ass after a year of Beijing traffic, pollution, pressure, people. All the megapolis charm was lost on me the first day, and as we floated on the crowded sky train squeezing through the city, all I wanted was a resort with my Junot Diaz.
A day later, i fell in love with the city. Literally, a boy at the noodle stall smiled, I think he's laughing at me for probably being the fiftieth foreigner with her Lonely Planet guide doing the food walk at Th Tanao and hell, that was the only way that I could have found his noodle dish. But he smiled in such a way that it was a heartbreak. The kind of smile you just don't find in China, so embracing, and kind, so very kind, a smile and nod that said all it needed to say: I got you girl, I got you.