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Tree spirit

Aruthaya Buddha

This is from the Aruthaya temple complex north of Bangkok. The tree has grown around a Buddha head and has become quite the popular attraction at the site. Whether a body remains below I don’t know.

This was kind of an odd trip and certainly an eye opener regarding my own feelings about and tendencies in photography. I didn’t take pictures for the first few days, and took very few in urban settings. Almost all my pictures are of temples and ruins. More about that later.

Bangkok is an insanely crowded and busy city, and it was just under 40 degrees everyday, so imagine bumper to bumper traffic on most roads, concrete broken only rarely by small green spaces, people absolutely everywhere, and sodden heat.

The hotel where I was for the first week was in one of the poorer areas but was well situated at the very end of the very cool Skytrain which could get you halfway (but only halfway) across the city in minutes. But if, like me, you went out to walk the city, you’d get just a few blocks and your shirt would be sopping. Not only was it hot but I have never been in a city that smelled so bad. Down some of the older streets, Barcelona would occasionally give forth a gust of what must have been fermented urine centuries old but it did not really compare with what I smelled everyday here.

I don’t mean to say that there weren’t interesting things about this city; 8 million people or so, some very poor and some very rich, and a culture unlike anything here and yet in many ways quite similar; how can it not be fascinating? But it did make me appreciate how good my home city smells, and how much space we have.

But as a friend of mine, a New York/ San Francisco dweller, said as I went on about this, “its crowded, its hot, it stinks, what’s not to like?” But he was a big city lover and I’m not sure that I am.

I did by the end of the week find the city more pleasant but was pretty happy to make for the countryside and then later on to Cambodia.

One comment on “Tree spirit

  1. beautiful photo! the tree seems to cradle buddha’s head.

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