The blue sea city, Pattaya, was our temporary abode for quickly-to-be-passed in four days. During my stay there, from the window of my 7th floor hotel room at A-One, I would converse with the sea at stretch as if an author wants to hear a fairy tale from the sea itself. Thai food, another craving thing for you, for which you will go crazy, though a greater part of it is non-vegetarian. On the first day, we made small walkable trips to the nearby vicinities, which covers a few other hotels, seashore, sea and the city market. A hurried exploration spree across the length and breadth of the city was a revitalized experience. And the best part of this expedition was the bike ride (which one can hire from the vendors) to rule the routes. Sea shore and the roads running parallel, what can be an unforgettable memory!
Two things were available in plenty in Pattaya – prostitutes and indigenious arms. One would easily find the cab guys commonly displaying arms and hokkers' posters, with the sole purpose of attracting flies to nectar. It would be no exaggeration if I say sluts and unlicensed arm vendors rule the roost in this blue city. Utility vehicles were available in scores all over, an easy means for quick commutation in and around the city. And prostitution is a full fledged market - the biggest money making industry in Pattaya.
As the sun was bidding adieu to us, we planned a quick review of the scintillating local market. And here I came across the least unpredictable thing – for me atleast, which brought lump to my throat and goosebumps to entire body - 4 hookers per 2 tourists, was the ratio looking at which one would go transfixed. And being electrified, I was not an exception. Their lustful chassis and colorful attires made me go crazy. How they would brush their bosoms and butts with the tourists - and I was also among one of the fortunate enough ones to receive that soft friction.
Their eyes waiting for some response from somebody, as they wooed every single passerby. Their sordid gestures would make me drop my head as I accompanied my younger brother, though adulthood is a gone thing for him now as he is about to kiss his 30s. Having run an undercurrent inside me, I had a mixed feeling of lust and pity towards the sluts, who would overpower the beauty and sheen of Bollywood starlets. Ranging from 5-7 feet, their bods would emit the nectar of youthfulness. Later, digging into the city, I could figure out that even the senior citizens visit Pattaya to get back to life - to their salad days, when they used to bloom.
As the next day approached, our guide made us follow him towards the sea: motor boat and roaming deep into the sea waters was an amazing event. Amidst the sea, a wooden platform was our next stoppage, where we later flew towards the sky while para-sailing. Having a date with the sea air above the calm waters, I wish I could have fallen from that height to dive into the sea!
But a regret will forever prevail in the depths of my heart, for an event I could not avail – scuba diving, where you get to spend time with acquiatic plants and animals at the sea ground. But, unfortunate as I was, having been unable to afford its sky-high cost. Advancing deep into the sea for almost 40 mins, the motorboat took us to a cornered island – as we see in Hollywood flicks, where people get lost. Beer, fruits and swimming at a lonely island were uber-fascinating. Swimming in sea waters was a complete fresh event as I had spent my life remaining confined to ponds, swimming pools, or at max rivers. It felt as if now my world has been elongated with confined boundaries seen nowhere.
40-50 INR for a guava was out-of-my-pocket thing, but its monster size made me buy it. My lens is the most precious possession I have whilst on tours, as I make full use of it whenever I catch anything eye-catching. Frustrated with my over-possessiveness and being felt exploited, my lens left me in ire as it drained out.
Receding back to our hotel, it was almost dusk. The next was an entralling event for which I had been waiting avidly. The last day of our stay in Thailand and the most memorable and happening event so far, except suba diving, if I would have taken it up! Our guide gathered us at a riverside where Thai beauties welcomed us in a manner – like Indian cricketers get one, once they arrive back after winning cricket world cup. A picturesque arena could be witnessed as myriad tourists could be seen flooding the platform and vying with each other to get a glimpse of the arriving and departing cruise ships. And not far was our turn when we boarded one such gaint ship. In a 3-4 hr voyage into the river, having a date with the beautiful corners of Bangkok, it was an eventful journey with drinks, Thai food, music, dance and fun unlimited.
International integration was dispelled there, and being an Indian - who always read such things in books and speeches, could not believe my eyes to what I was witnessing. It felt as if we all know each other - Iranians, Afghans, Indians, Malaysians, Pakistanis, Indonesians, and a few more countries' inhabitants to name - were completely one with each other, cornering all the differences and boundaries. The Iranian clan was dancing at Punjabi soundtracks and Indians were gyrating over Egyptian numbers, such was the environment ruling there. The deck of our cruise ship had turned into a platform to enroll human beings into preaching and learning the philosophy of peace, love and harmony - and Thailand had witnessed it, though we all left the message in the air but I am sure, it still would be there.
And the singer onboard, a localite, stunned us with South Indian, old Hindi, Punjabi, Iranian, Egyptian and almost every tourist's indigenous songs you name. Having a nightingale voice, she was a master of so many languages. I wish the cruiseful sojourn could have continued and continued, and continued. Retarding back, overwhelmed with the joy-unlimited, with heavy hearts (of the cruise voyage coming to an end), we deboarded our ship with heavy steps. Inside my mind were some beautiful memories of Thailand as I was about to board my flight to Bangalore. Just those lovely experiences accompanying me, rest all is irrelevant to mention what followed. Temples, exemplifying human architect's masterpieces, serene rivers, blue sea waters are something from Thailand's kitty, which I will always treasure in my heart. With love Thailand!
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