I should really start riding. The Tiger Retro’s ready to go and the roads are calling, but something’s holding me back. I’ve been here for a week and the truth is, I’ve been absolutely nowhere. Okay, I’ve ridden to the market at Chat-u-Chak, and that’s a hell of a place to visit, and I’ve been to Chang Wattana Soi 14 for some amazing Street-Food, but apart from that, I really haven’t been anywhere. For the first few days I’d thought jetlag was holding me back, or laziness, or even that I’d caught some God awful disease, but maybe, maybe it’s actually worse than that.
It seems that I’ve spent my entire adult life in a hurry, usually racing motorcycles from one destination to another. Sometimes that was for work, the way that I earned my living as a Despatch Rider in London, but more recently, it’s been overland travelling for pleasure. It’s been fun, and I’ve visited some amazingly wonderful places, but the process of racing between those places means that I’ve totally bypassed a lot of the really good stuff. The funny thing is, it’s only now that I’m beginning to realise just how much I’ve missed. Now that I’m on the wrong side of fifty, the life that once seemed eternal must be approaching its twilight, or perhaps it’s already there. Who knows? Anyway, the truth is, I’ve changed.
When I arrived back in Lak Si, it wasn’t jetlag or laziness that stopped me from hitting the highway, it was roots. I swore that it wouldn’t happen, but it has. I’ve found a location and a community that I care about, a place that I could easily call home. Sure, there are lots of places that I love, places that I’d like to settle down, Boonville for example, but here in Lak Si I feel that I can actually make a difference. I’ve certainly spent time with less privileged people than I find here in the Northern district of Bangkok - the displaced people of the Hmong and Karen on the Northern borders of Thailand for example - and I’ve witnessed atrocities that can’t be mentioned in this blog, but here in Lak Si, well, things are different.
I’m no richer than the average resident here so I certainly can’t help them financially, and aside from a knowledge of English I’ve no skills to share that they don’t already have, but there seems to be something that I can contribute. That something is basically, Time. I take time to stop and talk with people, and fleeting as it is, that seems to make a difference to their lives.
Within a square mile of my apartment, there's enough to occupy the mind and soul of any traveller. It’s difficult to explain, and maybe in the coming weeks I’ll find the right words, but the truth is that I’m in no great hurry to ride away from here .. mai pen rai kap