9 Jun

Since the tiny gentleman joined us, I’ve tried to make it a habit to take evening stroller walks around our neighborhood. The munchkin gets some fresh air and sometimes a relaxing snooze, and I get to stretch my legs. I have taken to ambling up one side street (yaek) of our ‘hood and down another, often making a bit of a loop. Occasionally I run errands while out and about, but normally I wander without a set plan. Prior to these walks, the majority of my moving throughout the neighborhood had been via motorbike; it has been highly enjoyable taking in the scenery at a significantly slower speed. Many of the yaeks were uncharted territory, and I’ve discovered all manner of intriguing sights over the past few months.

One of my favorite things has been admiring and photographing the abundant greenery. A large portion of Thailand is lush and green and fabulous, and our neighborhood is no exception. Every nook and cranny has something growing in it. Crack in the sidewalk? There’s a plant sprouting. Empty beer can? Makes a great repurposed planter. Leave your bike laying around a little too long? There’s a vine climbing all over it. The typical Thai home has dozens of pots and containers outside, some artistically arranged, some strewn about, and all have various plant life growing. Even in downtown Bangkok, one can find potted plants in parking lots, and vines contentedly flowering around corners. It is safe to say that the flora of Southeast Asia is doing quite well. Since I began my walks I’ve seen zillions of gorgeous flowers, and all manner of fruits and vegetables, including pomegranates, limes, chillies, and jackfruit (photo on the right). Recently I found and photographed the tiniest pineapple I have ever seen. I am fairly certain the Thais think I’m crazy when I pause and crouch to snap pictures of oranges and flowers, but that hasn’t stopped me.

Along with the amazing plant life comes some grade A people watching. As the sun begins to set and the temperature cools down, the Thais emerge like clockwork. Only the farang are silly enough to run around in the heat of the day; the Thais wait until sunset to enjoy some fresh air. In our neighborhood, people hang out on benches, take walks, and let the kids run about. Our neighbors across the street love to play a net-free version of badminton in the middle of the road with their pint-sized daughter. Kids race their bikes up and down the yaeks while the grownups chit chat in front of their homes. I have certain streets that I’ve taken a liking to for one reason or another, so I frequently see the same people engaged in their evening activities. One of my favorite walking loops has a trio of cute little kids who ride their bikes near the stroller so they can coo and giggle at Oliver. Another street has a gentleman who can often be found squatting near a small grill, cooking up dinner. Although I have taken many a plant-themed photo, I have mostly avoided taking pictures of our neighbors. It seems far more polite to simply smile and nod as we stroll past them. With that in mind, please enjoy this exceedingly floral photo collage (and also a random millipede – it was just huge).



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