Monday, August 18, 2008

A Celebration of the Morning, Lumphini

My favorite parts of cities are their parks. In parks you gain access to people at peace, without work and in leisure, in others' company or alone. In a park there are no pretentions, they welcome the old, the young, and the crazy.

I've been going to Lumphini park in Bangkok for the past 4 years. Its the most beautiful, and alive place that I've ever frequented. Every morning around 7:00 am elders fill the park and sip tea with comrades, some practice tai chi in yellow jumpsuits, others dance in groups to 70's disco music, some sing karaoke under tropical fauna, and others do yoga with a teacher that shouts out instructions through a megaphone. At times stray 5 foot long iguanas will intercept your walk as they pass by you on their way to the nearest pond. Old men say hi to me, the Farong (foreigner), as I make a lap around them. A man gyrates vigorously and my immediate impulse is to laugh, a look closer at his face and not his moving body and I see a man deep in meditation. I feel bad for laughing. Everyone has their morning quirks, in fact everyone has quirks and that is what makes each person so great.

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