“Morning Scotty. I see the title generator is back up.”
“Yes, Captain. What are our orders for today?”
“Bangkok, 1957 and 2018.”
“Sixty years and change, Sir? That will require some fine tuning.”
“Don’t remind me of the sixty bl..dy years my friend. Fine tuning is your area, Scotty. All aboard!”
Royal palace, Bangkok. 1957. We lived in Cambodia in ’56-57. My parents went to Bangkok for a business meeting. My mother wielded her 8mm camera. My father shot the first slides that were coming into the market. I’ve known those pictures (and the movies) all my life. Until I went to Asia at the end of the year. Back to my “roots”?
Royal palace. January 2018. I literally stood in my father’s footsteps. Bordering the staircase are two Naga gods, the cosmic multi-headed serpent. We will see many of those in South-East Asia.
Singhapanorn, 2018.This chimera, half bird, half woman appears to be a character of the Ramayana. The Hindu 27,000 verses epic poem I have already mentioned. All through South-East Asia one can find the influences of India (and China). I have a feeling I will have to read the Ramayana… Haven’t read War and peace yet, for its length. 😦
Bangkok, 1957. I missed that one.
And 2018. Same place. Different perspective. Note the exquisite details on the first “stupa”.
1957. I was truly amazed when I compared this old slide, and the new shot (I did not remember this particular “painting”):
The Chao Praya river is magnificent. No great city can be complete without a river. This one meanders through the city. With boats at full speed. There are few bridges, so one takes small ferries to cross. A few baths.
Chao Praya river, 1957. Despite the poor quality of the slide, I suspect this shows the Wat Arun temple on the West bank. Squint and you will see a pointed temple in the centre.
Wat Arun temple is possibly the most beautiful of all of Bangkok’s temples and palaces. No gold, but a fascinating attention to detail. (I will probably dedicate an entire post to Wat Arun). Speaking of crossed influences, the bearded guardian with a sword, bottom centre is definitely Chinese. While…
… while the demons or deities supporting the temple come from Ramayana. 2018. Wat Arun dates back to the 17th century. At least. And to further the “fusion” process, it is a Buddhist temple.
Bangkok Khlong. 1957. In those days, most of the city consisted of canals (the khlongs) where people lived in houses on pillars and moved around in boats. Most of the Khlongs have been filled, but not all.
Khlong Bang Luang. 2018. Taken from the Artist’s house. One of my favourite places in Bangkok. It is an old wooden house, renovated where puppet performances are held, featuring, again, characters of the Ramayana. A special post will be done on the Artist house.
Khlong. 1957. Note the particular shape of the straw hats on the women. Each region, country had its particular shape and style of hats. Sorry to say baseball caps are now in much greater use.
Khlong Bang Luang. 2018. One can find the same boats all the way South to the island of Koh Lanta, near Malaysia. The shape has remained pretty much the same. A truck engine has been added at the back, with a very long axis supporting the helix. Deafening. 🙂
Puppets at the Artist house. Those and many others are used by dancers in a once a day performance in the house’s “garden”, opposite the canal. (Just make sure there will be a representation, before going. There was not the day we went. Have to go back.)
Artist house. 2018. One of many striking masks. Don’t know who this particular character is. How long does it take to read 27,000 verses?
Khop khun krab… Thank you for hopping around on Equinoxio Timelines. The 3 syllables are elongated. A sort of drawl. And gender differentiated. A woman will say Khop khun kha(aaaa). To which you will respond Kraaaab if you’re a man, khaaaa if you’re a woman. Thai are so polite one hears kraaab and khaaa all the time. A lovely music.