The noise, the lights, the smoke, the grit, the sweat. It’s an all-out assault.
Even the taxi driver has a TV show playing, while he’s driving, on the giant-screened cell phone perched on his dashboard. There are at least as many lights as in the cockpit of a 747, but there are more things going on here. There’s a dramatic scene on TV that I’m getting into at this point in what seems like a soap opera, but we have to tear our eyes away as we’re going to need to swerve away from the tuk tuk that’s we’re approaching and going to sideswipe if we don’t turn before the suave Thai Don Juan delivers his next line.
This is the same tuk tuk that got the last of the sale items at the Obnoxious Blinking Lights & Gizmos R-Us warehouse. Reds and purples, spinning and blinking, glitter and flitter. We just miss him and I’m apparently the only one in the car or the tuk tuk that seems to think that it was a close call. Lo and behold, it was just one of a dozen “close calls” we’d have in our 20-minute trip through the bustling city of six million. I’m pretty sure five million of them have scooters and four million of those five are on them right now on the same street I’m on.
We chose our Pad Thai restaurant (“restaurant” is a big word) because it had no music blasting from it. But as soon as we sat down, it turned on. Maybe there are sensors on the seats. By then, we had already ordered and I didn’t know how to say, “But I really don’t want blasting music, please.” in Thai so we ate and didn’t talk much. The kids watched a little soccer of two teams with three-letter acronyms none of us could figure out. We couldn’t hear any play-by-play anyway and even if we could, it was probably in Thai. Seeing that we’re in Thailand and all, it’s not all that surprising.
I don’t really know how noise-cancelling headphones work, but I would imagine that they somehow push out sound waves to crash into and nullify sound waves coming in. I thought maybe the symphony taxi whistles and tuk tuk exhaust pipe melodies might just drown out the woman yelling at the cook, but they didn’t. It turned out that the woman was just talking, but they didn’t get the extra noise-cancelling feature either, so it had to be yelling to hear each other over the drowning din of, well, the rest of the noise.
The plastic fork and the styrofoam plate just added to the disorder of the world. But hey, that’s what you get if you want noodles for under a Euro. It was so good I would have licked my styrofoam plate clean had it not been made of … styrofoam. I just couldn’t do it.
But I’m sure it’s just me.
I’m sure this is all an organized orchestra to most and they swoon to the melody of it all.
But I couldn’t help thinking of one thing. Or even one person. I realize by admitting this that I’m what you might call extreme, but I thought it, so I’m just going to admit it to myself. I was thinking of just one guy.
He’s not even a real person. He’s my new character in my new series “Unknowing Majestic Mystic.” He’s a little baffled with what to do with himself as he’s been approached by people who seem to think he has some sort of magical powers. He kind of just wants it all to go away, but he’s still intrigued by it all.
So I’m thinking about him and what his magical powers really might be. You see, I’m not really creating the story, I’m just writing it down. It’s one of those instances where I just write and it comes out of me as if someone else–or something else–is telling the story and I happen to have the fingers that are putting it out there.
I’m as curious as you are about what’s going to happen to Charlie next. He’s getting in a little above his head and he’s concerned that there might be no turning back at this point and he’s debating between returning to his perfectly normal and averagely-fantastic life or stepping into this unknown world of some sort of magic.
Anyway, that’s what I’m thinking about as I hide away in my own mind and that’s my noise-cancelling feature. It works wonders. The entire world is blocked out as Charlie makes his next move. Pretty cool, right?
Now that I got that out of the way, I think it’s time for some sticky rice, a blinking neon billboard advertising something I would never want even for free, and someone yelling at someone else but they’re really just talking. Who knows, maybe they’re talking about Charlie Holiday. I know I am.