So many Tomb Raider levels
15.04.2011 32 °C
Our first night in Ayuthaya was not entirely restful: we could either turn the air-conditioning on – which made the room decidedly too cold – or off – which meant melting away. So we went to sleep with the airco on, woke up because we were freezing and turned it off, woke up again because we were melting and turned the airco back on, woke up because we were freezing etc. When we went to the reception the next morning to ask for the remote control (so we could set the temperature ourselves) we were offered a blanket. So, we decided to pack, check out and see about the hostel we saw on hostelworld before coming to Ayuthaya.
Unfortunately, that took us 30 mins of walking with two backpacks each and we were in sort of a hurry, because rain had been predicted for the afternoon and we wanted to get some Wats in before being forced inside.
So we dumped the backpacks, rented two very small bikes (the Thai are one of the smallest people in the world, the Dutch one of the tallest, you do the math) and cycled around the Wats in old town. The good museums were closed today, but oh well.
And here’s where I have to admit I’m a child of my time, possible poisoned by my time. You see, I know very little of Buddhism and nothing of Wats, so looking at their ruins, I can’t form an impression of what it would’ve looked like or what it would’ve been used for exactly. What I do see? Uncountable Tomb Raider levels. I see that Lara would climb to the top of this Prang, to find a way down and inside to get to the treasure chamber. Or, if I were playing TR, I’d have Lara crawl in here and there would be the ‘treasure sound’ and some ammo or a health pack. Or, if this were a TR level, there would be a pond right there with an underground passage into the temple complex. So yeah, my mind was corrupted by videogames. Still made for an awesome sightseeing tour. Plus, fic inspiration, which is never bad.
Around the fifth Wat it really started to rain though. Not the slight drizzle we’ve had earlier, but full out rain. So we hid somewhere under a pagoda with a bunch of Thai and sat it out, playing Angry Birds. It didn’t take more than 10 minutes I think, plus, it made the weather that much better (read, lots cooler). So we got back onto our bikes and attacked the 30 min trip to yet another Wat, outside the city.
Some short remarks about Thai traffic:
- There are more scooters on the road here than I’ve ever seen together in all my life;
- Thais drive on the left side of the road… mostly;
- Pedestrian crossings do appear but are happily ignored, the way to cross a street that has anywere from one to four lanes is thus: walk as far onto the street as possible without being overrun, wait for a gap, move forward, wait for a gap, move forward etc. I remember a computer game like this: Frogger. I wasn’t very good at it :S;
- Because of some weird tax advantage most cars here are pick ups;
- The best translation I can give you for the rules as to who has the right of way is: if you’re bigger and faster, you have the right of way.
That said, the last Wat really wasn’t worth the 30 bike ride, but oh well.