Monsoon Midnights Special places in Bangkok, as experienced by the Bangkok Women’s Writer’s Group Dear reader, Welcome to ‘Monsoon Midnights’, a brand new series of stories by the Bangkok Women’s Writers Group. The storytellers of the BWWG come from all over the world but they all have a special place in this city, somewhere surprising, obscure and unexpected, as yet undiscovered. Follow us to these hidden places right here, month after month. 74
NIGHTFALL OVER BANGKOK THERE are some very high places in Bangkok. Places where you can look out and see the city laid out like an interactive map beneath you. I look at the darkening sky above. It is dark tonight; the moon has not yet risen. The city is quiet, as if lost in memory. Many people have left in a great wave of traffic, and now I can hear the call of the night birds, long and haunting. Are you there? Are you there? I follow their calls, I try to listen, but I can’t answer. I don’t know. The ground smells of water. Still, old, brown water, here for hundreds of years, just below the tarmac, just below the grass. If you build a big house in Bangkok, chances are you will have a pond next door. The water takes its ground back. Tonight it is time to take a long tail boat, the motorcycle of the canals. It is loud, it is dangerous, it throws you around and makes you hold on for dear life, and it is fast. Very fast. We slip around the corners, we stir up dirty slick, and if anyone should be as bold as to follow in our wake, we’ll dowse them with the spray from our stern. We pass many piers and jetties, but we all disdain them. Until, just slightly east of the city centre, we suddenly swing around and bump against a jetty, deserted at this late hour, no, only almost deserted, because, illuminated by the faint light from the temple behind her, I can see a slight figure, sitting very still.
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