Friday, January 15, 2010

A lost segment - Chiang Mai, Thailand

(Summer 2007)
A traffic light, when? It's not a junction, just a pedestrian crossing. I hit the brakes late but I do it with experience: it's a manual ABS, gradual, tactful. I stop without problems before the white line. I look at a foreigner walking in front. I feel that a smile is bending my lips, while the morning sun is massaging my cheeks. The projector gets stuck, life is paused, after a couple of seconds the film moves on, but a space-time segment has been lost in the process. The bike's on the ground, I'm still on my feet, my knees are bent and my palms touch the asphalt. A Thai guy's bike has crashed into mine. I stand up and tell him that the light was red, I must be confused because I'm speaking Chinese. The following minute is for a social case study. While I'm lifting the bike the Thai disappears, I'm not surprised, I was not counting on him. The foreign guy has seen everything but as he's abroad he doesn't care. A Korean girl is concerned and gives me a wet towel. Two men arrive and bring me a new bike, then take the old one away when they leave the place. Normally they will ask a sum for the damages, but the fact that I rented the bike at the hotel seems to be good enough as a guarantee. I brush my jeans, put my shirt straight, I clean with some water the wounds on my hands. I should go back to my room and disinfect them. But I'm rationally careless, I hop on the bike, take a look at the mountains, speed up, turn page. A sky like this needs to be matched with palm trees, then rice fields, slopes, temples, tints. And I'm thinking of the tropics, their hues, the architecture, not of the color of Mercurochrome. 

Photo by Ginger me (CC), from flickr

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