Phi mai

After the big flash it rains most of the night. Steady drizzle, but large drops that evaporate as soon as they touch you. I have a beer at the bar on the corner, seemingly staffed entirely by lady boys.

Wake up early and wander the town as it begins its day. Kids going to school, breakfast hawkers. I get a fried egg and juice.

When I enter the prasat phi mai, I’m the only person there, other than women in scarf cum masks and wide brimmed hats meditatively sweeping the dust and fallen leaves from the ruins. It’s a big site and I garner that it’s been largely rebuilt. There are barefooted guys precariously erected scaffolding at the west gate. There is a collection of remoulded sculptures. Regardless the place is spectacular, and is claimed to be thailands largest stone monument. The same layout as angkor wat, and apparently there is an ancient road linking the 2 places. It must be weird having this as the centre of your town. The main tower is flooded with the creepy echoing cooing of pigeons. It’s a peculiar mixture of ancient, well, 1100 years old, and a place where life carries on almost obliviously. I see pictures of how it was before restorations began, the romantic in me kind of prefers it.




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