The Kevins of Ayutthaya
On the train to the ancient city Ayutthaya, I met two Americans—both named Kevin—heading to the same place. The Kevins were from Boston and Brooklyn and the two of them were like a couple that like to argue. They were cool guys and it was nice to have a discussion about video games with fellow travelers…as well as to watch their funny dynamic; Sitting between one of their little bickers, I interrupted with, “You guys must do this a lot,” and the argument suddenly ended with laughter.
Upon arrival at Ayutthaya—a 2 hour train ride North of Bangkok for less than 50 cents!—we found a cheery tuk tuk driver nicknamed Wei, bargained a fair price with him, and explored the various ruined temples together.
Old brick temples, pieces of statues laid out, trees growing out from towering structures—The city felt like something from an Indianna Jones movie. I’m walking down the steep steps of our first temple and an Asian guy comes up and asks me to take a photo, I agree and he raises his phone toward me! Asian tourists—and even a temple guard—kept wanting to take a photo specifically with me…the two Kevins waiting outside the shot. We figured it was because of the way I was dressed—brown button up shirt with a wide hat—the Kevins started to refer to me as Indy.
After about 6 hours riding in the back of the open air tuk tuk going from temple to temple, the sun was setting on our last ancient structure. Orange light shining through the polluted air gave the rough details of the stone towers beautiful definition.
We split the cost of the day’s ride, 366 THB each—that’s $11.80! Shaking hands with two new friends, I said goodbye to the Kevins as Wei pulled up on my hostel where I made even more friends.
Gathered around some tables, a little white cat I named Shrimpy passed out on my lap, we exchanged stories of where we’ve been and where we want to go. The Chinese New Year festivities where still running on and three of us ventured into the mess of venders and strange foreign stage performances. There was what I think a slap-stick singing comedy and an especially strange traditional Chinese one with crazy costumes and indiscernible storytelling.
It was a good day full of making friends and a lot of walking. I took the train back to my Bangkok home just in time for my shift working the hostel there.