Saturday, January 9, 2010

Talk of circadian rhythms

I’ve never really been jetlagged before, (a) because I don’t often leap a seven-hour time zone in a day and (b) because when I have, I’ve been sensible enough to stay awake until the evening and not succumb to sleep on the first afternoon. Oh well. It’s done now. You can’t argue with exhaustion and when you gotta sleep, you gotta sleep.

Besides, it seemed like an easy fix. After a sleepless night, all I had to do was spend the day being a tourist and go to bed at a normal time. So, shortly after 7am, off I popped on a local bus to the city’s Chatuchak Weekend Market, which, depending on whose info you read, has upwards of 8,000 or 10,000 stalls. It was a pleasant way to while away the morning and gave me an opportunity to replace my daypack - the zip of which started to play up as I was leaving for Heathrow - at a bargain price (that’s assuming it doesn’t fall apart in a week).

I returned to Banglamphu full of good intentions, all undone when I headed back to the guest house for a half-hour rest that developed into a full afternoon’s sleep.

Next week I’m meeting a friend who by coincidence is coming here for a holiday, and my original plan was to fill in the next few days visiting the Bridge over the River Kwai. Now, however, I’ve decided to stay in Bangkok until she arrives.

Cheap rooms are so scarce right now that every time I go out, I see forlorn backpackers being repeatedly turned away. I’m growing quite fond of my £3 cell - it bothered me at first that it didn’t have an electrical socket for my gizmos, but now I’ve realised that, through judicious use of a three-socket surge protector I’ve brought with me, I can charge them up at the internet place while I’m using my laptop.

I’ve toyed with the idea of embracing my new nocturnal nature and treating every afternoon as one long siesta, but it’s not going to work. I don’t want to be a character from an REM song - “My bed is pulling me, gravity” and all that - and with the talcum powder doing wonders for my personal hygiene, I don’t see why I should.

This evening, before eating, I decided to freshen up in one of the shower cubicles on my floor (needless to say, my room isn’t ensuite). The water is cold, or perhaps I should say cool, which is quite refreshing in this humid climate. Anyway, once I’d finished I realised I hadn’t brought my towel with me. I could either stand there for ten minutes, drying in the air, or put on my boxer shorts and sneak back to my room. I chose the latter course, since most of the young guests here walk around in their pants as a matter of course. You can guess what happened next. I slipped on the shiny floor of the corridor, executing a spectacular pratfall and drawing all of my neighbours out of their rooms to check what the hell was going on.

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