All it took was one bite of the egg.
I heaved up the banana milkshake quicker than I’d drunk it. Then whatever else was left of the Tonsai devil burger I had at the start of my journey.
That’s what I get for eating a burger at the beach.
I was climbed out. Tired. And I had been eating pretty healthy for about a week. One burger couldn’t hurt. Plus I thought it would see me well on my epic boat, bus, plane and train journey to Ayutthaya.
But now it had me hunched over the toilet bowl of a tiny restaurant at 7 am.
My first instinct was to head back to bed. Or even better: Bangkok. But when would I get to come this close to Rama’s city of Ayodhya? That’s what Ayutthaya was meant to be, the city of temples, old capital of Siam. A slice of history, mythology and my childhood.
The Ramayana was one of my favourite stories as a child, stories of princesses, demons, flying monkeys and a city all lit up to welcome home an exiled prince.
I couldn’t just leave.
So I pushed myself to do a five hour walking tour of the temples. A tour which ended with me hailing a tuktuk to help me round the last leg.
I even went on a riverboat tour of the waterside temples. Each one filled with ornate Buddhas and crumbling buildings. There was a calm beauty to it all. But I was feeling out of sorts.
It could have been too much in a short span. I had temple overload and zero perspective to appreciate what I’d seen. More likely the food poisoning had muted the experience.
It wasn’t how I’d wanted my trip to end, but it was how I returned to Bangkok.
Funnily enough though, Bangkok was the real surprise. I didn’t expect to enjoy the tail boats and temples as much as I did. Nor that I would feel as peaceful and calm in the city as I had at The Sanctuary wandering around the temples and palaces that Ayutthaya had inspired.
Maybe I’m just a city girl at heart. Maybe I’d found some inner peace.
Or the parasites had changed me irrevocably.
The temple at Wat Pho fast became my favourite place for peaceful meditation and a massage. I’m addicted to Thai massage now. There is something strangely relaxing about being forced into yoga positions and cradled by a stranger who will then crack your entire spine.
It put a smile on my face.
Though I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t have.
I visited the reclining Buddha one more time before I left.
The immensity of it, filling a whole temple had me in awe when I first saw it. Looking upon it again I felt content and at peace before I left and ready for whatever might happen next in life.
Leaving countries is always so bittersweet for me. It’s like cutting a conversation short when you’re really getting to know someone.
I’ll be back Thailand.
If for nothing more than another massage.