18 February 2013
“Come, gentle night, come…
Tragic news from today about British cyclists Peter Root and Mary Thompson who were killed after being run over by a pick up truck outside of Bangkok. Their website here. A story in the Telegraph here. A video of theirs here. A Facebook memorial here.
When I first read this in the Bangkok Post at lunch I immediately recognized their website: twoonfourwheels.com as the website referred to by either recent cycling guests of mine or the Dutch cyclists currently staying with me. Sure enough, my Dutch guests, Moniek and Arian (post below) told me when they got home that they indeed not only knew this couple but had ridden with them for six weeks and were in contact with them up until their accident on Friday around 2:30pm. Moniek had wondered why they hadn’t responded. How unbelievably tragic.
And what a small world it is. And how brief.
…and when they shall die,
Take them out and cut them into little stars,
And they will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.”
Moniek & Arian: February 2013
Warning: Those two people above really look like what you would think of when thinking of two Dutch people.
This month of February brought with it two Dutch cyclists nearing a year on the road, Moniek and Aryan, two very fit and pleasant adventurers from the cycling capital of the world. Taking a break from their day-to-day routine they feasted on air con, sleeping in, showers, DVDs, tinkering with their Dutch bicycles, and getting lost in Bangkok.
Within three days they had picked this city clean of useful bicycle shops.
They started in Holland and went south to Turkey and Iran and had many nice things to say about both. They couldn’t get through Tibet because of visa restrictions so they went north and around through China with extended visas onward to Laos and Thailand. They recommended Kyrgyzstan as a place to go.
My only reservation is with Aryan’s lack of appreciation for Apocalypse Now.
Honore and Fanny: November 2012 & January 2013
turquoise water flour
They are from Lyons, France, way in the Alps, and are taking a world tour. As I am writing this they are in Laos and will be returning sometime this…month? They arrived the day after Obama got elected and high fived me after learning that he had won. Obama is popular around the world. What a delight it was to hang out with two French people, not a common occurrence in my life. Most of the expatriates I am in contact with here in Bangkok are from anglophone countries so these international cyclists from Brazil, France, and Brazil that I have hosted have offered a much welcomed contrast. Honore and Fanny shared an evening with me and a fellow US citizen at a Democrats Abroad event downtown the Friday after the election. Not that I am a Democrat, but I did vote for the ticket so I made the trip to listen to Obama’s acceptance speech, which was great to watch as I intermittently whispered quick summaries to my French friends, who were profoundly touched by the whole experience. After we all hopped into a taxi to go clubbing. I spoke in my best frenglish to sound impressive using words like raison d’etre and bete noir sounding more Turkish with my vowels. I spent the rest of the evening playing drums with Honore.
The next evening I took them to the wine and French cheese bar at the Pullman at King Power and they went into convulsions when they first saw the mounds of French cheese scattered about like Ancient Roman ruins. What a marvel it was to eat French cheese with them and have them explain the importance of the salt in the butter on the bread and how it interacts with the cheese. They both bit into the French bread like it was the Eucharist.
Vive la France.
A few words from their travels after leaving me (poetically translated by Google):
“We leave one of South East Asia which we will together for more than three months, with smiles, its rice fields, mountains, sun burning, small greasy greasy and rice, miles of bike, its great moments of happiness, her laughter and her tears then. And now the ride rotates like the earth that we follow.”