An omnibus round-up for lousy photos of logistical considerations and personal memories in Phitsanulok, Thailand. Please watch the “Healing Ramble, introduction” video for context on this series.
Finding Rest & Calm
On my visits to Phitsanulok (aside from a few transitions and late night arrivals), i stayed at Hip Inn and Coffee because they have typewriters and cappuccinos and all manner of quirky decor (Vespas, VWs)…
It’s not in the “thick of town”, a little outside but still walkable in a pinch to market and hospital. Nearby was a larger hotel so could get a tuk-tuk or taxi when needed.
Plus this dog lives at Hip Inn and good for a pet after a tough day.
Here’s my no-longer-secret -but-otherwise-public review of Hip Inn at: 39/5 Sanambin Rd, Tambon Nai Mueang, Amphoe Mueang Phitsanulok, Chang Wat Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand
What follows comes from my erstwhile “Healing Journal” – written/compiled on a foggy meandering journey to various countries (Pacifica, Phitsanulok, Cochin, Pokhara, Dikwella/Galle…) visiting all manner of hospitals, clinics and exploring various healing modalities and techniques.
Shared here more-or-less unedited for posterity (whatever that is) and to shed light to those struggling who might come across this riff. Please watch the “Healing Ramble, introduction” video for context on this series.
Importantly, this is not meant to be a travelogue or creative writing exercise, just laying out my experience as it came to me. I may include some links to other projects or creations that came out of this, maybe… I’m not there yet.
This entry, from Phitsanulok, Thailand over 4 extended visits in 2016-18. It’s now June 2021, i live in Japan, am stable if far from “normal”. No comments, sympathy requested or accepted. Carry on.
On my healing journey, i was introduced to Kamalasom Traditional Thai massage ศูนย์ส่งเสริมสุขภาพแผนไทย กมลาศรม (สาธารณสุขจังหวัดพิษณุโลก) clinic in Phitsanulok, Thailand after the magical Mrs. Athaya made arrangements. Since Oct. 2016, so far i have spent 4 extended treatment sessions at this facility.
This is NOT TO BE confused with ubiquitous “tourist massage” or the abundant s3xy massages, this is traditional “royal court massage and i’ll tell ya, its not gentle, relaxing or delicate – but Oh so great!
I’ll explain how the routine goes: Usually,… first starts with a blood pressure and pulse rate check (keep in mind all this happens in Thai so i just play along with smiles and they are all so nice to me), and brief consult (again, in limited common language).
Kind of nervous about this project but somehow it feels like a good (or important) idea so here we go… &/or just watch :).
I deal with #MECFS a complicated complex and chronic disease (see below).
After diagnosis eight years ago (2013), I was kinda ground-up by then-local (Vancouver, Canada) medical system through challenging and ill-advised therapies, a litany of dangerous medications and laborious uneventful tests. Plus my entire life seemed to fall apart… ugh. As such I set out on a meandering journey seeking to figure out what was up with my body and brain and try to find a way forward. Continue reading Healing Ramble: #MECFS journey to Thailand, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and onwards→
Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo (or maybe photos) a day / per year – starting with 1970 with intent of chronicling existence through various primary evidence sourced from studio portraits, class photos, ID / passport photos, or occasionally other “casual/group/random” shots when the above don’t exist in my archive (note: not “artificial intelligence,” really me, pulled from shoeboxes, journals, wallets and whatnot – diligently scanned and dated via glasses and haircuts, lightly annotated).
Rolling some/elsewhere in Thailand at some point in time by tuk tuk and taxi, plus a spin around the train station in Phitsanulok. Nothing happens whatsoever, just looking out at everyday in a very normal place on a regular day…
What follows is a round-up/collection of typewriters I either purchased, used, or simply observed along the way on various wanders.
Assembled for historical reference and personal interest, with annotations and examples where possible.
This machine (brandname obscured by grunge) was purchased in Fort Galle, Sri Lanka in rather rough shape. Cleaned the keys with a toothbrush and solvent, added a new ribbon, attempted to repair the ribbon uptake (with limited success). The machine’s key produced a rather small typeface size making the cleaning of the worn down keys especially important. Banged out journals, letters and poems for a few months before moving on and leaving it behind.
Here’s a sample of the type produced by this machine – as evidenced, a little rough going but the keystrokes felt great and machine size was just right:
The city of Phitsanulok, (Pits-NOH-loh) in central Thailand is a workaday, very “normal” city, a capital of sorts long ago, now known for some famous Buddhas (where isn’t?) and a University.
I spent time at the excellent hospitals in the city and also, frankly, because its not on the tourist circuit of party beach towns and ex-pat enclaves. I can be comfortably and obviously anonymous – Its just normal.
I travel there by train and sometimes leave by plane from the smallish airpot (where i Boeing 747 sits in disassembly on the tarmac. I usually stay for week or three at a time, undergoing medical tests, as well as receiving traditional Thai “royal court” massage and other natural treatments.
I wander through the markets (usually buy seasonal fruit), stay at the same guest house, and eat at a family-run noodle stand or the outdoor hot-pot restaurant across the street from the aforementioned Hip Inn.
What follows are unedited snaps taken by a Lomo La Sardina (sardine can) camera loaded with expired film. I take photos “from the hip” to capture the hazy, vaguely watercoloured impression i feel there when wandering the lanes, streets and markets. This is all.
When i visit Thailand, i fly into Chiang Mai – a bustling olden city in the north area, rather than Bangkok which is just too much city for countryboy me. Then i head for the city of Phitsanulok, (Pits-NOH-loh) in central Thailand which is a workaday, very “normal” city for medical treatment (Phitsanulok life is detailed elsewhere in a similar fashion.
I travel by train – either a 1960s era Japanese model or a new Chinese-built machine with folding beds for the nighttime journey. Along the way, i write poetry and gaze out the window (poetry series Towns and Trains is – or might be – elsewhere in this archive).
What follows are snaps taken by a Lomo La Sardina (sardine can) camera loaded with expired film snapped from a moving train for no particular reason aside to see what happens and capture the washes of colour fleeting by as i roll, as well as a few folks i encountered along the way and a few places i slept or soaked.