sobota, 20 lutego 2016

Day 7

Hang Chat - Wiang Kosai National Park

Chai helps me get out of bed by bringing me some breakfast. As always, it consists of unidentifiable, but tasty, food items. I think I fine finally broken into the cycling routine, as I’m out the door at 7:45am. I want to get to the nearby temple before breakfast.

The road that takes me there doesn’t differ much from any European countryside road, well maybe except for the rice fields and Thai writing all around.

Upon arrival at the Wat Phra That Lampang Luang I encounter what seems to be a local cycling group. Ok, so there ARE other people in this country who ride a bike.

I enter the temple, which is just like any other shrine I have come across, apart from one tiny old mysterious building with signs all around saying “ladies not allowed.” What is this, the Buddhist interpretation of sexism??? The warnings make me crazy, I circle around the the edifice debating whether to enter it or not. With no one around, it should be easy. But I’m at mine’s and different cultures should be respected, shouldn’t they? Even when they go against basic human rights? Well, I don’t go cry in outrage against the all-white male Polish clergy, do I? Or the almost all-white male government? No, I don’t.

It doesn’t mean I agree or support that, but I guess the difference is that the temple being 5 metres away from me, the discrimination is right there in my face. There’s no genuine reason why I can’t go in, except for what I’ve got in between my legs.

Those other forms of discrimination are a bit more subtle. Women can still enter the clergy (as nuns) and go into politics. This alleged equal treatment obscures the fact that all power positions in those worlds are occupied by men, who dictate laws and rules and only let women play so that they’re kept busy and away from any idea of rebellion.

Feminist resurgence apart, I do enjoy the rest of the ride as it takes me through some mountainous areas abundant with vegetation. The roads are empty and I have the impression of flying.

At the end of the day I bump into the first camping site and decide to spend the night there. It’s nicely hidden in the midst of a national forest and provides me with the natural tropical beauty I have been so longing for. A good day I say.

Km: 84.49 km
Tm: 4:55 h
Av: 17.1 km/h
TOTAL: 414 km