The City of Life

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As promised, a few photos from yesterday including the inspiration for today’s title:

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Bangkok is indeed full of life. From the sleeping dogs next to the subway, to the non stop traffic. dog

(By the way: the dog isn’t dead, he lives right at that spot in front of Nana Station and today I saw him wake up after someone gave him food…)

Yesterday was quite an experience. Thankfully I learned the BTS Skytrain almost perfectly, it is very easy to figure out since English translations accompany almost every Thai sign in the city. The train is SUPER useful and efficient, but it is scary because for some reason it feels like it may come off the track and fall down off the bridge…yikes.

After running errands all morning, I finally fell asleep only to wake up at 2am. I decided to pick up a few things from 7-eleven (and those are literally EVERYWHERE in Bangkok) and ran into the night market. The night market is on a street full of bars so there were lots of sights to see. Despite the heat (30 C even after the sun had been down for hours) and the time, it seemed I was the only one who had missed the memo to be outside. I expected the tourists, the vendors, and the noisy little motorcycles. What I didn’t expect were the street-walkers.

I suppose I should’ve known better but some of the women advertise themselves on the street shamelessly. Even going as far as to pull and kiss at men walking down the street. And not just the Thai women. I noticed the city is split into ‘districts’ if you may, where I am living. There’s a Euro district, an American district, and a Middle-Eastern/Indian district. All three of those intersect on Sukhumvit Rd. which is the pinnacle of the night market. The overwhelming smell of rotting garbage didn’t stop me from taking a little tour of all this night market had to offer. I saw people of all color, class, and creed walking about and there seems to be no shame in taking tourists back to their hotel for a night cap. Many of the marriage-age Thai women, and others, were accompanied by a foreigner, that is except those who were working. To say this city never sleeps would be an understatement. Except of course for the tuk-tuk drivers who sleep in their cars and can be found at just about any hour. I wonder where they live…

An older man chauffeured me around on a tuk-tuk yesterday after I received directions from a very helpful Thai banker who spoke very good English.tuk-tuk
He took a special trip to a gem shop. This is a scam I read about before coming to Thailand. I was a little afraid, but really it is nothing to worry about as long as you don’t buy anything. I can tell diamond from cubic zirconia easily, but if you cannot, beware: it ain’t real. They showed me everything from topaz to pink sapphire (does that even exist?). I left empty handed and it was a lesson learned. In Thailand, if you have your wits about you, everything will be OK. Being here alone has felt dangerous at times, crazy even. But I’m here, and I’ve made it this far.

Now for my favorite picture: car
This picture isn’t the best quality but it seems to sum up Bangkok in a nutshell.

Yes, it is a pink car. Not just any car, a taxi. Clever advertisement or just cultural difference? I’m not sure, but I vote for more pink cars in America!

Until later…

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