Josh Greenspan: The Last Word on Bangkok
Bangkok, October 30
Bangkok. Unique. Head throbbingly vibrant. Standstill traffic twelve hours a day, hundreds of motos and tuk-tuks fighting for that last inch of space to squeeze by. Pretty girls sitting side-saddle on motos, their feet just missing a car, a food stall or me. And then the rain. If Tokyo rains sideways, Bangkok pays no attention. It just rains straight down in long neverending sheets broken only by the all-too-close clap of thunder and sliver-thin bolts of lightning. The city simply moves, undulating. Nothing fancy, certainly nothing organized. The people move around … or they don’t. They cook anywhere and everywhere and eat in just about the same fashion. Nearly every street is a no-name street and where yesterday there was a food stall, today there is a t-shirt vendor or a streetside mechanic, all bathed in the harsh white-blue glow of flourescent tubes. Boats fill the river and with no median to separate them, they glide in every direction. Fast boats, longtails with oily black-brown clouds trailing them. Boats with peaked rooves bearing the flag of a fancy hotel. Water buses, the ticket woman shaking her silver change tubes making sure everyone pays the 30 cent fare.