Dusk over Bangkok.

January 25th, 2014, 6pm

I’m not in love with the city of Bangkok, overrun as it is with a boorish, foreign youth. I got robbed on my way in, but found quick refuge in an artist’s squat in the faraway district of Thon Buri, the original capital, now just a handful of charmingly residential streets curved crookedly around each other like shy smiles.

The place is good — cool-floored and functional, slim bottles of filtered water lining the shelves and a bowl of squat bananas yellowing on the patio, but I find and pinch bugs off my body every few hours through the night. Afterwards, spend listless mornings wandering the streets in a steamy, sleepless torpor. Watch friendly, crumpled women palm sticky rice into banana leaves over charcoal grills, am trailed by packs of curious dogs and occasional children.

In the city center, life goes on almost as usual. Street markets flood the sidewalks with stacks of cheap clothing, the smell of fish, discount paperbacks. Students ebb across the roads in modest, navy tides, giggling privately. Protests clog the center of town with exhausted traffic and angry pedestrians. Their amplified lectures muffle every other thing: ceremonial processions, weddings, gong rings, street chatter, the lyrical cries of street vendors. Enterprising locals ring the tent cities, hawking camo-print tents and T-shirts crying “Shut Bangkok down!” Megaphones strapped to fences made of stacked rubber tires blare obscure instructions to passerby. Guards shift restlessly, waving at tourists and posing, grim-faced, for pictures.

I wander endlessly through rings and rings of erected tents, but never see any people inside of them.

Lily, David Wade, Samuel, Philippe and 9 others said thanks.

Share this moment

Cassie Marketos

Community Manager at Hi. Traveling. Writing! Will send invites generously. Just ping @sayhi.

Create a free account

Have an account? Sign in.

Sign up with Facebook