First Tuesday in Bangkok

Standard

I accompanied Lea on the train and we stopped at Au Bon Pain. I had a nice egg croissant sandwich. After bidding adeiu at the bus stop, I decided to save a few baht and see how long it would take me to walk back to the apartment. Where we had departed was in the financial district, which has quite a bit of foot traffic at 9 in the morning. So I set off in the direction of the train, thinking this would be my best bet in not getting lost. To set the mood, I started listening to some Roderick Long (the series of lectures can be downloaded here). What a great background to walking Bangkok!

I saw some interesting things. One of the things I’ve noticed about Thailand is that restroom privacy is not a high priority. In fact, my first visit to the bathroom in the airport was greeted by a female janitor. No warning or anything. Very efficient. And as I was walking down this road, listening to Long, I passed a man relieving himself on a bush. I was surprised since this was such a busy street, but sometimes you gotta go.

An interesting sign, pictured to the left, labels the separate police areas. I joked on Facebook that Thailand has competing police agencies. Perhaps they will someday.

When I got to the next station, Ratchamaderi, I realized I had been following the train on the wrong direction. So I kept going.

Eventually I made it to the Central World Mall and had difficulty finding an open entrance. When I did, I found out why. Almost every store was closed. Oh well.

I kept walking, planning to again visit the Siam Paragon Mall, which I had previously visited two days before, only this time having my camera to take pictures (I was sad to find out that the Anime convention was over). But along my way I encountered a man who asked where I was going (the most oft-heard phrase in Thailand). I told him I was going to check out the mall and he told me it was closed. He also offered me a one-time deal on a long tail boat ride to a temple. He also told me he worked for the government, as if that would increase my trust. He wanted to flag down a tuk-tuk and send me on my way. But I couldn’t afford his offer with cash on hand, and told him that Lea would be upset if I did something like this without her. In retrospect, I am glad I didn’t accept his offer since we had problems with tuk-tuks subsequent to this. It’s very interesting how it seems there to be a vast conspiracy among tuk-tuk drivers, restaurant owners, tourist activity people, and guys standing on the street looking for foreigners. Might as well be, since everyone and their mom has a restaurant. One can find some pretty good deals. Just learn to negotiate.

So I continued on my way to the Siam Paragon. Even after 11 AM, much of the mall was still closed. It was puzzling. But I found a place to sit (which was quite difficult to find without having to buy something) and read the continuing adventures of Katniss Everdeen.

After that, I took the SkyTrain back to the apartment. I think I have walked more in Thailand than I did the whole previous year. Sorry that there weren’t more exciting stories to tell about this day, but this is what I remember.

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