It’s our third time in Thailand and I almost feel at home in Bangkok. Being fairly acquainted with the city, this time I don’t need to rush to visit all the famous landmarks, the wats and palaces, and certainly not Khao San road. This time, I am living Bangkok. Simply roaming the streets, eating the food, taking it all in.
We’re at our hotel and, although it is almost midnight, we’re feeling hungry. So I go out to get something to eat. It smells strongly of piss around the corner, and I can’t help but being reminded of India. We were in Delhi just two days ago, but it’s a world apart. Here I am, alone, walking the streets at night, safe and amused. Like me, there are many others. Locals and foreigners, doing pretty much whatever they could do at any other time of the day, with ease.
It doesn’t even take me 5 minutes to reach the closest night market. This is something I truly adore about Bangkok: you can find food everywhere, any time. I walk past a variety of stalls, selling all sorts of edibles and non-edibles: underwear with naughty messages, really small bras, fried snacks, chopped fruits and magnifying glasses that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Locals slurp hot bowls of spicy noodle soup, topped with savory balls (fish, pork, chicken.. who knows!).
Past a coconut vendor selling fresh coconut water to be sipped directly out of the fruit using a straw, I turn right and enter a happening street. They call it “the Japanese street” and the statue of Godzilla that adorns the entrance of a restaurant reinforces the name. In a matter of 2 minutes, I am asked “you want to go Ping Pong show?” 4 times. I have no interest in seeing women squeeze ping pong balls out of their vaginas. What I really want is a fresh snack, so I keep walking. There are dozens of prostitutes hanging out in front of bars, waiting to seal the deal. The red lights that highlight a joint called “The New Moulin Rouge” catch my eye in particular, and I can’t help but notice the glances of a Middle Eastern couple (she with head covered) towards the sexy dressed ladies hanging out by the door.
Just a little ahead, I stop by a vendor. I select a dragon fruit, which she readily chops and places inside a plastic bag for me to eat on the go – this is the refreshing snack you see here above, in today’s photo. 20 bhat later (about 56 cents of USD), I am ready to go.
I walk back to the hotel. There’s the odd chunky rat doing the night rounds where street food vendors were earlier during the day. There are drunk tourists and pushy pimps. But there are also 7/11s ready to fulfill your any-time needs. As well as funny middle men who can offer you “nice boy to give you gooood massage” or “you prefer young lady?!” when you decline. And smiley ladies selling fruits and flowers.
There is so much to soak in when you are in Bangkok. Day or night. I love it here!