Here we go! We’re going to kickoff the festivities on a serious note.
After getting off the AirportLink here in Bangkok, Thailand, I grabbed my luggage and went down three flights of escalators before reaching the base of the station. Looking as incredulous as I possibly could at that given moment, I picked a direction and walked down the street with a huge smile on my face. A motorway starts at a perpendicular angle amount 100m off the train tracks…..so I decided to walk WITH the motorway (underneath it) and just looked for an opening into the neighborhood which was on the left side of me.
After walking about 200m or so, I found an opening and went down a very uninspiring street that looked rundown and drab (as a street would normally look like in the outskirts of Bangkok). The looks came, the head-scratching followed, and then the “man, where the f*** am I, man” was dropped. I walked, while dripping sweat, deeper into this neighborhood and made a right hand turn into a street that was full of homeless dogs, trash, and raw sewage. As I was walking, a guy yelled out, “hey! Where you come from!” — drunkenly. I told him and then a very soul-crushing stare followed — one that if you see something like this in Las Vegas, you run.
I reached a junction and saw two little girls playing outside with their full-tatted father (or someone) standing in the doorway with his hands above his head. They said something, and then a woman helped me (in Thai) and said I can continue going on. The girl, without any hesitation, was in awe that such a handsome man was standing before her very eyes (or so it looked). She then said, “ok?” LOL! As if she helped me. Giggles, smiles, and a continuation of what seemed like a super long journey ensued into the deeper crevices of what was turning out to be a slum. The sewage was more widespread, clothes on clotheslines outside (no, this isn’t uncommon, but they were soaking up the stench of the neighborhood), and girls playing on wooden floors with a green river just below them.
I crossed a dilapidated sidewalk and came upon a temple while seeing some technical college students hanging around (I emphasize the technical college because these students are probably the worst as seen through the eyes of Thais). Another broken bridge came, and finally I crossed the river before reaching my destination.
After that, I walked through this area again just to really get a few and to be grateful. We really don’t understand how precious things are in our life. What I saw reminded me of the “green river,” which to this day, is still on my Instagram (spend 30 minutes scrolling and you’ll find it). However, they seemed — happier. They were playing outside, unattached and completely oblivious to their surroundings. Remarkable, ey?
Stay tuned for days worth of blogs, travels and things coming from HK!