Sunday, January 3, 2010
EXCITING, PULSING BANGKOK
Do I even recognize the 14 year old I took with me to Thailand? After 16 days of a venerable, ancient, culture we were both changed. Mason, above, is my grandson and traveling partner. We squeezed in a lot of life during our 16 days. He is holding Flat Stanley against a waterfall in the Tawana Hotel, Bangkok on our first day. (I'll explain Flat Stanley later.)
From our hotel, we set out for the flower and produce markets. We viewed the miasma of traffic, strange vehicles slipping past our bus window. Life swirls through the streets, shopping stalls crowd man and beast and machine for space. Its vibrant, exciting and such a contrast to suburban and big city USA.
We found Thai people, happy, friendly, clean, and a fascinating mix of old culture and new democracy. Third world, no doubt, but life is lived in the streets. Families run their shopping stalls, kids play around the street markets when not in school. Vendors eat on the street, socialize and nap in their stalls.
The snarl of wiring above this street reminds me a bit of India, yet you could plug in your computer, or phone chargers in any of our hotels.
Thai people love their flowers and you see them gracing their motorcycles, boats, buses, houses, temples-everything.
Fruits and vegetables and flowers are part of every celebration in Thailand. It was love at first sight.