throughthelookingglass
about
To be honest there is nothing much about me worth knowing. I live in an island, enjoys being a photographer at times and dance like no one else business. Thats all. I can't think what to write for now so it just stays like this. Welcome to the little life of mine and lets try not to get utterly bored, shall we?

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We're all mad here


Three Nights in Bangkok.
Saturday, May 25, 2013 @ 5/25/2013 02:11:00 PM

Super tired from my Bangkok trip. It is fruitful but not for the weak (yes Shimin you are rather weak for our age). It has almost been more than 7 years since I went there so of course I am amazed.

Omg there is so much I want to say I don't want to forget any of it!  I know I went there for a seemingly superficial reason (that is to shop) but to me, it is impossible to travel without observing and learning as much. I want to type everything down. 

Day1 was spent at Chatuchak. It was an eye opening experience. Shopping is really taken to a whole new level at Thailand's biggest weekend market. Selling everything from scented candles to pets and art, I was tempted to buy everything. Got a vintage dress for less than sgd$5 and ate a really addictive mango salad. I swear they added Coca Cola as one of their ingredient and no it wasn't weird, it was kick ass. Best food I ate throughout the trip. I keep craving for it after that. Even now as I am typing about it. 

At night we walked through a sea of red for (coincidentally) there was an Yingluck/Thaksin supporters rally that day. Crowds swamped the entire Big C shopping center area and showed their support for the populist government. Roads were blocked and Thai music was blaring on the road. It felt more like a rock concert to me as we ate steamboat while a live band played on, rousing the crowd from time to time with political speeches and good catchy music. I couldn't understand a word of Thai but the atmosphere was electrifying. I felt the urge to dance and clap along with the beat. I wore hot pink (unintentionally) as well and that looked red at night.

Honestly, the whole experience to me was refreshing. I never witness something like this before. It felt very very raw. Such energy! I do not know if it that is good or bad but it certainly was a memorable experience.

Went for massage and happen to chat up with a Malaysian Chinese who had been a Singaporean PR for 12 years. He is a middle aged accountant. He told me he gave up his PR to return to Penang, explaining that his "hometown" was best suited for retirement. Besides, he feels a need for change. He went on to talk about the recent Malaysia election with gusto. Politics. Politics.

This got me thinking of how patriotic I am as a Singaporean and if I would ever feel so strongly for any political party in Singapore. 

Day 2 went by like a blur. Nothing eventful happened except shopping and walking and haggling and even more shopping. We didn't eat lunch but instead survived on Thai flavored Maggie Mee  for dinner brought from 7/11 right below our hotel. We were simply too overwhelmed and exhausted to find food. Shimin complained about how shopping is a form of artificial happiness as we dragged our humongous bag of shopping while surviving the perilous journey back to our hotel. We looked like Santa and his sack. Or rather the rag and bone lady that smelt.

I agree and disagree. Shopping is artificial happiness but the clothes that I brought from shopping makes me look good and looking good makes me happy. Humans are all vain creatures. My legs did not feel like part of my body that night.  


Day3. I walked along the stretch of Thailand's Central World which is similar to Singapore's Orchard Road. We saw their carparks and the situation looked like the real model of the game Rush Hour. Cars park anywhere and everywhere that there is available space. In order to get out, you have to push cars strategically out of the way. :D

I admire the luxury goods branding. They are wastefully glorious to look at and consistent all over the world. Huge expensive blinking advertorials and glossy billboards plastered across buildings frontage no matter how shabby the surroundings are. The 'Chanel' logo stays lighted up. 

Paid 710baht for prayers at a famous Four-faced Buddha in the middle of the street. I am impressed by the order among chaos. Walked along Siam Square (similar to Haji Lane) and met hippie Thais. Got my breast/chest/hips/waist/ size measured by different strangers. No time to feel awkward or embarrass in the face of potential pretty clothes. Brought bras in the Zen departmental store with visa. I am both grateful and amazed by the accuracy and honesty of shop keepers ability to predict customer clothing size. Got squashed by a mob of SNSD fans awaiting for SNSD.

At night, on a taxi to Chinatown, our driver told us it was close for some event that day and suggested a famous restaurant nearby. I got into my ultra-suspicious mode while Shimin clearly didn't even think that something was amiss. It is one of those rare times when my paranoia and neurotic character prove to be useful. ( I mean there were so many signs!! WTF is a festival called "normal Buddha day" ?! and hello, Shimin I thought you are suppose to be the one who thinks more than I do? Why don't you think about how he is trying to trick you? *shakes head*).

Got super depress for a while to think that I have a tendency to see the worst in people. Paranoid kicked in again. How am I going to find friends? What more boyfriends? I can't love and trust!! I am going to die alone. Maybe ignorance is a blessing sometimes. When being fooled by the friendly driver, Shimin didn't even wonder a thing while I was busy transmitting invisible waves of hatred and suspicions waiting for the right time (the moment we alighted) to explode.

Turned out I was right and we were fooled. Took another cab to Chinatown again, and subsequently stuffed ourselves with delicious seafood at really low prices found over there. Shimin enjoyed the chili crab while I cleaned off my bowl of bird nest dessert. (I am not a fan of seafood haha).

Looking back, I admit I have to give the taxi driver some credit. It is an unsaid rule that all tourists ought to be cheated once in a while. He was friendly anyway while scamming us and Shimin did found him pleasant so no harm done. Besides they do earn very little.

It was a very long day. We were too full to sleep and went for another massage - this time we met two middle aged Singaporean men. They were simple and easy to talk to. Jurong heartlanders. I think they were looking for cheap food and clothes and maybe women to bang. We exchanged tips (they wanted directions to the four faced Buddha) and Shimin told them all the useful information she knew.

I was too much in pain to talk. The masseur was reallly doing too good a job. I suspect she was trying to break my neck and I couldn't  protest properly with her hands around my throat. EUUUUARGH was all I could manage pathetically. I think she took it that I was appreciating her efforts. It was worth it though, I felt my phlegm clearing moments after that and I tip her.

Day 4. We scrambled around frantically to buy stuff for our families. Went to Platinum again and brought last minute clothes. I waited patiently for Shimin while she was busy thinking/trying out pants and played a game I call "spot the man". Most of the transgenders in Thailand look really authentic. In fact, I was so shocked by one of them that I approached her and asked her politely. She was really really feminine (more than me!) and I truly couldn't tell at all except for her behavior  You see, she was one of the shopkeepers and she kept flipping her hair and cat walking/modelling outside the shop. I only felt something amiss because her girly antics felt too girly.

I was obviously very embarrassed and afraid to offend her but at the same time I was also genuinely curious. She was wearing a very very tight skirt and top. There was no sign of the Adam apple, no leg hair, no crotch/bulge-at-you-know-where. Her skirt I repeat, is very very tight. So with many bows and friendly smiles, I asked her "how come you are so pretty?" and I think she took that as a compliment :)

"Me pretty lady. Kathoooeee."

And I was like huh?

"Kathoey...lady boy. Beautiful ah!" And she flipped her hair again for the millionth time I stared at her while Shimin took a bloody long time in the toilet. She even thrust her pelvic at me. I laughed. It was a mixture of new found respect and relief. I thought she would be angry and I would be doomed.

Reapplying her makeup, she spun around once in front of me and I clapped. It takes a lot of courage to chop it off, I thought to myself. Some customers came and she left to attend them while I resumed my wait for Shimin. Wanted to googled the name "lady boy" before realizing I had no internet connection in my iPhone.

Shimin finally came back (alive!) with sized S shorts and I asked her opinion on these trans and she said "gross" so I guess only I am fascinated by them. I found out later from my mum that she absolutely abhors these people and according to her, they always have AIDS/HIV. I don't know if it is true but it is kind of sad because I don't understand why people treat them like freaks when it is bad enough that some of them (those poorly transformed trans) already look like one. I found most of them no different from normal shopkeepers that attended to me and measured my body.

We concluded our last day in Bangkok with an authentic Thai massage. I was adventurous while Shimin was not - she opted for the head and shoulders massage instead. They confused our instructions and gave us both full on Thai massage anyways. It was the best ever. I had my body twisted into seemingly impossible yoga positions and found inner peace. HAHA bullshit.

It was splendid though. I will definitely go for it again.

The next time I go Bangkok, I hope to visit their temples also known as 'Wat' and maybe their red light districts.

On Bangkok: It is important to be respectful to them because I did and in return, the Thai people were all friendly to me. I was sick the entire time battling a bad cough and sore throat but I enjoyed the trip whole-heatedly and of course, my good friend is a resourceful tour guide. Sunblock and sunglasses are always useful. Thank you Thailand and Shimin for making my vacation so worthwhile!











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