Sunday, January 06, 2008

postcard from j: sex and the city of angels?

Sky's the limit
Sunday was reserved for Chatuchak but the market wasn't so great. So, we had our breakfast and headed to Nana station to board the BTS or Sky Train. Our destination: Central World Mall - another huge mall.

Taking the train was a nice experience. We climbed up a bridge to the ticket counter where we got change to insert into the slots. A ticket was printed and out it came! At the platform, the train arrived soon enough and there were so many tourists on it. Just three stops to our station - Chit Lom.

I've been very impressed with Bangkok's transport system and also its road sense (see pic). Wish Mumbai could have been this way!

At Central World, the mall looked deserted - well, that's not surprising as there were only big brands there. Prada and the like! Even the discounts were not that enticing. We stopped at the food court and I had a 'moo-yong' - some sort of a pork roll. The Thai sure love their pork a lot. Then we had to try some yummy Haagen Dazs ice-cream - pralines and cream for me :)

Pratunam Centre was close by, so we walked to get there. Didn't see too many electronics, as was told. But I did pick up a trolley bag to take back all my extra stuff that's coming back with me. (And to think I managed to get to Thailand with just one medium-sized travel bag.) Cost just over 400 baht after a little bargaining. Both S & S picked the same bags for themselves too. Decided to go back to the hotel as we couldn't possibly lug those trolleys around. Nothing interesting so far...

Since we were to check out Pat Phong tonight, we got some rest before heading out again. Caught hold of a 'tuk-tuk' (like a rickshaw) in the evening and agreed on a price before sitting in it. The driver said he's taking us to 'Brioni' first, a store run by Indians, as he gets gasoline coupons for bringing in customers - but there was no compulsion to buy anything. I'm amazed at how the city runs. I think Bangkok - and even other parts of Thailand - are only fuelled by tourism.

Anyway, when we got to Pat Phong, the stalls were just opening up. So we strolled around the pavements and looked at the usual stuff being sold everywhere. I picked up these really cute white t-shirts with prints of a chinky-eyed girl doing these karate/kungfu kinda moves. These were for my 11-year-old cousin.

Ga-ga over go-go? Nah!
We even met some rude Thai salesmen in the process ("no Indian, no Indian" just because we quoted a bargain price). We also took a walk around the area and came across some really corny signboards...

It's all there out in the open and that's why Thailand - or atleast Bangkok - scores high on my list of places for women to feel safe. You could wear a really tiny skirt (or none at all) and walk on the streets. No one will trouble you here.

But Pat Phong, it turns out, is also known for its 'night clubs' with go-go dancers. There they were... nubile nymphets inside the seedy clubs strutting their stuff. A man hustled past us and whispered an invitation to a "sexy show" or something like that. I wasn't going to waste money on watching that - LOL!

Finally, we got out of there and headed to a restaurant called "Pasta & Noodles" for dinner. Had some weird dish entirely made of beef or pork but wasn't as bad as the bhindi dinner the other night. Back at the Ambassador, we were ready to crash. The next day promises to be action-packed as we head to Safari World.

Afterthought
Bangkok's the 'city of angels' - or is it? Young people are employed in the tourism sector; some mostly in their teens and then so many take up the sex trade. Look at the "lady boys" - some so pretty that you would have never guessed they aren't women. Young Thai girls being escorted by foreigners back to their hotels is such a common sight. Life can be cruel. It really boils down to the choices we make or for that matter, to the twists of fate. Can't fight destiny, can we?

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