Sunday, January 04, 2009

Discovering Bangkok

I think I'm starting to really relax for the first time since I arrived back on the subcontinent in July 2008. I forgot what it's like to walk around outside without beggars following me everywhere, people pushing and shoving in line, and having absolutely no personal space. To the credit of the Pakistanis, there was a bit of drama yesterday at the airport when the courteous line-standers gathered together to make the notorious queue jumpers (line jumpers) get at the back of the line where they belonged. This was the first time I saw Pakistanis, most families, come together to put rude and impatient people in their place. I must admit I joined in with the courteous line-standers and asked a few people myself what line they were standing in. It just takes one person to say something, because everyone is bothered when they're standing patiently in line for hours and impatient people just push and shove and go in front of everyone else like they're someone important. If they think they're that important, they should fly first class. Anyway, back to Bangkok.

Today I met up with another Associated Content producer and teacher, Fabletoo, and she helped me navigate Chatuchuk weekend market. It was incredible! There was just so many things to buy in so many colors and sizes. Shopkeepers weren't pushy and nobody was noisily hawking his wares. Sellers offered discounts from the marked prices before we even asked for a deal. It was a very pleasant and relaxing experience! I did not feel uncomfortable or pressured at all while shopping. In Pakistan and India, I'm always tense because people stand two inches away from trying to "assist" me. This makes me feel SO uncomfortable that I generally make a beeline for the exit and don't buy anything. Thais certainly give more personal space while shopping.

Chatuchuk Market is something you must see if you visit Thailand. It's just overwhelming how much stuff is for sale, and the quality and presentation of everything just makes you want to buy more and more! Aside from all the clothing, accessories, and household wares, there a pervading aroma of street food being cooked up all around. Those of you who know me, know that I'm not much of a shopper, but I was so excited to see so many cool things I just didn't know what to do with myself!

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