Location: Bangkok, April 23 - 24
Today! Today I sweat my way through Bangkok. This is a hot, humid, smoggy city with a curious smelling river. Just like New York, so what’s not to love? There are major dashes of modern architecture and skyscrapers along side some really astounding landmarks.
To the landmarks I went. I only really had about 30 hours. When I arrived on the 23rd, I got off of a bus from Chumpon and from that, a boat from Koh Tao where I had to walk through torrential rain. This all resulted in me just saying “thank you, jesus” as I entered Riva Surya, a Jetsetter find and a place where I could crank the AC, wear a complimentary robe and hug multiple pillows at night. Their plum wine cocktail with fresh lemon juice and seltzer also deserves a third or a fifth try.
So, today I got an early start around 9 and headed to the Grand Palace. First note – all of Asia was touring the Palace today at 9:30 AM. Second note – they all wanted to push me and enter the palace first.
Anyone who has sipped, slammed or shot beverages with me at a bar or other eatery knows… I really dislike being bumped or pushed. My loveliest of friends know this and almost as soon as it starts happening they get me to switch places with them so I have an internal seat. I am a particular delight after being body checked at a bar. (Thank you, you kindred spirits, you)
The Grand Palace was a moment where one million people were knocking into me at the same time, either with their floppy flowered hat, their backpack, or the entire weight of their 110 lb body. Needless to say, any bar now seems like a cake walk. And I seem like a huffy asshole who gets upset over nothing.
In any event, you have to be covered at these temples / monuments so I wore a long dress and cardigan and in no time, was sweating heavily. Everyone is dripping and actually, you are sort of glad that your body is covered and you aren’t making any sweaty arm to sweaty arm grazes.
But, I realized a few things at the Grand Palace. First, it is amazingly beautiful, just stunning. I have a particular fascination with all of the sparkling and intricate roofs and walls. (More pictures on the images tab!)
Second, while all the petite Asians are fighting to get past me and shoving by with their actual beings or sun fighting parasols, I am larger than nearly all of them. I have height and shocker, I have weight as I am not as slight of stature than those born on this side of the globe. When you think about that, you start not being literally thrown so much as people shove past you. You become a mountain. One that just doesn’t move. And how does everyone react to your mountain? They actually hunkered down lower to navigate around me. I am not kidding. It was awesome.
The last and perhaps most important thing I realized is that being in a predominantly Aisan tourist destination, I was caught in selfie world. I’ve seen selfies being taken a lot – hell, I used to work in Times Square. I also dare say I’ve starred in a selfie or ten. But this is on another level. Selfies and staged pictures, everywhere, all the time. Peace signs, hang loose signs, something that I call the gentle lean onto a monument or nothing at all, as if showing you are graceful and small (I’d look like I was trying to stretch out a cramp) and of course, let’s not forget the Buddha-inspired zen pose. It was incredible. This and the zoom lens of my camera (love a good zoom!) is what set off a genius idea and full hour of sheer entertainment that I will now call...
Taking Pictures of People Taking Pictures And Laughing Out Loud At Them
Here are some of my most awesome findings: