Seven struggles only Bangkokians understand
- 17 Mar 2017 at 04:00
- WRITER: PORNCHAI SEREEMONGKONPOL
Living in Bangkok comes with its beauties and bummers (Beauty and the Beast pun intended). Besides the congested roads we're painfully aware of, as well as being rejected by taxi drivers on a regular basis, there are other minor struggles that one comes across while living in the City of Angels. Don't despair, dear readers. I'm here to tell you that you're not alone and that we can commiserate with each other in a light-hearted manner. Because, you know, a problem shared is a problem halved. Here are seven struggles only Bangkokians understand.
The Evil Rubber Bands
You brave a no-air-con BMTA ride on an empty stomach with bags of curry in hand. Your stomach is growling by the time you are back at home and you're about to faint from the lack of oxygen and food. But before you can eat your much-deserved green curry, you'll have to untie all of the rubber bands that are tightly securing your food inside those clear plastic bags. Getting prik nampla out of that tiny bag will always leave your fingers smelling fishy too. Ugh.
Mall or Maze?
You ALWAYS get lost inside a giant mall despite the countless times you've been there. You're not to blame really since a shopping complex these days is comprised of many parts and venues that no ordinary human could memorise. I'm not complaining about their sizes though. They feel like an air-conditioned maze one is happy to get lost in all day. Well, that is, until you really need to take nature's call or find a counter to get a parking stamp. Also, getting back to your car proves to be a challenge because you may no longer comprehend where you are in relation to the parking space anymore after all those hours spent on your shopping spree. #firstworldproblems.
Side-walk or Land Mine?
Our side-walks are notorious for their lack of walking spaces and their richness in obstacles and hidden dangers. Walking along one of them is like a highly risky game where you have to carefully calculate where to set each foot next; you never truly know which loose brick will cause you to sprain your ankle or which one will splash putrid water onto your white Converse sneakers. You have to be alert at all times as you may not know when a motorcycle will honk at you for getting in the way. The side-walk is just another road for motorcycles, you see. Also, the surfaces are so uneven that parents pushing their baby in a stroller may end up accidentally giving their little tot a mild concussion.
To navigate your way on a side-walk safely, not only do you have to watch out for vendors frying kuay kaek in boiling hot oil but you also need to look above for dirty dark water that could land on your head too. You see, a typical shophouse in Bangkok has PVC pipes sticking out to drain excess water (and lord knows what else). They are usually harmless but once the rainy season comes, watch out for them.
If you plan to meet someone at Siam Paragon during the weekend, don't forget to factor in an extra 30-45 minutes. Why? Because you're likely to spend those minutes trying find an empty space to park your car. Heed this bit of advice, especially if you aren't a cardholder with access to a reserved parking space.
The Meteorological Department recently announced that the Thai summer will peak at 43C and I already foresee struggles that'll come with the hot season. Your car + midday sun = oven. Bangkokians love cars but not so much when we have to get into them after parking them under the midday sun. The hot air hits you once you open the door and sitting in the car will feel like you're a turkey being baked in a very hot oven. Also, there are hidden heated objects you should be aware of too. Your bum may get burnt by a motorcycle seat or a handrail at a flyover bridge may scourge your hand.
Buzzing around the honey toast
We Bangkokians like to queue up for our latest food crazes but there's something about After You that always makes people queue up for its desserts, even after all these years. You can't just drop in at After You and expect to get a table right away. As Boromir may say, "One does not simply walk into After You and order a honey toast." I know only one branch that you can walk right in. Email me if you want to know but also promise to treat me to some honey toast.
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