So now i am in Bangkok! I guess. Well, I know.
It still totally amazes me when I land in another Asian country not so far away from Taiwan. Taiwan is strange, but I have got used to it by now, so coming to a place like Thailand is totally like falling off a log! But then I am like,”whoa, i am in Thailand” because I am in Thailand.
The same thing happened to me in Hong Kong. I was like “whoa, I’m in Hong Kong”. Similarly, the root cause of that was because I was in Hong Kong.
But it is funny to regress. I walk down the main strip (pun intended) in Bangkok (pun intended) and it is cool. But there are so many Beckham haircuts and guys with hair styled to within an inch of its life! And sweat bands. Lots of them. And plenty of skinny red bull t -shirts. And drunk people. As a result, there is a part of me that feels like I am back home in, like, Leeds or somewhere. Maybe it’s because there are not so so many bars in Taipei and certainly less foreigners.
I think I like Thailand. Reading up on it (okay, opening the wrapper of the Footprint guide on the airplane) gave the impression it was some archietctural nightmare. Well, frankly, I feel that things being relative Bangkok feels just fine. Taipei is, after all, one of the most ugly cities I have ever been to. But it does have its many many charms of course.
And the kids! The kids here rock. Maybe because the place was never colonised (remind me to find out why) there seems to be a certain confidence in the air. Like in europe. Something that does not exist in the same way in Taiwan. There, the hip hop / goth / rocker / prep kids seem to get their styles from a magazine. Here it seems a bit more flowy. Natural. And the motorbikes are way cooler. No need to display wealth and status – just coolth. I just walked by a bunch of guys with immaculate restored beemers. You would not find that in Taipei. Just the newest / most expensive / rarest.
The only thing I feel uncomfortable with is the very visible sex industry. I have friends who are clearly into this, but I do not get the link. But it is amazing to see girls who look like boys who look like girls. Enough to make you drop your falaffal. The perhaps positive side of this (stretching a point) is that the girls not involved are very self-aware and switched on. I have only walked up and down one street and had two beers, but there is not this cutesy cutesy hello kitty tendency I see in Taiwan. More strut yo funky stuff and give boys the eye.
And it is funny too – I think that when I get to a closer, warmer atmosphere I will meet some more people, but for now I have basically leaned against walls watching the world go by. Amazing and slightly abstract that I am here after such a bizarre week (moved house, got a new job, organised holiday – normally three things that I would count as stressful individually). Amazing that I actually made it and managed to squeeze so many abstract messages through my tiny brain. But I did it and next month will have some severe life upgrades. Looking forward to it.
Well well. I am in Thailand. One hundered bobs and I am here! Yes. Just looked outside and it is the same. Related to Malaysia. Different totally. Interesting.
For reference, I am staying at the Chart Guest House and will probably have another night there before heading out for some island action.