My Bangkok besty Rowan is departing this fair city soon, and had the clever idea to list all of her favourite things about Bangkok and enjoy them as much as possible before she leaves. I’m not sure exactly what her list will contain, but I’m quite sure these guys will feature prominantly:
Inspired by Ro’s plan, I decided to do a ‘favourite things in Bangkok’ audit, which is actually a mental list I track almost daily, so it wasn’t hard to put together.
1. My hairdresser
I’ve had two of the best hair cuts ever while being in Bangkok, each for about USD$5. I’ve been to the same salon three times now, but the second time round my favourite lady didn’t cut my hair. The haircut was fine, but it wasn’t amazing, so I went back two weeks later for another go. This time I got my favourite lady. The result: MAGIC! This lady, she’s like the hair whisperer or something. She just understands exactly which strands to cut or something. She understands exactly what I want and how to tame my difficult hair. And she does it all without asking me a thing, because we don’t speak the same language! (Forget about that annoying hairdresser conversation, “got any plans for weekend?” Ugh). I also love the bored expression on her face. It’s like she hates hairdressing, but understands that she’s been given a gift and has to honour it. ‘Tis a burden to be the hair whisperer.
2. The traffic control guy outside my office
My office is on a very busy street and during peak hour (that lasts for about 12 hours each day), it can be hard to cross the street. But it’s not so much of a problem when traffic control guy is there. He is the unofficial traffic police for the street, keeps the traffic flowing smoothly, and stops the flow of traffic to let cars turning into side streets get through. This guy is obviously pretty confident that if you stand in front of a moving vehicle and put your hand out with enough authority, the vehicle will stop. It’s seems to be holding true. The other service he provides is helping hapless pedestrians. He runs over to you, grabs you by the arm and provides safe passage across the six-lane road. Then he grabs your hands, turns them face-up, and inspects your palms, as though to give you a quick palm-reading. Then he gives you a thumbs up, as if to say “yep, your future is in great shape!” Well, I’ve always received a thumbs up from him, which either means that my future is bright, or he just gives everyone the thumbs up to give them a boost of hope. I’m not sure how well I would handle it if this guy gave me a thumbs down. I imagine that would be hard for even though the most cynical person to take.
3. My bougainvillea plant
I bought this when MJ was in town. I’d been talking about starting a garden on my balcony for the longest time but hadn’t done a thing about it. When MJ and I were at the weekend market, I took advantage of her plant knowledge and bought this lovely guy. Even when I ignore it for a couple of weeks, it continues to grow happily, surrounded by cement and dust and pollution. What a trooper.
4. The khlong boat
I’ve talked about the khlong boat before. Even though it’s bumpy and you get splashed in the face by dirty khlong water, for the 15 minute trip each morning or afternoon I relax and enjoy the view of the houses along the khlong-side. The most peaceful part of the day in a not so peaceful city.