Last time in Bangkok for now.
I still have not decided what I think of this city.
I see beautiful buildings well thought by skilled architects, little oases of green in between skyscrapers, old alleys and a genuinely bustling and authentic Chinatown that just made my day.
And people eating in the street, every hundred meters.
There are almost no sidewalks here: it’s not meant for pedestrians; but there are plenty of small red and blue tables and stools that elevate every street corner to a restaurant.
I don’t know why they are so small, I think it’s the kids size furniture at Ikea; but I know that the people’s relationship with the street, even with the dirty cement pavement, is the closest me and you can ever imagine. They are one with the street and they are not afraid of getting dirty or of mice.
I thought that places like Naples or India were the epitome of the life lived in the street, but that was before I came to south east Asia, where people literally live in the streets.
I stayed in guesthouses in some of the maziest alleys of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh or Phnom Phen and watched people’s TV programs, what they were eating or cooking, saw kids playing or doing homework, witnessed many hammocks and camp beds being used for afternoon or morning or night dreams. My guess is that the notion of living the streets was invented here, because these guys master the art.
But Bangkok is also very dirty and has too many shopping malls opposite many ugly buildings, not many cultural activities going on (I have been told) and traffic that makes you cry.
But I will be back, for a second opinion, of course.