Happy Sunday, Bangkokians!
As August draws to a close, we’re looking back on a pretty wet week in the Land of Smiles. There’s been a few cracking evening storms that have sent the WoS dogs into howling oblivion and encouraged us to invest in some snazzy sleep masks.
Of course, we should count ourselves lucky that minimal impact was felt here from the huge earthquake that struck Myanmar on Wednesday. Unfortunately, our neighbours weren’t so lucky: 4 people died in Myanmar and hundreds of ancient temples were damaged.
— Michael Vatikiotis (@jagowriter) August 24, 2016
Other Thai news this week includes the suspension of elected Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand and a big reveal of ‘Fight Club Thailand’. Someone apparently didn’t get the memo about the rules.
Let’s see what else has been lighting up Bangkok this week…
In probably one of the more gruesome stories to come out of this week, last weekend saw a murder investigation launched in Pattaya after a dead transexual woman was found under a bed in one of the city’s hotels. A young couple had reported a bad smell in their room on the Friday night, before the maid found the corpse after they’d checked out on Saturday morning. Two teenage boys later confessed to the murder and subsequent concealment of the body when they were arrested on Sunday.
This BBC investigation seeks to explain the gradual erosion of Bangkok’s famous street food haunts, including the much-loved Soi 38. They also explore the current political initiative to clear up Bangkok’s streets and the mass eviction of street vendors across the entire city. An interesting discussion on what the demise of street food means for Bangkok’s communities and culture.
These YouTube videos show the inner workings of what goes down at a meet of this Bangkok fight club. These street fights involve one-on-one combat between amateur fighters, watched and jeered on by a wide audience of spectators. Protection is minimal and the YouTube exposure has spurred intervention from local authorities.
There’s nothing we love more than reducing half of a city’s population down to 13 simplistic stereotypes, so this article really struck a chord with us. It’s OK though, because the article caveats at the start that it’s written by women and informed by “hours of conversation with real, actual men.” Fabulous.
A couple of our favourite ‘girls’:
- The English Teacher — to paraphrase, a hard weekend party girl who can’t get laid because “Thai guys aren’t really into farang girls and foreign guys mostly came (sic) to bang Thai chicks.” We can infer from this that the sample size of men the writers have spoken to is somewhat paltry.
- The Thai ‘Good Girl’ — “She’s the docile Asian girl of your fantasies.” Yikes. Same comment as above.
This is a sweetly optimistic post about what we can learn about ourselves when we take some time out to simply ‘be’, somewhere quiet and away from home. As well as a meditation on the power of travel, the piece also references some of the most shining parts of Thailand that are easy to take for granted when we live here, including “The locals with their golden heart” and the opportunities for soulful experiences.
This Reddit thread riffs off this photo of ‘Thailand’s wonderful customs’, which contains much of the usual advice tourists read before they touch down in the Land of Smiles. Users give their own impressions on how relevant the advice is today, which includes such nuggets as ‘sharing the cost of an outing is unthinkable’ and the age-old ‘never touch someone on the head’.
Regarding the latter, one user comments that that’s a pretty out-of-date custom:
Here we have a classic WTF Thaivisa thread. The poster regales us with a story that he recently met a woman who he was led to believe was ‘OK’ — OK being defined as having a car and a ‘normal’ job. Sure. After some discussion via LINE, this OK lady invites our hero to a seedy bar, which he duly attends, bewitched as he is by her apparent mediocrity. After buying a number of drinks and food at this bar, he is perturbed when the bill is much higher than he expected.
He tells the bar workers that he needs to find an ATM and is so accompanied to the nearest one. At the last moment, the poster dives into a taxi without withdrawing any money or paying his bill and goes home. He feels exalted at his heroics. He rounds off the story with the question: “So are ALL Thai women gold diggers?”
Why is Thailand sold on being a tropical, sunny place when all it ever does it piss it down
— Christina Allen (@xtinalouise13) August 23, 2016
Ah. Nothing like a nice shower beer when you finally get home after #Bangkok traffic.
Don’t judge me.
— Signore Sammy (@signoresammybkk) August 23, 2016
Trying to explain cricket to the wife, telling her it goes all day. ‘But don’t they get hungry’ #Thai
— Phil (@Aussieexpat69) August 21, 2016
Police Sergeant Somchai. We are reassigning you to the new Bangkok Pokemon Buster squad. Your parents will be proud.
— Lucky Erawan (@LuckyErawan) August 25, 2016
And that’s been The Week On Sukhumvit — see you next time!
Featured image is by Georgie Pauwels and used under a CC BY 2.0 licence