3 nights in Bangkok

ImageStuff I learned in the Thai capital today..

If you have a pram, or if you rely on a wheelchair to get around, you’re stuffed. Thai footpaths, and believe me that’s a very generous description, are more like a mountain bike track. There’s a great sky walk, but no lifts to get there.

And you can’t get a milkshake. Anywhere. Even in the giant food courts in the giant expensive shopping centres. But what you can get is great service. Unlike Australian department stores, where finding someone to actually help you, and to be happy to help you in the process, is like trying to put a saddle on a rattlesnake, in Bangkok help is always at hand.

And they’re happy to help.

At the bottom of one of these expensive shopping centres is OceanWorld. To quote 5-year-old Liam, it’s awesome.

No sign of any angry anti or pro-Government folk on the streets of Bangkok today. Plenty, though, to the east in Cambodia, where garment workers have gone on strike because they get paid diddly squat.

Their minimum wage was about $80 a month. The Government’s offered about $100 a month, but the workers want $160. For daring to strike for better conditions, four of them have been shot dead.

And to the west, lots of angry people in Bangladesh, where polling stations have been set on fire ahead of elections tomorrow.

I used to always say Australians should be more passionate about important issues. I guess you have to be careful what you wish for.

BTW, sad to hear of the death of Phil Everly. Anyone unfamiliar with their contribution to music should listen to the Everly Brothers’ version of “All I have to do is dream” – a truly beautiful version of a great song.

 

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2 responses to “3 nights in Bangkok

  1. I think I’m going to have to check on you each day. I’m hoping Liam will give you other commentary as well, which will go something like ” just worry about us kids for the time being”.

    We’re off to Edgar’s tomorrow night, despite someone running me off my bike. Should we say hello to any vacant Solly chairs?

  2. So I tried to reply to an earlier posting if only to assure you that you are not writing to no audience. Not sure if it worked. Living in Southeast Asia (I lived in Jakarta for 3 years) is an amazing experience. Things we take for granted–even pavements, foothpaths–are sometimes non-existent. But there will be beauty and joy in the most unexpected moments and places. And of course sheer frustration. Meanwhile, we’ve had 2 murders and 1 unexplained death in the last week. And people say nothing happens in Canberra in January!

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