Textures: Bangkok by a zugunruhe


“City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Vishvakarman at Indra's behest.”

Bangkok’s full name takes on as many personalities as there are temples and plastic bags floating around the city.

The capital of Thailand is dynamic. Due to the size of its population and activity, things tend to be mashed together. A decent walk will have you leave your hotel and follow a canal into slums only to emerge under a highway overpass, standing in front of a Gucci shop all while the visible skyline is obscured by a half-knitted wad of power lines.

The physical expanse of the city is tightened through cheap travel over water, rail, and road. The motorbike being the most present of all modes. As there’s always a near-fatal reminder just around the corner.

Most food and drink are gluttonously affordable. Walking out of a BTS stop to grab a cheap bottle of fresh, tart pomegranate juice is an incredible luxury. But even with Pad Thai that costs less than a coke in NYC, it’s easy to keep in shape by walking out of your way to dodge monitor lizards and pump faking masseuses that tend to latch on to your arm with alarming upper-body strength.