Bangkok in one word


Shopping. I was going to say shopping and sleaze, but I realized sleaze is just a subcategory of shopping. Whether one is purchasing designer clothes, electronics, or flesh, everything here seems to be on sale and consumerism is at an insane level. I have to admit it was a very pleasurable experience being in the Siam Center complex (being in a clean space with air conditioning didn’t hurt). At the same time, being in the malls I think about the 99% of the local population that can’t afford to be there and something seems totally out of whack. Thailand (and Bangkok especially) is on sale, mostly to the rest of the world. I left the very shiny, super clean Siam Center shopping mall feeling just a little dirty.