Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thoughts about Bangkok

This city, I don't think I am the first to say this, has elements that make me think of the way the movie Blade Runner was designed to look. An amalgam of astonishing wealth and equally tragic poverty. The openness of the sex trade, and somehow not quite as vulgar as it seems in the states, along with the embrace of Buddhism.
Today I went to the Grand Palace and saw where the king lives and saw the Emerald Buddha (which is jade) and it got as hot as Cambodia was and no rain. Met an African American woman from Charlotte NC here for the first time to visit her brother, a military vet of Viet Nam era. We joked and commiserated about the traffic and so on. After Cairo and Phnom Penh though this city is orderly and clean with traffic as reasonable as New York, at rush hour sometimes, but still, orderly.
I have to figure out how to send some things home as I have accumulated too many things to bring on the 20 kilo limit China Airways flight on Friday.
I'm looking forward to my own life and not being confronted with the spectacle of so many others whose lives a far more constricted than mine. I whine and complain but the luxuries I take for granted are countless and I need to count my blessings even if the ones that mean the most to me are missing now, there are others and I'll just remind myself of the man who was so deformed he looked like he was melting into the pavement at the entrance to the brothel in Phnom Penh. I wish I had his picture but I didn't have a camer or the heart to ask.
Another trip to these places I'm visiting for the first time and I would plan more around the kinds of photography I like, I somehow find it important to document what I see in these places, I want to show them and share them, but maybe no one really cares, they're all so far away and maybe this is all my upper middle class white anglo saxon privlege trying to rationalize the freedom and luxuries I take for granted. It does not seem so hard to find oneself living in the street in America anymore.

No comments:

Post a Comment