Sunday, May 23, 2004

Sukhomvit Saturday

Sukhomvit Saturday

The intermittent rain kind of ruined my day a little bit; but I still managed to do some loitering along the many sois (alleys) along Sukhomvit Road. My new apartment is now conveniently located within walking distance to two BTS stations--Ratchadamri and Chit Lom. I started my morning by taking a skytrain to the Asok station, one stop away from Nana.

Close to the station I found a nice atmospheric Chinese coffeeshop along Sukhomvit which sells duck rice and noodles; the food was good but unfortunately the "kopitiam" didn't serve coffee. So, "reluctantly", I settled for a beer. The place had a good light, so I alternated between reading my book and snapping pictures of the interesting scenes around me.

The night before--Friday night--I had spent the evening snapping pictures of the nightlife along Soi 4--where Nana Plaza is. Must have been a weird sight--an Asian guy totting a camera in a farang and hooker-infested place.

Night shots are always difficult without the benefit of a tripod--the slow-shutter speed one has to employ requires a very steady hand. But I had fun, capturing the Ridley Scott-esque feel of the alley: neon-signs flickering in the distance, the rumble of the skytrain overhead, the heady plumes of smoke from the hawkers stalls, the endless parade of alluring women and the careless carousing of lecherous men everywhere.

And today, on a Saturday morning, I had wanted to see what the place looks like in the day. Spending the night and morning in the area made me understand why my American friend D. liked the place so much. There's a casual, carnival-like atmosphere here unlike those upmarket yuppie nightspots which are nothing but empty bastions of snobbery and pretense.

Over here, booze and women is everyone's right. Everything's cheap--and there's an endless supply of them. But of course, locals don't frequent these places much. These are "low-class" places suitable only for farangs. Like in Jakarta, there are places, purported more exclusive, that serve a locals-only clientele.

I'll probably need a lot more trips to Bangkok before I can claim to know the place well. There are so many more sois along Sukhomvit Road which I have yet to explore--including one known as Soi Cowboy. I'm not sure if I have the energy and enthusiasm to peek into all of them. But I'm learning--albeit slowly--and I think I'm beginning to like it a little bit better everyday.

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