Saturday, January 03, 2009

Definitions of Big

A hectic few days to say the least. I'm sitting here in a net cafe in Bangkok writing this; my computer (and hence Blogspot) say it is 7:41 AM but for me its 9:41 PM, which is quite a change. We didn't have a Monday night, and I try not to think about the mechanics of that on my overall lifespan. Not that there are not other things to think about on that account, but more on that later.

This is not a picture post as I left the camera cord in my hotel room, so I'm just going to give a brief run down. Tuesday night we landed in Hong Kong and spent several amazing hours there wandering in the night and the next morning. Then Wednesday we flew in to Bangkok, checked in to the hotel and went wandering until we went to the New Years celebration.

Denver isn't small in the run of American cities; it isn't NY or LA but it isn't bad. But landing in Hong Kong I realized I needed a new definition of city size, because both Hong Kong and Bangkok are huge. I had known they were large going in, but I didn't realize how large they were or what that means. To get to work in Denver I would drive ten minutes on one street; going to Metro for my last semester I could do it in two streets.

To get to work Nathan used to have to take a bus, a canal boat and a sky train. The city just never ends (Bangkok at least). Even Hong Kong, which has a definite edge at the ocean, still seems to be more crammed with stuff than should be humanly possible.

Bangkok is so far pretty fascinating, and I'll have pictures of our tours of the temples and various other places in a following post or two, but what strikes me is how commercial it is. This is a great city if its 1 AM and you want something to eat, you can just go out on the street and find a food vendor real easy. Orange Juice, fresh squeezed and everything, for 20 baht (about 60 cents). Food ranging from the downright normal (fried meat on a stick is universal) to the downright horrifying (fried squid is not).

We went to about five malls in the first two hours after we checked in, and the smallest of them blew the top four malls in Colorado away no problem. The smallest was still like two Cherry Creek Shopping Centers on top of a Park Meadows Mall. And the largest, Central World? It makes the Mall of America look like it was designed by quiet people with no ambition. It has two Skyscrapers attached to it, and like 10 floors on the levels not in a skyscraper. I will never look at a mall the same way again. Sheesh.

And of course that night we were one decision away from likely death; there may be an alternate universe out there where I am dead, as a matter of fact. Which would make this blog /really/ boring. We went to Central World where there were four simultaneous concerts, streets closed off and filled with people, and a generally good time was had by all.

Across the city there was a nightclub fire that killed 60 people in a situation similar to the White Stripes fire a couple of years back; there was only one exit, some pyrotechnics from the band malfunctioned and 60 people died. That was our Plan B to go to, if Central World turned out to be lame.

So yeah, I'm trying not to think about that one too much.

Anyway, pictures in the not too distant future, and some exciting stories of beautiful temples.

Excelsior, and all that,

Matt Parker
Saito Takauji

1 comment:

  1. Dear Matthew,

    Good posts, but obviously you are not being paid by the word. Emulate Dickens! I want more.




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