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    Tropical Heat Tour: Thailand Part 5

    Sunday, August 5, 2012
    Bangkok, Thailand

    Panang Curry at May Kaidee's in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Men hard at work on a median decoration on Thanon Ratchadamnoen in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    After an afternoon spent hiding from the relentless, stinging, tropical sun and energy-draining heat, I walked South toward Chinatown. My mission was to shoot some photos of the colorful Chinese signs, and stroll through the vibrant streets and markets. On my last trip here, I used the camera’s auto setting, with which it’s impossible to capture bright electric signs against a dark background, so this time, I planned to make another attempt with manual settings.

    The Democracy Monument in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    On the way, I stumbled upon a small city park where a bunch of people were jogging and more of those aerobics ladies were going nuts to some crazed techno pop. (I get the feeling this same scenario must transpire at every park in the city.) I got a good field recording of the crazy music from a distance blended in with its polar opposite: mellow ballads seeping out of a nearby speaker, which made for a strange combination.

    Some wacky public art in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Layers of shredded flyers in Chinatown, Bangkok, Thailand.

    After walking and resting for another hour, I ended up at a night market down around Memorial Bridge on the Chao Phraya river. I looked through all of the stalls to find a carabiner to hang my umbrella off of my messenger bag, but had no luck. (I don’t want the umbrella to poke a hole in the bag, like it did to my old one.) Then I continued my search for the bright lights of Chinatown by walking back North, around a giant shopping center, then back toward Memorial Bridge because I thought maybe I had missed it. But, no, I just couldn’t find anything.

    Pad See EU at May Kaidee's in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    So, I walked East down another block past a bunch of homeless people sleeping in front of shops, and decided if I couldn’t see anything resembling Chinatown at the next intersection, I’d head back toward Banglamphu. Sure enough, once I got there, everything looked desolate, so I sat down at a bus stop and caught the next number 1 that showed up a few minutes later. Back in Banglamphu, I squeezed my way through a packed, sweltering night market to find a carabiner, but left with nothing but a shirt sopping with perspiration. Although at the time the whole evening seemed like a waste, in retrospect, I believe all of the frustration and failure is what I was supposed to experience. Everything can’t always go smoothly.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

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