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    Tropical Heat Tour: Thailand Part 21

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012
    Bangkok, Thailand

    Boat vs. skyscraper on the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok, Thailand.

    Close-up of figures inside a Thai spirit house in Bangkok, Thailand.

    I went back to the Myanmar embassy again today to pick up my visa. The counter is open for a whopping one hour, from 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm, for visa collection, and I made it just in the nick of time, with eight minutes to spare. That was a miracle, because I had to wait 20 minutes for a riverboat (I must have just missed one), then someone held up the line for coins at the SkyTrain for a few minutes. I can’t figure out why they don’t just install a bunch of change machines instead of paying humans to sit at a counter all day and dispense change. Anyway, luckily, I did receive the visa stamped into my passport. Yay! So, I didn’t waste $100 on my airline ticket after all. I spent the evening walking up and down Thanon Silom, shooting video clips of spirit houses, food stalls, crazy motorcycle clusters, the SkyTrain, masses of people moving to and fro on the sidewalks and a grand total of one street musician. He was belting out a spry little ditty on a harmonica and a tambourine, backed up with pre-recorded rhythms blasting out of a little amp.

    Some skyscrapers beckon you to climb them in Bangkok, Thailand.

    A sidewalk quagmire directly in front of a staircase that leads up to the SkyTrain in Bangkok, Thailand.

    At one point, I sat on some stairs to rest and watched a crippled beggar scooting himself across the sidewalk, holding up a can for change. Only one out of every several hundred people stopped to give him a donation. What if each person gave him a few coins? He’d probably have more money than he could spend, and move into one of the many luxurious high-rises that dot this city. I gave him some money and shot a clip of him right next to some young women shopping for nice clothes at a stall right there on the sidewalk, which pretty much sums up the extreme contrast of wealth and poverty that overlaps in this part of the world.

    A street musician kicks out the jams on a harmonica and a tambourine backed up with pre-recorded rhythms in Bangkok, Thailand.

    Beware of snatch thief on Thanon Silom in Bangkok, Thailand.

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

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