Bangkok, such a great city. It’s good to be back, even if just for one day. Have been out re-engaging with the city – those magnificent shopping plazas and department stores, consumer heaven really – but have now retreated to the hotel … it was a long flight yesterday & I’m allowed to take it easy. Plus this place is very comfortable, may as well enjoy it. Looking out the window, there are skyscrapers of course, several of those nearby no doubt, like this place, serviced apartments. But the view’s far from being all glass and concrete and balconies … I look down at an impressive swimming pool and from this vantage point can appreciate better than the occasional pale-bodied swimmer the dark blue stylised flower (or is it an octopus?!) painted on the bottom of the pool, and at gardens nearby, treetops a little further away, surprising amounts of green really, so welcome in this city. With overhead clear blue sky, smudging to light smog-grey as the eye descends, and the ghost of a moon.
But it’s not so much the shopping & the hotels that trip the re-engagement; it’s more to do with using my few words of Thai, and eating. I like eating at places that are popular locally. Perhaps not the street stalls, not on day one anyway, but the food courts at least. So, off to an old favourite, the Mah Boon Krong Centre, for an early lunch. I mentioned this plan to the young Thai woman seated beside me on the plane yesterday … “All the tourists go to MBK. It’s in all the guide books,” she told me, but not dismissively. For why not go there? There’s lots of interesting choice, it’s not expensive. And it’s popular with Thais too. In fact farang weren’t much in evidence at lunchtime today. When I made a predictable choice … egg noodle soup with stewed duck … noodle soup has always been a favourite for lunch when in Thailand, and I’m a sucker for duck. And it hit the spot exactly. With a light sprinkling of chilli flakes, sufficient to expand the sinuses but not to make the eyes water … just the right amount.
Yes, it’s good to be back. What’s for dinner?