I have been wandering around the sois (lanes) in some areas of Bangkok. I am determined to find out where I am and what is in these sometimes interesting little side streets.
I watched a man peddle along the road in front of me yesterday. On the front part of the bike was a huge wooden box with two wheels on either side, a bit like a large go-cart, inside was a big gas bottle and burner as well as all the necessary tackle required to operate a street side food stall. Behind him, somehow balanced on the single wheel he was sat on, was a pile of plastic stools on which his customers sit and eat the food he cooks for them. Hanging off the side of this single wheel were two buckets. I was amazed at how this rather skinny person was even able to move the vehicle, never mind peddle it down the road at a stately pace. This is just one example of how the poor here earn there living and he isn’t as poor as some, at least he has accesses to equipment by which he can earn a living and he looked healthy enough. It makes me feel strange.
I am getting used to the terrible sidewalks. They are usually composed of bricks or small paving slabs, most of which have been heaved up out of position by some strange underground force, perhaps the rats (another story),in some cases very definitely the trees which line some of the streets. They can be a real hazard and require that you are vigilant as you walk along. The other problem is the very Street vendors I described above. They set up shop on the side walk and set out tables and chairs for the customers to eat at. You find them all over Bangkok, at the present time the Government has just clamped down on some areas and has painted white lines around where they are allowed to operate, thus allowing for pedestrians to get around these obstacles. How long this will last is anyone’s guess. Thais love to eat on the sidewalk. Another obstacle or obstacles are the motor bikes who seem to think ever since the sidewalks were given sloping curbs, ostensibly to help wheelchair users (no use because of the state of the sidewalks), that they have the right of way, the poor lowly pedestrian is relegated to bottom place on the sidewalk hierarchy. One problem we never have to deal with are skateboards!!!!
Dave and I went to a Salsa beginners dance class last Fri. night it was fun and we plan on going again this week. The idea is to get fit!!!! It is held in a dance bar and you can stay and dance after the lesson if you want, we didn’t last week because we were very new but this week we might give it a go.