March 25, 2007
Bangkok in 2007 is different from where I left off. The city has been expanded as if it wasn't big enough before. I've seen a number of unfamiliar expressways, streets, shopping malls, and restaurants all over the city. My parents house is in old town area, therefore nothing has drastically changed. Contrary to Tim's neighborhood,
outskirt of BKK, all the empty lands were replaced with high-rise buildings and restaurants. At a very first night, our friend took us out to dinner at a restaurant
that has a washroom the same size as entire Thai restaurants in Chicago. Later we found out most restaurants we went had a similar construction - hugh dinning spaces and gigantic washrooms. Not to mention good food and cool ambience, I gave it 5 stars. In case you wonder about a cost of lands here, NO, they aren't cheap. I guess Thai restaurant investors must be loaded with money and can afford to build 2,000 sf washrooms. We noticed, not only restaurants here that have generous sizes, but also shopping malls. We were surprised with extreme changes around Siam Square, shopping district. Before we left there weren't Siam Paragon and Central World. I'm so intrigued by the size of both malls as they're incredibly hugh and very cool in design. Tim and I spent a whole day in Central World, yet won't be able to finish every floor. It's that big.
The shopping block is filled with trendy/good looking people. It's where modeling agents gather and look for new models. So, we saw mixed race people hanging around here. We noticed more number of white people. Some travel through BKK, and some live here. We know because they act and dress like local and even have Thai's body structure. Good news for those who want to loose weigh, Thailand is the answer for you. Come to BKK and you will loose 10 lbs in 1 week. :) I may loose some weigh as well although I eat 5 meals a day. It's the weather here that burn body fat super fast. The temp. is around 85 F during a day and 80 F at night. It's hot and humid, yet still bearable. So far I don't have any problem as I feel more energetic in hot weather. Well, there is a long way to go and I have to see how April's weather goes though. (April and May are the hottest months.)
Here's a clip note of what I've seen during my first week in BKK;
Improvement in public transportation
My first impression is the trains here. Both elevated and underground trains are in great shape. The trains and its stations are super clean and look new. The only drawback is the train lines aren't connected throughout the city. People still need to have a car, hence bad traffic remains.
• Speed boats
People who live along Jao-Pra-ya River have a chance to ride a speed boat to Sa-torn Pier for a train station. I took advantage of it as my parent's house is closed to the river and much enjoy riding those boats.
• Cabs and buses
no improvement except for a fare increase
Greatly expanded. Hardly see sky as expressways cross bridges, and elevated railways built on top of one another. However, there are some part of BKK that's frozen in the time. Whatever they looked 10 years back, these days, those places remain the same.
Majority are friendly and sweet in nature. They are willing to engage in our conversation any chance we asked for direction.
As much as I like the city, there is a big adjustment I have to make in order to live here comfortably. I miss Chicago from time to time when I see things I dislike here. However, there is nothing left in Chicago for me to go back to. This is the first time I feel like I don't belong in both world. I guess time will help. I have to give it a try.