Each day Bangkok offers new experiences. The city invites you to experience as much as you desire, the more you embrace this city, the more the city will allow you to experience. It will make you feel many things, the startling contrasts in new and old, rich and poor, modernization and lack thereof. It will make you feel as much you allow yourself to feel and will slowly strip away your western comfort zones.
Bangkok doesn’t hide itself. The beauty and flaws are on display at all times; the city never apologizes for the flaws- the dirt, the cracked sidewalks, archaic traffic, the nonstop nightlife and people that drive it and the continual building and drive for modernization- and never points out the beauty that sits just beside those flaws.
I have been fortunate to have the best possible host to view this city and culture; a business associate that turned out to be a dear friend that answered my questions with responses that made me ask more questions of myself and challenge views, thoughts and habits I didn’t realize I held. I am forever grateful to have viewed this culture as an insider and been privileged to be welcomed by a wonderful family.
I thought of other cities, I found myself needing a change after the end of a 7 year relationship and being thoroughly unfulfilled with my career. London? Berlin? Tokyo? London was too easy, a change but not uncomfortable enough to make me grow. Berlin is my favorite city (behind SF of course), but living there would dull the found memories of my visits and infatuation I have with the history of the city. Tokyo, Disneyland for adults. Stimulus everywhere you look, a wonderful culture and people. But, very western and I have been many, many times.
Bangkok, the heat, the language I have to learn, the old buildings and slums and the ultra modern hipster hotels and restaurants. Yes, a great culture, a great country, very interesting city and a great challenge.