Sunday, November 23, 2008
Bangkok has thoroughly impressed me as a clean, modern and attractive city. I have heard of its problems with pollution in the past, but it has addressed these issues and although the streets can sometimes be jammed with traffic, the city busses run on pollution-free natural gas. Something I have not seen before are “tourist police” who are a phone call away to address issues of fraud, for instance if you think a taxi has overcharged for a fare or a business has cheated you.
Bangkok is also famous for its sex service industry, and many people come here for this. I found myself in the midst of a notorious area early one evening and was repeatedly approached by hawkers soliciting me to have a good time and enjoy a “happy ending” massage, or see a show with women that shoot ping-pong balls from there private parts etc. One night I went dancing with friends until the wee hours of the morning and saw drunken men fondling “dates.” The music and dancing was fun, but witnessing such crass and rude behavior was repulsive. The girls think of their time as service work and make big money to send home to their poor families in the countryside, so smile and keep up a good face. When we left, I thanked God for the dignity He placed in my heart and that He causes me to remain mindful.
This morning I went to a service at a Baha'i center in the city and enjoyed meeting people that I can consider extended family. This is a bounty of being Baha'i; being a member of a world community that works toward the unity of humanity.
Tomorrow I leave for Phuket, a famous tourist destination, renowned for fantastic beaches and natural beauty. I will stay a week, then go to Vietnam on December 2.
Recently I updated my website with artistic photography, http://graphixshoot.com to include the photos I took in Africa and India, so have a look.