Bangkok CBD vs. The Outskirts – Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Breezy day walking with a student on the newly labeled “skywalk,” a bridge that stretches and connects some of the finest shopping plazas in all of Southeast Asia. On this bridge you have a concoction of families, business women, and people of all nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. After seeing maybe 500 people, not one of them gave me a dirty look, held their nose, gripped their purse firmly, or looked away. 

Better yet, these women, who were unbelievably beautiful, would smile. 

There’s a new establishment just outside Chidlom’s BTS Skytrain station.  I was waltzing around, trying to find a place to chow down before heading back to the “outskirts” (soon-to-be-explained), and I came across a place.  This place, called Beer Republic, wasn’t opening just yet.  I took off and came back a couple of days later and it was a delight.  Sitting around Singaporean, Thai, Russian, Indian and all other ethnicities, who were professionals, was absolutely amazing.  Having them glance over and smile at me? Sounds like a fantasy.  Heck, some of you right now are probably scratching your head saying, “that’s anywhere.”  Unfortunately, not for me.  Well, at least not what I’ve experienced the last four years.  

I just moved into my new condo and people held doors open for me (absolutely never happens to me), smiled, great service, said excuse me, and again….no dirty looks.

The Other Side

If you do a trek from the edge of town pass the other international airport named Don Meung, you’ll find yourself in a completely territory.  It’s like riding on the freeway in Los Angeles and getting off at Compton.  You can go from a half-ass suburb, to sheer hell within a couple of miles.

First of all, stepping into the minivan is disgraceful – all other passengers are staring at me to see if I’m going to sit next to them.  When I do, they scoot as far as they can up against the window so they can avoid being touched by me.

Once I get out and cross the bridge, women see me and take two big steps to the side while clutching their purse for dear life.  Some give me disgusting looks.  Others would rather stare at a blank wall than look at me — before passing by to look straight again.  It’s like the 2014 situation all over again (and the beginning of my Tedx) where women saw me, got up, and scrambled everywhere until I left.

These are the extremes of Thailand.  A lot of you are asking, “well, why are you still there?”  The sex-tourists asked me that all the time on twitter just a couple years ago when I would communicate with…..them…..for whatever reason.  Well, I knew that somewhere someone would accept who I am.

Well, I found that place.

And it’s absolutely amazing.

However, why are there such extremes here?

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