Last Saturday I took one of my daughters downtown for a birthday party. Prior to my departure I asked my lovely wife if she needed anything from downtown Bangkok. She said, "Krispy Kremes. You'll be close enough, right?" You see, sometime back in late 2010 Bangkok opened its very first--and so far only--Krispy Kreme franchise, so if we happen to be in the vicinity of that shop, we'll usually get a box or two. Or six.
Thing is, I was down near Emporium, one of Bangkok's high-end shopping malls, while Krispy Kreme is at Siam Paragon, another of Bangkok's high-end shopping malls a few kilometers away. But ever-ready to please my wife, I happily hopped on the BTS, also known as the Skytrain, which conveniently has stops in front of both Emporium and Paragon.
In the fifteen minute ride between the two stations I observed the following:
Prospecting for gold. And by "prospecting for gold" what I really mean is this dude was digging in his nose. Like his finger was up the second knuckle. I think he might have been looking for his wedding ring. Actually, on second thought, I'm pretty sure that wasn't what he was looking for.
Coiffing the brows. Combing one's eyebrows in and of itself not particularly unusual--at least that's what my wife tells me. While I personally found it just a little weird that someone would pull out a small mirror and then comb their eyebrows while on public transportation, what really intrigued me about the endeavor was this person's choice of implement. It was a toothbrush. With a sawed-off handle.
Swiping pits. This wasn't just some random person giving their armpits a quick check to see if they were a little damp. This was actually a television commercial wherein the cute and perky lead actress wipes her underarms, gives them a sniff, and then extends her hands for her friends to catch a whiff. And they are all smiling and giggling the entire time.
Man purse. You see plenty of backpackers in Bangkok. And when I say "backpacker" I mean it in the European sense, where you've got your average post-college kid wandering around with a gargantuan backpack. And just to be stereotypical, quite often the male version of this backpacker appears to not have shaved for several days, sometimes is a good six-to-twenty months overdue for a haircut, and is wearing flip-flops, shorts (or capris--excuse me, "manpris"), and a tank-top emblazoned with the logo of either an Asian beer (Chang, Tiger, and Beer Lao being the most common in Bangkok) or that most well-known of all energy drinks famed for its Thai origins, Red Bull. But seeing one of these guys with a Louis Vuitton shoulder bag slightly discomboblulated me. Giant backpack; check. Flip-flops; check. Man who looks like a reintroduction to a razor and barber's shears would be most welcome; check. Lovely bag casually slung over one shoulder; what the??!! By the way, somebody slap me for even recognizing the bag as a Louis Vuitton.
Why walk when you can wait. When I got off the train at Siam Paragon there was a massive queue in front of the down escalators. Oddly enough, a mere 10 meters or so away from that scrum was another escalator (and staircase) with maybe three people going down to the next level. I guess what I neglected to calculate, though is that in addition to the 10 meters to get to that escalator, you also have to walk an additional 10 meters to get back to where the first escalator meets the next floor, so you've now done at least an additional twenty meters of walking...what was I thinking?
Conclusion: riding the Skytrain on a Saturday morning is far more entertaining than riding it during regular commute times. And three dozen Krispy Kremes--totally worth the ride.