Fast forwarding through my Thai massage experience and dinner with a friend of a friend, the loud bar and the oh so rude Belgian man. I unintentionally found myself on the strip club street of Bangkok. Trying to be open to the experience of the city I put my anthropologist hat on. On think I learned about myself is that if I am to be subjected to the selling of sex business, I prefer to be in the company of the ladyboys than the women who are there because they are fulfilling a duty to provide. The ladies who have chosen to undergo a change had a air of flirty fun while the other ladies seemed to have a oh this is my job expression on their faces. Yuck, who finds that sexy? While prostitution is technically illegal in Bangkok, Thai culture places the Buddha law saying that it is okay to sell yourself if it is to take care of your family. According Gregory, the owner at Room @ Bangkok, Buddha law trumpets human-made laws.
My main mission in Bangkok was to go to the geological museum. Turns out it is an obscure place only students on field trips attended and was located at the Institute of Mines and Minerals. By the mannerisms of the door attendant and overall condition, it appeared this branch of the institute was more of a burden to upkeep than a place to promote. Nevertheless, I strolled by same sort of material that is in every geologically themed museum: basics of plate tectonics, minerals from around the world and then a case showing the ones for the country, models and descriptions of the mining processes, and the geologic timescale depicted with photos of past life (of course). Most rewarding was the fact that I actually did find this little not-so-gem-like museum and learned about a common mineral (of which the origin is debated) called tektite. Secondly, there were several featured places in Thailand that are known for interesting geology. Perhaps I will find those along this journey…
Making my way to the Chao Phraya River took me past the National Museum, which is a complex of buildings with themes of treasures from past and present Thai traditions. As the storm brewed above head my pace quicken toward the river. Through the busy street filled with vendors selling a cornucopia of tasty bites-the pancake like snack filled with sweet grated carrot way my favorite. The Chao Phraya was a happening waterway with boats of all sizes. But the lightening in the cumulous nimbus clouds above the Emerald Buddha Temple in the sky stole the show.
Seemingly safer than a motorbike and a heck of a lot more fun than a taxi, the tuk tuk ride from the river to the nearest Bangkok SkyTrain station was a blast. With the open-air sides all the sites and smells of the city are easy to take in. The playfulness of the tuktuk tickled me as we weaved about the traffic.