Help! I'm imprisoned in the past

by francine Hardaway on June 12, 2007

Today we arrived in Bangkok from Phuket. I expected to be able to send video, but lo, I can’t even get on my own laptop! The hotel does not have wireless in the rooms, and I am stuck on the PC in the business center.

That being said, Bangkok is as fabulous as I remember. Yes, we had clothes made in Phuket. But we had more made here, because the fabrics are better. We are in a hotel that is across from a defunct railroad, and when we pulled up to it, I thought we were in India. Once inside, it’s pretty cool, however. Except for the technology.

We were driven about two streets to the Bangkok Pratunam Wholesale Markets, where you see the origins of all the stuff that gets to the US from Thailand. Stingray wallets, loose precious stones, cheesy women’s clothing that would never fit a sophisticate like myself :-) It’s two floors of market, mostly purses, clothing, jewelry, and trinkets. Also tech toys. I was able to bargain on a lot of stuff, but they wouldn’t go below $800 on a Nokia 95, so I didn’t get one.

The walk from the market back to the hotel was fascinating. I’m reading a book on Bangkok written by Jerry Hopkins, a former Rolling Stone correspondent who has lived here since 1993. He tells me that Bangkok is sinking about 4.5 inches a year, because of all the groundwater pumping for development. He also reminds me that people on motorcycles use the sidewalks ( known as footpaths) to drive on. And pedestrians use the roadways. I saw that myself on the walk to the hotel from the market.

Bangkok is really culture shock after Phuket. We are really tossing around the idea of investing in a 3br 2 ba condo on Phuket. 1300 sq. ft for $114,000. We could probably rent it to tourists to help with the carrying costs, and a few of us could get together and buy it for cash. If the US goes to hell in a handbasket, we’d have a place to go with good medical care :-)

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