small town people

I was on a class field trip in Bangkok for the last few days. We went
to visit a few of the ministries with which my company’s involved, as
well as take in some cultural things. We also spent a lot of time in
traffic, while one of the teachers from school drove us around like an
expert “rot tuu” driver (minivan). Impressive in this traffic!!

Bangkok seemed less intimidating to me on this trip; I’m not sure why. On the first night we were there, a few of us were talking with a friend who lives in Bangkok and he was saying how much he loved living in Bangkok, and how he was always a city guy. I mentioned that I
thought I was more of a small town kind of person (I think living outside of Turner Valley helped with that; I certainly didn’t grow up in a small town). Then he said that most people in Bangkok were really small village people themselves, they now just live in Bangkok. I thought about this a bit while we were in traffic, these last few days. Bangkok is made up of many villages – they’re just all squished in together and look overwhelming. Yes, I know cities have their neighbourhoods, and really it’s just the same thing: village/neighbourhood/”mubaan” all the same word in Thai (I think). “Small village people living in the big city of Bangkok.” Hearing this somehow changed how I saw the people of Bangkok, I’m sure many of them long to be back at home in the village that they grew up in, but for many reasons are unable to be there anymore. Hmm…

One more thing I’ve learned these past few days is that basically whenever it rains here it floods. Lopburi has many roads that are so filled with water in a rain storm that you can literally catch a fish with a bucket. Never have I owned a bicycle that has been so worn in, so early on. I’m not sure if my bike likes wading past its chains and gears. Frankly, it doesn’t have a choice. And neither do I. In Bangkok, there was a lot of flooding as well. Even several days after the heavy rain, you could see side streets still deep in water – people and vehicles wading through. After seeing the flooding in both Lopburi and Bangkok this past week, I was extremely thankful that my home doesn’t flood every time there’s heavy rain. I can’t imagine. But it’s done and people just get out their little sand bags, or stack bricks so the water (and waves resulting from brave vehicles passing by on the road) doesn’t so easily come in their house.

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