Below are some excerpts from the first draft of my book Nine Years in Bangkok: Lessons Learned. It is a little taste of my initial impressions of Bangkok, Thailand. My book chronicles my adventures, my highs and lows and, ultimately, my transformation during this eventful time of my life.
These excerpts are taken from Chapter 1 – The Beginning
The first thing I remember is the softness—the softness of the breeze on my skin, wafting through my skirt, lifting wisps of my hair, the softness of the voices, the softness of the night air, the softness of the sea lapping against the sand, the softness of the hands in massage treatments. This was a place where the heat enveloped you like a blanket, where the palm trees whispered your name as you passed by, where people smiled in acknowledgement.
Our lives in the Kingdom got off to a great start. We floated above the cares of the world by holidaying on the enchanting island of Samui. Ahhh, Koh Samui—the bungalows at the Guest House with butterflies as big as hummingbirds, the powdery sand beaches where one went simply catatonic lying in the tropical sun, Thai massage on the beach, weathered vendors in straw hats who sold everything from beach wraps to watches to roasted corn and chilled beverages, beachside Cheers bar after five, main street Thai food and night markets after six, nightclubs, sex shows, transvestites and drunken New Year’s Eve where people took off their clothes and frolicked in the darkened sea. It was the full experience of Thailand. We made some good friends here on the beach who saw us through many Thailand transitions.
But, after the serenity of Samui, the stress of real life in Bangkok began to rear its head. We breathed the air thick with pollution, we were late by an hour or more every time we ventured out in the car because of the heavy stillness of traffic jams everywhere. And the noise—banging, pounding, screeching, roaring construction intermingled with the cacophonous sounds of traffic including thousands upon thousands of motorbikes, nine million or so human beings making their way, night market vendors hawking their wares, and the clubs and bars pumping music and booze through city veins from morning until night and back again.
And the smells—smoky spices of outdoor grills, rotting food and excrement wafting up from the sewers and the incessant garlic and beer coursing through the blood and out into the air.
And the sights—only in Bangkok could you see a 75-year-old man in bare feet and a bandana sporting diminutive Thai hookers on both arms. Only in Bangkok could you see the luxurious, manicured hotel grounds juxtaposed with begging lepers and street children with tragic eyes selling garlands at the traffic lights. Only in Bangkok could you see the rich man in his Mercedes drunkenly weaving down the road to his private sex club while the heroin addict coated with filth and grime wrapped himself around the nearest doorway. Humanity, dogs, rats, and several species of snakes all shared the same space. Sometimes the rats and snakes were preferable to the people who came to Bangkok to feed their addictions. We learned so many lessons. Where did they start…
Stay tuned for updates about publication.