A friend and I lamented over coffee the other day about how we are cheating our kids a healthy, “normal” childhood by living in Bangkok. The lack of green space, fresh air, digging dirt, and the great outdoors–are we damaging them?
After some thought and consideration, I’ve decided that we are actually living at the circus. And children LOVE the circus!
In my dirty little corner of Bangkok, tents spring up at night selling everything from fidget spinners and Jesus, to fake dog poop.
It’s bright. It’s colorful. There are flashing colored lights from all the tuk tuks. There are fried bananas and other yummies in your face. It’s a vibrant cast of characters and there’s always a new act. The aggressive fruit lady. The smooth Indian Sikh tailor. The tattooed lady who is also a man. The taxi driver with these hands:
And animals–real and fake.
Heck, even the Bangkok city logo is just screaming, “STEP RIGHT UP!”
There are daring stunt men on bikes who alternate between the road and the sidewalk. This is me walking newborn baby Francina home from the hospital. Welcome to the world, kid. You live at the circus!
And now that I’ve gotten braver, I feel like I’ve joined the circus every time I hop on the back of a motor taxi. The stage fright is gone; I’m part of the show and it’s exhilarating.
I snagged this painting of Nana Station in Rainy Season on the side of the road. It perfectly captures the chaos and energy of the neighborhood.
And just like the circus, at the end of the night the spell is broken. The magic has faded. The air smells like animals and old dirty popcorn. Somebody is left with a mess to clean up, but the show goes on another day.
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Seeing Bangkok through the prism of a kid’s eyes sure does make things more magical.