…. said no one ever.
There are so many things I could put before this saying but the main one for Thailand would be about the roads. Anyone who has walked the streets of Bangkok knows what an adventure it is just to do a quick five minute journey down the road. I thought I’d tell you all about mine.
Five steps out of my apartment and the friendly motorbike taxi man who leers at me every time I pass is smiling and saying hello. He reminds me of the Tex Avery wolf from cartoons when I was little, his eyes will pop out of his head and tong rolls out at the mere sight of a woman approaching.
Two steps more and take a left. This part of the road it normally quite so it’s easy to keep walking until you get stuck behind the two Thai women chatting and walking slower than a two year old baby. It’s impossible to pass them at this point as the trees are on the path so I wait till we get to the next road. I do not have to wait long as it only takes a few steps before there is a drive way to a building or a side street. I finally pass the two women and am beeped at from behind by a motorbike taxi driver who is trying to pass me on the footpath. I keep walking up over a random speed bump for walkers, as if anyone here walks fast enough to need one.
I get to the pedestrian bridge but have to duck as I’m much taller than a western ten year old which seems to be the average hight here, nothing is made to accommodate anyone over 5 foot.
Then comes the dreaded random block of concrete that seems to be put there just for decoration. Every time I step over this I expect to find something on the other side, when I first did this walk there were lose tiles piled up to insure a more eventful journey. Now there are just man size holes to eat you up or at least brake a toe or two.
The paths here are like a walking roller-coaster as no surface is straight, Expect every step to move you in some random angle, as the paths are seated with packed sand instead of cement. You can expect ups and downs along a path and if you are lucky a few random obstacles to climb over. Lots of fun in heavy rain.
The path now leads onto a busy side road that I must cross to carry on, taxis and motorbikes wizz up and down on whichever side of the road they feel like. Suddenly a motorbike swerves through two cars that have tried to be in the same place at once, as no one here seems to have any depth perception especially when behind the wheel of a car.
I go around the cars narrowly avoiding being hit by a motorbike with three children driving it. What fun it must be to grow up here racing on your motorbike in the Bangkok traffic.
I Made it to the other side and realise that for the first time since I got here that I had just walked across rather than wait. I wonder if I’m finally learning that if you want to get across the road any time that day you just have be prepared to dodge everything!!.
Then comes the main bit I really dislike, dislike is not the right word for this may be more like hell ride of terror. I always envision snapping crocodiles waiting beneath the mettle planks, like the crocodile from peter pan always circling captain hooks ship.
A building sight that has torn up the path and replaced it with metal plates that act as sprig boards when you walk over them. Each time I step on to this part of the path I feel the metal lower and my heart race. The sights I have seen when passing this would sound fantasised if I did not have photographic proof.
Just before the next road
A stray dog goes walking past me, he is always around this area, probably because the locals feed him. I keep walking but have to duck under the street stall’s umbrellas, with their ropes stretching over the path at about my shoulder hight. As I’m ducking, walking and trying not to step on anyone as they walk so slowly up the path, I wonder how they get anywhere at all.
Finally I get to the last road and fight my way past taxis, pedestrians, stray dogs and motorbikes to get to the other side.