Having called this crazy city my home for nearly five months now, I have noticed a few things that might initially have struck me as odd, interesting, surprising or baffling but that have now become second nature.
And so, I have compiled a list and titled it thusly:
You know you’re settling into Bangkok when you…
…can perch on a motor bike taxi, and as it carves through bangkok’s traffic, nonchalantly sip your iced coffee or send a text (this is ‘settlers-in’ like me, mark you – locals have graduated to breast feeding their infants..)
… clang your purse down on the BTS sensor rather than actually going through the rigmarole of taking your rabbit card out.
…consider walking ANYWHERE a major imposition, not to be entertained, but happily wade through the traffic on Sukumvit Road (here, I have discovered, commitment is key).
…have perfected the very distinct taxi-hailing hand-flutter.
…roll your eyes disdainfully at tourists in elaborately patterned trousers and ‘same same’ singlets.
…react with ambivalence to the array of guns, tazers, knuckle dusters, ninja stars, dildos and Viagra readily available on market stalls, usually next to a vendor selling religious realia (this juxtaposition no longer strikes you as ironic either).
…know with some confidence that any door marked ‘pull’ will also open if you push.
…say kaa or krup at the end of every sentence… in English… and in text messages.
…are no longer shocked/surprised/reduced to a puddle by the wall of heat that hits you every time you venture out of the relative comfort of an air conditioned building.
…Have become accustomed to the unfortunate members of society with their heart rending ailments, deformities and missing limbs, begging for change, their faces on the pavement….. No, maybe you never get used to that.