Friday, September 01, 2006

Bangkok: People

Here is a collection of images of the people of Bangkok, taken while on our wanderings around the city. My overall impression of the Thais is that they are a friendly, hard-working, devoutly religious people. Obviously, I only came into contact with people whose occupation or situation put them in the path of the tourist, so my view is not as well-rounded as I'd like it bo be, however I did witness a very strong work ethic on display, with shops and market stalls always open for business and proprietors eager to get my business. This is a pleasing change from Riyadh, where the majority of shop staff couldn't care less whether you buy from them or not, but it did also have it's irritating side in that you are constantly being badgered to eat at this restaurant, go for a ride in that tuk-tuk, order a suit from this tailor, go into that parlour for a foot massage, etc.

A girl with hand-made flower garlands for sale and a tramp sharing a piece of pavement (taken from a taxi while waiting at yet another red traffic light).

More flower sellers, this time outside a Buddhist temple. You buy a flower and some josticks from them, then present them in the temple as an offering.

In addition to the many beautiful temples in Bangkok (more in next posting), there are also small shrines throughout the city where people stop to pray.

Another woman presenting offerings at a shrine. Note that most of the people are wearing yellow shirts. These are special commemorative shirts to honour King Rama IX's 60th anniversary on the throne.

Meet Eddie: our guide on the temple tour (story coming soon). Boy, he loves to talk!

A Buddhist monk, teaching

Another stationary taxi shot. Look closely and you'll see the woman riding pillion has a small baby in her arms!

Vagrant or just a siesta? You decide (photo taken mid-morning on the bank of the river).

"Street cuisine" at its finest.

Woman on her way somewhere, watched over by a cellophane-sealed Buddha in a storefront

Man selling prints of the Royal Family past and present, but mostly past.

I bought this print of a hand-coloured b/w photo of King Rama V and his sons in exchange for the previous photo.

This woman was positioned at the entrance to a temple and was selling plastic bags full of live fish and toads. We didn't buy any.

A blind busker on the way to MBK, playing a home-made stringed instrument. I wish I could remember how it sounded, but I gave him some money for the photo anyway. Note the judicious use of the omni-present plastic garden furniture.

...what working at MBK does to you.

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