Each time we pay a visit to Bangkok, I usually have an entire itinerary that revolves around one thing, and one thing only. And that's ... shopping. That's all. Unlike what the more prurient-minded would think, it's definitely not sexy mocha-skinned Thai boys gyrating in skimpy G-strings on my lap. Fear of sexually transmitted disease ( herpes? ) keeps me away from the scrumptious lot - as well as the fact that Charming Calvin probably wouldn't approve of me slipping dollar bills into spandex-clad bottoms.
Though maybe a threesome one day?
Sorry. Can't help the lecherous thoughts! With the seriously fit Thai college boys all dressed in supertight shirts and trousers two sizes too small, it's hard to think of anything else.
So in lieu of delicious toyboys from sunrise till sunset, I substitute that with lots and lots of shopping. Much more fun a pasttime ever since I got a bump in my salary. Since Calvin pretty much doesn't have much of a say in the daily schedule, he mostly gets dragged along as I finish my frenetic supermarket sweep of the city. For all he knows, Bangkok is a city full of air-conditioned department stores, jam-packed night markets and Chatuchak.
An invitation to see Bangkok?
As a kid, I pretty much thought the same! Which is why this time I gave him a choice.
Paul : You get one morning.
Calvin : To do what?
Paul : To do some terribly touristy thing. Temples, museums and klongs.
Calvin : We can cover all that in one morning?
Paul : Half a day! You'd better appreciate the hell out of the museums!
A boon begrudgingly given obviously.
So the better part of Saturday morning was spent touring the historic enclave of Rattanakosin stops at the Grand Palace and the various temples. Even an hour's boatride to the nearest floating market. All in the sweltering heat of a Bangkok summer. With the reflective gleam of the gilded roofs - and the mirror-still waters of the klongs, it felt like we were both being roasted alive on a steaming brazier in the middle of a desert.
Enough to make us both cry for mercy by noon!
We couldn't hurry back fast enough to the creature comforts of the modern mall galleria. Shopper like me, I still managed to purchase a paper umbrella to combat the heat!