THAILAND: Color and Contrast (part 1)

THAILAND: Color and Contrast (part 1)

The cacophony of Bangkok reminds me of the roar emanating from Chris Burden’s kinetic sculpture, Metropolis II. The mixture of river traffic sounds, the din of road and overpass congestion, and the ricocheting voices of the multitudes squeezing between vendors selling foods or goods as passengers exit the Sky Train can make the most gung-ho tourist long for the countryside. However, even the rural regions thrum like a mighty engine in their market and business centers. There seems to be no place to escape, not even in elegant hotels where young maidens, dressed scantly, ride up and down the elevators to their assignations alongside toddlers holding their parent’s hands.

The dichotomy of Thailand is astounding. What do I mean? You can say prayers to a Buddha before you step inside a theater to be boggled by a transvestite show. You’re considered a disgrace if you raise your voice but few eyebrows are raised when a tourist in the airport gift shop is arrested on trumped up charges in order to extract payment of a bribe. Beware; never participate in any discussions about kings because if you are misunderstood, and they assume you insulted their King, you may find yourself locked in a prison cell. And yet, if someone were to invite me for a week or two to stay near the Chiang Rai flower festival and enjoy nightly excursions to the outdoor market, I’d say yes in a heartbeat. Also, I’d make sure I went on an elephant ride since I never got that pleasure during my visit to Chiang Mai, the town where lanterns dazzle the sky as they float up to the stars on New Year’s Eve…breathtaking!

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Color and Contrast

(stay tuned)

Sophia Ann Montoya

Sophia Ann Montoya



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