And so here I am. Right in the thick of this moveable feast. Strange as it is, I love it all. The congested streets. The grime, the grit. Messy shopfronts, a prelude to the paraphernalia within. Shop owners coaxing unsuspecting tourists to get the best bang for their Baht. Tireless sellers carting wares balanced precariously on their backs, preparing to set up their humble stalls in the famed night market as the sky segues into a deeper grey. The fascinating language — the polite lengthening and stressed inflections like music to these ears. And then the occasional beggar would tug you with a semblance of guilt, reflecting on the boom that‘s widening the chasm between the third world and the first. Plenty of smiles all around and hands pressed together. Reminding me of the boy in my class who’d show a startling amount of respect by greeting me this way and making me feel like royalty. The tuk-tuk riders sitting listlessly by the roadside, waiting hopefully for the next tourist. As a casual walker, a flâneuse, I make mental notes of every city I visit. It doesn’t satisfy me to travel to a place only to scrape the surface. I need to go deep. To walk further down the avenues, saunter past forgotten backlanes and unearth her hidden gems. Despite the pulsing roads with clogged traffic and throngs of tourists in the centre of this maddening capital, I acquiesced to a night stroll so I wouldn’t miss a moment on getting to know her. I like my peaceful escapes. Nature is still home to me. But the city… the city remains a mystery; open to various interpretations to the curious traveler, like a piece of poem, or a chapter from a book. A commingling of senses — of sound, taste, hearing, touch, look.

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