Saturday, August 13, 2005

Appreciation in hindsight...

When I lived in Korea I used to get really frustrated at the lack of attention paid to tourists. There were no English signs or pamphlets, no posted bus or train schedules and nothing in the country was organized. It was really frustrating. Here in Bangkok, the opposite is true. Everything is geared for tourists and I hate it. It's so cliched to not appreciate what you have when you have it but I'm afraid that's what I have done. Korea is one of the least toured countries in the world and is only just opening up to the tourism industry. Every festival and market we went to was for Koreans...we just happened to tag along. In hindsight, it is a refreshing and novel way to travel.

I constantly feel like I am being processed here. It wasn't as bad down south (funny enough, as that's where the beaches are) but Bangkok is really bad. Everyone is dressed the same and they're carrying around the same Lonely Planet as though it's their cult Bible...and in a way it is. The clothes at the market are all the same. The food at the restaurants is all the same. Everything is over priced, poorly made and nothing is unique or personal. Dreadlocks, which have usually been as a rejection of society's norms of beauty and style, can be bought on the street for $25. They're weaving them in for God's sakes and people are eating it up.

I never thought I would say this but right now, I would love to get that "You're white! What the hell are you doing in my country?" stare I used to hate so much.

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