Stuck in Bangkok, not feeling the World Cup fever yet

Slowly, slowly, I'm inching my way towards Germany. A short stopover in Bangkok, to cater for the pecularities of trying to find the cheapest return ticket to Frankfurt. I could have had a five hour layover, but opted to get in earlier so I could quickly nip into town.

Not such a great idea.

For a start, the famed Bangkok traffic has a reason to be famed. I reckon that's the reason why they try so hard to actually avoid the roads if you're not in a car or bus. The sky train is elevated. The highway is elevated (yes, yes, technically a 'road', but bear with me). The skywalk pedestrian walkway is elevated. The khlongs are, well, a level below. Because walking next to Bangkok traffic? Hot, suffocating, and just plain urgh-grimy. Mind you, most of the time you're walking faster than the traffic anyway. I finally learnt to just plonk myself in a food court and nurse fruit juices.

And worse? For some bizarre reason, they're not that crazy about the World Cup over here. Unlike in KL, when you can't turn a corner without seeing some footballer kicking some TV/handphone/camera over a billboard, Bangkok just has... nothing. Well, not exactly 'nothing', more "Wha-? Whe-??? You guys do know there's a World Cup going on, right?".

To get to the bottom of this, I interrogated my taxi driver. We had the time anyway, we were stuck in a traffic jam. Never mind that we don't really speak the same language. I said, "World Cup?". He shook his head. "Boxing".


"Boxing good."

"But World Cup good too, right?"

"Only if got money. Otherwise boxing good."

He was talking about Thai Boxing, on live in Bangkok four times a week. And as far as I can tell, not affected at all by the greatest sporting event on Earth.

Tell me, is it true? Is there really a life outside the World Cup?


posted on Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - permalink
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