Saturday, March 4, 2017
This Little Soi
On return visits to Bangkok I like to go back and explore the areas where I spent time in those early years, back when I lived there. This trip was no exception. One of the first places I went to was the area right near the National Stadium skytrain (BTS) station - on the right side, opposite the stadium and MBK shopping mall. One spot is the soi (small road) leading to the Jim Thompson House. Right there on the corner was an older condominium/hotel (Krit Thai Residence). On occasion I would have lunch there with Kade, who worked at Jim Thompson. Other times I would sit on the steps out front and wait for her when she finished her day. She would walk down the soi to meet up with me, and often she was with a small group of colleagues - fashionable, pretty, young Thai ladies. Kade and I were madly in love, and I would always catch that pretty smile. It was her trademark. Still is. Anyway, you can see the restoration Krit Thai Residence is undergoing today. One soi over is another that I also remember well. After I had made my decision to live and work in Bangkok (year 2000), I stayed maybe a couple of weeks in the Muang Phol Building and used it as base to look for jobs and think through long-term plans. Kade was a big help then, too, and I chose the place obviously because it was near her work. As you can see, the building is a bit of an eyesore, and has changed little since I first knew it, and probably little since it was originally built. When you live in Thailand, buildings of this type and gobs of wires are what you see, all over. Some days you feel you have gotten used to it. Other days, you think, "Wow." But back in 2000, I stayed in one of the rooms in the Muang Phol Building, and the convenience and cost of the place mattered way more than aesthetics.