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Seclusion & Shopping in Thailand - Part I

My mind was set on a week-long solo trip to Leh-Ladakh. And then before I know it, I’m watching the Mumbai runway hide behind white clouds from ‘Asia’s Boutique Airline’ (Bangkok Airways, if you must know) flying its way to Thailand. Don't ask me how that happened! But I am not complaining; Leh-Ladakh can wait until next year. 

Recounting my entire trip would make a one very long blog post, hence there are three parts to my 'Seclusion and Shopping in Thailand' series. This is the first. 

BUSTLING BANGKOK 

Retail therapy in Bangkok can be quite a straining affair...


The last time I visited Bangkok was when I went there for an internship stint with some mates from my university in Melbourne. I had pretty much discovered most of this bustling city during that two week work-cum-fun trip. We folded our hands before more than one Reclining Buddha and had one too many Tom Yums! 

At the company I interned at. We all posed for a pic on our last day.
This time, my agenda in Bangkok was simple – to shop. Hence, the choice of hotel, flight timing and every possible thing else that we were to do in the city revolved around that. We strategically stayed a stone’s throw away from MBK, Siam Paragon and Platinum Mall, and pretty much spent our day and a half in Bangkok in these malls. The malls, Platinum and MBK in particular are glorified, air-conditioned versions of a street market. If you are ready to walk enough and are not scared of getting lost in the giant labyrinth, you are guaranteed to get your hands on some really cheap, quality finds. Keep your eyes open and be ready to spot absolutely anything that will surprise you. No dearth of quirkiness there!
So many creepy palms spotted at a nail art store in the mall.
And I was yelled at by the saleswoman for taking this picture.
An army of nail paints!
One can shop for literally anything there and floors are categorized into menswear, ladies wear, accessories and cosmetics, bags (yes, an entire floor of bags, and mind you, it’s a big floor!) and shoes (aha aha…)! You come to realize, there are just SO MANY things, so many things factory-made and ready for sale, so much resource being used to satiate the drunken desire of humans for the want of ‘more’ – the mall is a perfect signpost for consumerism and materialism. I saw myself going wide-eyed at the silky dresses and sparkling shoes that were on display. As you walk deeper and deeper into this maze of leather and cloth, what you have bought so far you realize, will seem not enough – you will want more, and more, and more! 

Bags galore!
Your feet will ache from all that walking, your stomach will yearn for some grub, your eyes will tire of seeing so much ware and clutter and your head might go into a tizzy from that smell of leather, but hey, how can you not walk through every aisle on every floor in every mall lest you miss out on that one gorgeous piece of wardrobe, because who knows when you will return or might ever return! A bit nauseating if you come to think of it but that is the quintessential retail therapy experience Bangkok is so notoriously famous for.  
The malls have too much of everything, even the nail paint is spilling over! 
I spotted this at a really huge stationery store, tonnes of neon felt pens made for a pretty picture.
I also have to share how rude some of the local vendors are. They will not think twice before yelling at you to hang back that shirt and display it in the exact same way as it was before you picked it up to inspect it wondering whether to buy it or not. One vendor was mumbling an abuse in her language but I could very well distinguish the ‘Indian’ and ‘no money’ in her sentence. I experienced something very similar whilst shopping at the Queen Victoria market in Melbourne some years ago. I instantly realized if you want to know what hospitality is, visit a saree store in India. The kind salesmen there will not as much as wince every time you unfold nine yards of cloth! 

With three bagsful, I walked out of the mall, bought some balm for my legs and vowed to never return to the mall...until my next shopping urges return to haunt me of course!




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