Friday, September 3
After another boiling afternoon, Mr. Huge Black Cloud hovered over Bangkok and let loose with the precipitation madness literally non-stop all night. Down by the Sathorn stop on the Chao Phraya river stood a rad old man sawing away on his violin. I was stoked to record a little snippet and snap a photo or three. A few blocks away, I took an elevator up to the Sky Bar on the 64th floor of one of them big, tall buildings, where a whole staff of primly-dressed young Thais greeted me. I could see some amazing partial views of the nighttime cityscape from the uber-chic interior, but, unfortunately, the outside observation decks were closed because of the rain, which dashed all hopes of a photo session. The Sky Bar, and the whole building for that matter, were way too posh and expensive for me, so I discreetly showed myself the door.
As I schlepped East down Thanon Silom a few blocks, I heard some really loud live music, but I couldn't tell exactly where it was coming from. It turned out to be an Indian religious ceremony at Sri Mariamman temple, and some pretty amazing singing and drumming was going down. I tried to shoot some photos, but as soon as I whipped out my camera, some gatekeepers made me put it away. I pointed at another guy who was clicking away, to no avail. Apparently, he was the official photographer of the event. Right after that, I managed to record a short segment of singing, but I never captured any of the painfully loud drumming, because the guards shut me down again. Come on, man. It's just an audio recording! And some other guy was shooting video!
Right after I put my boots back on, I showed myself the gate and tried to watch and listen from out on the street. I would have drilled a circle A into my two front teeth and shot a couple of photos from out there, but it was pouring rain and there were no good views of the action. For dinner, I tried to track down some pizza, but it's too expensive in Bangkok, where the prices are higher than they are in the United States--even at Pizza Hut. Instead, I went back to Banglamphu and munched a plate of falafel and hummus at Ethos, an artsy-looking little vegetarian and vegan restaurant that I hadn't tried before. It was quite tasty--especially since I haven't had any falafel in over three months.