Hello gang, it’s been four weeks now since we have left our friends, family, the lakes, the mountain bike trails, the neighbors, the running partners, the biking friends, the swimming buddies, my St. Thomas entrepreneur crew and on an even more personal level, my friend Joe and my early morning running buddy Jeff. I have had “The Summer Of Markus” and very likely, there are not that many people who have had the luxury to have a Summer for themselves…at least not once you are out of 8th grade. A Summer, where whatever you do is voluntary and if you feel like taking a nap, you take it, read a good book…you just live worry free. And unlike George Costanza (the original inventor of “the Summer of [insert name here]), I had nothing spoil my Summer and I am grateful for that.
Now however, I get up at 5:30 in the morning, not because I feel compelled because Jeff is out there as well, but because, if I don’t I will not properly sweat once a day. I will also not have had any time for myself – Markus Time.
I leave for work at 7:30am and get home by around 7:15pm depending on traffic. In a quiet moment I think back with a smile to the mountain bike rides, the runs, the backyard talks. Summer of Markus, I remember you fondly.
Now, I don’t want to come across, as if I complain – I don’t. The work I am doing is absolutely super great. I get to work with people, provide direction and help them develop to reach the best. They challenge me, I am learning on many different levels. The obvious learning is that I am learning Thai by osmosis, but I can also live out my creative engineering drive. I have a management team, that I think looks after me. I have peers that challenge me, require me to learn new subjects and become proficient in them. This is great – time passes so unbelievably quickly everyday. Every evening I leave, the to-do pile in my head grows, but I also leave with a sense of accomplishment and meaning.
But it’s not all Mother’s Milk and Apple Pie, there is the Bangkok traffic – I mean manly traffic. Traffic that never lets up, no easing – “PermaCongestion”, “Hot Oatmeal Viscosity”. If you would actually try and crawl on your nipples flat on your stomach, you’d outrun any of the many Lamborghini’s I have seen here on the road – it is insane!
O.K., those of you who doubt me, you obviously have never been to Bangkok or at the very least have never set foot outside the airport. Still in doubt about the traffic situation, here is photographic proof.
It all starts with the mopeds that are zooming and snaking through the congestions. They also set the smell floor – [inhale] poorly combusted gasoline exhaust.
If you are in a car or one of the many expat vans then traffic in the morning looks like this to you.
At night, I tell my driver to just drop me at a BTS – Bangkok’s elevated tram – station. The tram get people quickly through town.The tram get people quickly through town. As you can see the traffic is the same. The main difference is that vehicles have turned the lights on now.
But there are also quiet areas in this city. This back alley reminded me of the crime scene from the first Batman movie where Jack Nicholson as the Joker asks the small boy, whose parents he’s just murdered:”Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” Fortunately, that didn’t happen to me and I as able to take this image undisturbed.
Okeydokey, you have just gotten a little more insight into our life here in Bangkok. Thus far it’s been a great experience and I see lots of opportunity for the future.
Until the next
Cheers Yours Markus \m/