Enjoy The View

I am picking up here on my earlier post. Why? – Because I was very lucky and got access to an apartment where the building cleaners were hard at work and thus you – my dear readership – get to enjoy a few more up close and personal shots of these courageous workers.They use a suction cup to position themselves on the smooth facade. Then it is sponging, cleaning, squeegeeing, repeat…at an adjacent location. Some guys are still way up high.

While others are way down low already. There did not appear to be a pattern. One would think that they should move down as a team, as to avoid drops from higher up reaching lower parts that have already been cleaned. This was not the case here….think more like freestyle, like the jazz players among the building exterior cleaners.

Some worked in small clusters, minding their own business.  Others enjoyed the solitude and quiet a job like that affords.

Cool, exterior building cleaner, also a career path – definitely a unique one and an ice breaker for any cocktail party conversations.

Stay sharp and try to be good to a total stranger, regardless of his/her provenance…that’ll be a challenge for some.

Cheers Markus \m/




A Vertical Career

Whoohoo, it is Spring Cleaning in Bangkok. The tall buildings are being washed in the outside….by hand….by people….in climbing gear….suspended on loooooong ropes….from the roof way up above.

It is quite spectacular watching these guys gong about their work in lofty altitude. Part of me envies them. But cleaning the Sides that face between South and West in Bangkok has got to he a nightmare.

They are exposed most of the day to the sun and they get the light and heat reflected off the glass and aluminum facade. I imagine it to be incredibly hot.

I can imagine that this would likely a lot more fun in Frankfurt or Manhattan at this time of year.

Stay sharp and keep your eyes open for the extraordinary.

Cheers Markus \m/

Brian, Meet Gear-Wheel Alley

Another friend of mine is in Bangkok for work. He hasn’t been to the kingdom in close to 20 years, but he is an avid reader of this blog. Since he is also a motorhead, he picked up on my recurring entries on visits to Gear-Wheel Alley. Thusly, he asked me for a tour, since this neighborhood is something very unique to Bangkok. Of course I took him, it is probably my favorite place in Bangkok, if not Thailand.

We started with the Fiat, that brave little car….with as I found out now, a 2 cylinder Subaru engine in the back. Why? I have no idea. I opened the door and found besides a colony of ants another current resident, can you spot him?

Then we moved on to the transmission shops.

Brian, asked how people keep track of everything. They keep order and the sort according to whatever. I do now, that these shops can hook anybody up with any spare-part one might ever need. I also know that the work carried put on Gear-Wheel Alley is pretty hard labor, so hard that i am not sure many people would want to volunteer for it in the West. I freely admit, that I love going there, because I can decide to go there as an observer, I do not have to go there in order to make a living.

This shop is recycling metal parts. You can see these people there uncoiling generator and electric motor rotors. They fully disassembly transmission housings into all the different materials and then they throw each individual piece on the correct material pile.

Then of course, you also have shops that specialize in the disassembly, sorting and the refurbishing of transmissions. A few sois further down, the flicker of welding torches casts its shadows against narrow back alley walls.As we leave this back alley, we walk past scooters waiting for the shift end of their drivers – it is Saturday, everyone wants to go home, shower and relax.

I will close today’s entry with a young woman who – in a Dorian Gray-esque way – was very occupied with taking a selfie. After I took this photos, I offered to take a picture of her as well, which she gladly accepted. To me, a selfie is the perfect manifestation of either boundless self-centeredness or simply sad loneliness. I have hard time watching someone not being able to ask a fellow citizen to take a picture.Okeydokey, that is that. Stay sharp and be good to your fellow planet-dwellers, the vast majority of them are very decent.

Cheers Markus \m/

Sidewalk Beauty

I walked (again) about town. By now I actually keep my eyes open, which is probably because I text less than the people 20yrs my junior. And because I have my eyes open, I see stuff. Like this flower which grew from underneath a construction fence and opted to grow on the “other side”. Remarkably, there is natural beauty growing on the sidewalk on Sukhumvit. Nature rules.

Alright?! Well stay sharp then.

Markus \m/

I’m Walking….

…through the streets of Bangkok on a Tuesday afternoon. I feel my time is running out in Bangkok. And while I am happy about that, I am also looking at it with a small sad eye…..and yes, I hate to admit to that. But this was our home base for a long time and this time is running out. So, I am walking through Bangkok with this knowledge. I see the sometimes funny, sometimes dull, but always interesting graffitis.

And then I see one of the reasons, why I am happy to leave from here.

The insane traffic, that local take for granted, because don’t know any different. They don’t know that there are other big cities that have found ways to manage traffic much more efficiently; that traffic is indeed manageable. And, yet, Bangkok traffic is a nightmare. So, the traffic I will absolutely not miss. I will not miss the pollution. I will not miss the noise – the noise that never stops.

Having said that, I say:”Stay sharp”

Cheers Markus \m/

The Joy Of Having Joe In My Life – Uppest And Closest Harbour Tour

Finally, last week, we rented a small long tail boat with a toothless capt’n to drive us around the harbour along Chao Phraya River. Now, here’s the thing. In Thailand the view on some things is a lot more casually than in other places. And thus, we were able to get some shots that would have simply been impossible or would have been only possible by jumping through countless hoops, which would have taken away all the fun and spontaneity.

We set off shortly after sunrise and drove upstream along some undeveloped part of the river bank. We rode until we arrived at this old rusty factory.

Then we cruised around a bit more only to get very, very close to a ship sitting very high in the water – apparently no load on-board. This offered some very unique angles and brought the size of these vessels into perspective.

Depth scale on the bow of the ship. Bow with Anchor.

Being really close and low at the dolphin nose bow on the shipBeautiful, the sun is kissing the Bangkok port “Good Morning sweet heart, rise and shine.”Anchor dangling above us. If the anchor would have been lowered, however controlled, we would have been bathing at best.

After that we headed back to the Klong Toei pier and the city presented itself squeaky clean, like a five-year old in his sunday school sailor outfiit, pomade (probably a Dapper Dan Man) in his hair and the extra shiny shoes (his friends usually make fun of).

And, yes we have reached the finish line of this post and the series.

Sayonara and stay sharp

Yours Markus \m/