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/


At The Cursed Car Graveyard

Last weekend, a buddy of mine and I went to a place south of Don Mueang. A place that is near the Tiger Shrine. We read about this place in the travel section of a Singaporean blog, suggesting this be a good place for courageous Singaporean travelers, who were looking for something unusual. So we drove and got there as it just stopped raining, however also as the sun was setting down. In addition, the people living on the premises were not too enthused to have two Farangs walking around, taking pictures, neither were the pack of dogs claiming the space, too. We ended up shooting from the outside. Still it should warrant a second visit in before lunch some time.

On the corner of the lot where the car graveyard is located is the Tiger Shrine – one cannot miss it. Interestingly, it appears as if these Tigers get replaced every so often and the Tigers figurines that have served their purpose then find a new purpose strewn around the car wrecks, pretending to besiege the wrecks. a little weird. The whole place has a cool vibe, no doubt about that. This is one of a few cars parked and forgotten at the graveyard. Nature has really taken its sweet time to over grow everything and to a certain extend protect the vehicles, too.

One of the older vehicles is a two truck, one just like I had one when I was little. And of course a proper tow truck MUST be red, same as this one.The tow-truck is right behind a motorcycle taxi driver station. The truck is covered in all sorts of trash and when I remember the stench, I think the truck was also used as a big green natural toilet . And that concludes this little trip to the cursed car graveyard – definitely worth the trip. However, it appears as if the graveyard is not quite cursed enough to prevent being built upon in the not too distant future. One condo is nearing completion on an adjacent lot and the advertisements for the next phase are already up.

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/