Once upon a time is how many adventures begins. This one starts now (or well it started Tuesday after many preparations). Day Zero. Time is reset as I leave Danish airspace destination Nomadic life, first stop Bangkok.

The flights are turbulent. First one to Amsterdam is physically turbulent as we pass through a major rain storm. Second one from ‘Dam to Bangkok is emotionally turbulent. This is huge. Hours earlier I said goodbye to my two best friends. Now raw electricity shoots through my veins. Goose bumps. Heart races. Into the Wild, the wild unknown. Leave it all behind. New life. Reset time.

Bangkok – alien in Ramkanphaeng

Immigration and luggage is a breeze and I find my good friend Kai – he worked with us on the Malaysia and Borneo expedition in June. We get a taxi to his suburb Ramkanphaeng. Part of the fun and challenge of travel is knowing nothing. This is at the extreme end of that scale! Ramkanphaeng is a large uni suburb, mostly students or people who work at the uni. Kai speaks very good English but no one else does and everything is written in Thai. For 3 days I do not meet any other tourists. Not a single whitefella actually. I cannot read and only Kai understands me. I eat at the street kitchens where I point to food and handover money not understanding the price (does not matter anyway is lunch is something like 30 bath = 1 US dollar). This is actual true Bangkok life, no touristy Khao San Road from hell and it is incredible fascinating to experience this. More Ramkanphaeng stories to come, here are a few snapshots from the streets and markets.

Main road of Ramkanphaeng, add some rain and this is Blade Runner! Very busy street, even more so at night.

Ramkanphaeng Road

Fresh food markets, a symphony of colours and smells:

Ramkanphaeng Fresh Food Market

A typical street kitchen on the small road where I stayed. This is away from the main road and a charming neighbourhood of real life.

Ramkanphaeng street kitchen

My Hood – kitchens and shots on the street where I stayed.

Ramkanphaeng street scene

Randomness

  • As I am ordering lunch from a street kitchen using my special pointing technique a guy asks me in English “oh you know and like Thai food”. “Yes”, I say surprised, “Love it”. Turns out he is from the Philippines and when I reveal I am Danish he promptly speaks to me in Danish. He used to have a Danish girlfriend. Small world at times or weird coincidences surely!
  • I did spend a few hours in the city centre and saw Khao San Road which is hell on Earth. A disgusting terrible tourist trap backpackers from hell street of nothing but pubs, restaurants and shops pushing crap to tourists. Interesting to see, a completely different world to Ramkanphaeng.
  • Naturally as time is being reset some weird glitches occurs in the ‘Matrix’. In ‘Dam airport a young Brit two meters from me is arrested by the Police and he then promptly proceeds to regurgitate the drugs he is smuggling. On the plane to Bangkok I actually sit next to a couple from Finland named the Harkonens! (read Frank Herbert’s Dune).

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11 thoughts on “Bangkok.local

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  1. Al 10 years ago

    I'm going to Thailand next month so I'm looking forward to reading your Thai adventures and seeing your Thai pics for the next few weeks.

    1. Flemming Bo Jensen 10 years ago

      Thanks, will see if I can get something posted although the first few weeks here may be spent mostly settling in and adjusting to a new life and preparations of expeditions early next year.

  2. Tony Middleton 10 years ago

    It's great to read how your new life is going Flemming – all the best !

    cheers,

  3. truenorthmark 10 years ago

    Good luck Bo!

    Remember that most of your unsettled feelings will come from breaking a lifetime habit of a normal routine. I had a similar experience although not as dramatic as yours, when I stopped working full time in 2006.

    Once I worked out that I was feeling unsettled because of trying to break a habit, I started settling down quite well.

    These days I just enjoy a cruisy lifestyle and I never want to go back to a 9-5 routine!

    Good luck mate and enjoy the spontaneity that will become normal in your life!

    Cheers,

    True North Mark!

    1. Flemming Bo Jensen 10 years ago

      Thanks Mark ! I actually gave up my 9-5 job (was more like 9 to 9) back in 2007 and haven't had a boring routine day ever since – so I am already used to a completely different lifestyle.

      Giving up my home and absolutely almost everything I own is new though 🙂

  4. truenorthmark 10 years ago

    No doubt Bo…quite unsettling I would imagine!

  5. jamiepatersonphotogr 10 years ago

    Hi Flemming,

    Great post. It certainly would be exciting starting out with a completely clean new slate. I love the fact that someone in Thailand was able to speak to you in Danish. That certainly must've blown you away!

    Jamie

    1. Flemming Bo Jensen 10 years ago

      Cheers Jamie, it was stunning in itself to meet someone who spoke English but when he switched to Danish I could not help but laugh! Very cool Philippino guy!

  6. jamiepatersonphotogr 10 years ago

    So does that mean you eat there more often now because he did that? I've heard that Danish is quite a hard language to learn so I guess that makes it even more impressive.

    1. Flemming Bo Jensen 10 years ago

      Heh, this was in Bangkok, where I stayed for 3 days last week, I am now in Chiang Mai so I doubt I will run into the Danish speaking Phillipino again 🙂 I think the sounds of the Danish language is the hardest to learn, awfully soft and monotone.