Shopping: Back to Bangkok

Malls in big cities in Asia are ridiculous. They make American malls look like shameful pawns. 

This is a perfect example of traveling solo but not actually being solo. On my last day in Bangkok, I wanted to check out a mall whose floors were each decorated in a particular city. Rome, San Fran and London made their cameos, but NYC did not. Pile of rubbish.
Almost the real thing. Same same but different.

Tapping away at a computer in the lounge, a French dude who was also traveling solo struck up a conversation. While swapping info on the city, we also exchanged our day's itinerary. His plan sounded a bit lame: he was heading to the big mall near the sports center (MBK, for those who know). It's a decent enough mall with a massive food court. Words alone can't explain the sheer size of this place, but who wants to go to a normal Thai mall when they can go to one decked out in memorabilia from cities around the world? He decided to accompany me on my mall escapade.

Now, I know what you guys could be thinking: a mall? Really? Aren't there more cultural things to do other than shop? Well consider these:

1) What better useful cultural education than to see how Thai people are spending their time and money today rather than hundreds of years ago?

2) Actual shopping was not in the agenda.

3) Temples get old. Statues get old. Museums get old. At this point, I'd been kicking it for many months, hitting up something new everyday. I'm sure this sounds ridiculous to many of you, but it can get really tiring.

4) So, see #1 again.

Navigating to the mall was fun. I announced our stop was the next one. Down the stairs and looking around, I realize that I misjudged and we still have another km to walk. Luckily, my impromptu exploring buddy is totally cool with this despite the ridiculous heat and the sweat dripping from his forehead and would rather walk to get a better sense of the city. The area was quite a local, so all the delicious fruits in addition to the street foods were cheaper than normal and the hand gestures were even more pronounced when attempting to communicate. In moments like these, I think, This is why I travel. 

My travel buddy is entertaining. His English is quite understandable yet less than perfect. I would have not mentioned it had he not apologized a few times about it. He tries to teach me a few things in French. While I can sometimes fake the Spanish, my accent in French is horrendous. Absolutely awful. He was nice about it but said "Yes, you have a funny American accent when you say things. But it's ok! You're trying!" Thanks buddy.

After exploring for a few hours and taking goofy photos, it was time to go back. I never saw my new French friend again. One serving friend.

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