Back to Bangkok
I liked Bangkok much more after having visited a second time. We toured the usual sites like the Royal Palace. During my first visit, I was exhausted and couldn’t get any sleep. With my second visit, I had the benefit of rest.
Bangkok is teeming with life. This time, I appreciated that. The most surreal experience was taking in a 3D showing of Beowulf on a giant IMAX screen. The digitally animated recreations of Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, and the sexually charged innuendo were too much in 3D. I laughed and talked throughout the movie about how ridiculous this whole experience was. Perhaps I was the only person in the theater familiar enough with Western culture to appreciate how bizarre the incident was and to question from where this monstrosity of a movie came.
Some other interesting bits:
I ran outside in Bangkok—a tough thing to do considering the heat and pollution. I ran at a huge park by the Royal Palace. During one of my laps, I witnessed two homeless men fighting; they were pulling hair and biting each other while a small fire blazed beside them. Very suddenly, they stopped right in the middle of their fight. All of the casual onlookers stopped moving. People on bikes braked to a halt. Picnicking families stopped eating. I freaked out, because my headphones prevented me from hearing what was happening. I stopped running, took out my headphones, and listened. It was the National Anthem and homage to the revered King of Thailand. The respect for the King is so entrenched in society that even two homeless men will stop mid-fight to pay their respects.