When I was warned that Bangkok is very hot and very sticky, I didn’t realize that the implication was that the city is full of cars built in the 1980s and running on diesel, coupled with 95 degree temperatures and a spectacular collection of very polluted waterways. So the humidity is not, shall we say, all natural.
But all of that was bearable – even wearing a long skirt and long sleeves to visit the temples and the palace in the city (and to develop a new level of respect for the ladies of Me’ah She’arim). Nothing that can’t be solved by two cold showers daily, Along with a few cans of Coke and some coconut ice cream (my newest obsession).
Anyways, my main religious experience in Bangkok took place not in a temple, but on the pavement. I have yet to find out if this is true for the entire country, but what I’ve seen of Thai drivers so far rivals what I know of Chile and Italy, and what I imagine to be true of several other places that I’ll leave unnamed (I have friends from most of them, and I’d like to stay friends).
Simply put, crossing the street in Bangkok allows a person to really iron out how they feel about god, and how god himself feels about a person at any given moment. That, along with a bit of luck and a lot of confidence, is the only thing that will get a person across the street in one piece in Bangkok.
Other than that, my time in Bangkok consisted of visiting the sites, testing my stomach with a few street food stalls, and hopping around on diesel-fueled water taxis that may or may not pass western safety standards. But on the bright side, I do now believe in a god, if only because there are no tire tracks running across my body.