Wednesday, January 23, 2013

We Love Bankruptcy

          Bangkok can get overrated real easily when you live and work in the metropolis or uptown in Sukhumvit. The struggle I face in making hangouts with friends something inspiring. Because, Q: what is uninspiring? A: meals at some hip and expensive restaurant, an overdose of food pornography that'll end up an obnoxious Facebook album, cam-whoring, a stroll through the brand names, and probably another blockbuster at a first class theater. (Don't even let me get started about 3D, the gateway drug to shit storytelling in film making.) It's all unoriginal. Boring. Mainstream. Uninspiring. Who can even afford to keep this charade up? Fortunately, the perception that this is all Bangkok has to offer is only an illusion.
          It takes some curiosity, some venturing out into the outskirts, a misplaced sense of risk and a raging hunger for creativity. The ingredients to having a Bangkok adventure.

. . . . . . . . . . 
          Last Friday afternoon, geared up with heavy-duty basketball shoes, my painter's overalls, 2 cameras, a packed utility backpack,  and a snapback, I headed out to meet Clinton and Namwan at Bangna. The three of us had been chatting about this photoshoot for Clinton's senior picture/exploration of an unfinished 30-story building for a week or more. It occurred to me that this would be an adventure to go all out on the previous Wednesday when Clinton advised wearing sturdy shoes because of the hazardous things that would be on the ground. His warning was entirely called for. We had to creep on construction debris and wild branches to get to the structure.

Ninja time.

         The sky-scraping concrete skeleton looked like it had been on its way to becoming a condominium but decided to be a gritty street art museum instead. Good call. We all fell in love that day. With the art on the walls. So vibrant and stunning. And so intelligent and rebellious.

Reminds me of the song, Closer to the Edge.
Business attire.
"It's a fact: our risk calculation device in our brain isn't fully developed yet," said Namwan the psych major. 
So welcoming.
Her dynamics.
Interview session for a documentary.  He's either explaining plate tectonics or disc jockeying. I can't remember which one it was.
Look, I got creative here with arrangements.
This Would Make A Great Cover Photo.jpeg <-- actual filename
"Dead End"

          I loved shooting Clinton and Namwan here so much because it's like  freezing the moment of them in their natural environment. I feel bad for the other seniors in Clinton's class or the ones who will be next to his profile in the yearbook. Their senior picture will have nothing on his, [said the photographer of Clinton's senior picture]. But really, I highly doubt anybody else's will be as authentic and therefore beautiful as his. We didn't pose for pictures that day. We lived them. 

. . . . . . . . . . .
          When we retraced our steps and emerged from the woods back into civilization, we caught the attention of a madman. (Not trying to be poetic there.) He followed us for quite a distance along Bangna Trad, even after we made it pretty obvious we wanted nothing to do with him. Our successful desperate move to shake him off our tracks was pit-stopping at a 7-Eleven and then making a run for it to Central Bangna when he wasn't paying attention. I swear the cashiers cheered at our exit.
         After such a raw day out, we then sat in air conditioning, filling our thirsts and speaking our minds out. Inspiring.

Clinton exhibiting Post Adventure-Syndrome (PAS).
Namwan's sweet obsessions.

. . . . . . . . . . 
And we all agree that this one is the winner: 

Friday, January 4, 2013


          Let's be honest. We all knew the world wasn't going to end on the 21st of December (although some of us might have wanted it to... sorry to disappoint). I actually wouldn't have minded though if the world did get swallowed up like a jawbreaker by some cute giant galactic creature - my interpretation of an apocalypse - but then again I kind of really want to see Paramore, Sleeping With Sirens, and Pierce the Veil this February, and also become a successful magazine editor after graduating from university... so thanks, whomever it concerns, for giving us earthlings a few more years.

          And besides the "pretty good" things to come, a few have already arrived. I didn't have myself a fetch New Years at some rooftop party, but I did have an epic adventure around the city with friends on the 29th and celebrate 2 special milestones yesterday with some very special people. 
          For me, 2012 ended with what I had begged for throughout the year: internal peace. And I can deduce it to two causes. I stayed home this season. And people I love came back.