We have been here for a little over a week, and I’ve been slow to start photographing in earnest. Instead of exploring the city with my camera on my own, we have been settling in at the Embassy, we’ve moved to the permanent apartment and begun to set it up, and we’ve done some shopping; meanwhile, I’ve also started Thai language lessons and yoga. Which is not to say that I haven’t photographed at all; in fact, I’ve already joined one of the photography clubs in the city. It’s just that I haven’t photographed a lot yet (and what I have photographed has not necessarily been all that sophisticated. Sometimes I’m still a six-year-old.)
There are a few recurring themes so far. First is the sheer quantity of food vendors. They are everywhere, at all hours of the day, especially in the area where I live.
|Admittedly, I’m not always sure what the food is.|
The other thing that is everywhere are massages. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a massage parlor in the center of town or anyplace else the tourists frequent.
Generally, the massage spas are legit, but some of them aren’t. How can you tell? If there is a mix of younger and older ladies in matching shirts sitting outside, and they show you a menu card with items like “foot massage” and “traditional Thai massage,” and you can see people getting massages inside through the front window, you know you’re in good hands.
Conversely, if you can’t see what’s going on inside, and the young girls (always young girls, not older ladies) out front show you a menu card where the first item on the list is “ball massage and hand job“, then it’s best not to go in.
Next: more early impressions.