It’s my second time in Bangkok (first time was back in 2006). The first thing that hits you is the smell. Vehicle exhaust, sewage, cooking meat, sweating bodies, fermenting fruit… a cacophony of odours. And the monks. I never get tired of the monks.
Surprisingly, it’s much harder to eat vegetarian here than I expected. You’d think in a Buddhist country, meat would be the exception. At a bar one night, a friend’s coworker (who is Thai) asked me why I don’t eat meat. I half-jokingly said “Because I’m Buddhist.” (Which is partially true. My mostly vegetarianism includes a few other reasons). The Thai girl laughed, as if I’d said something nonsensical. “I’m Buddhist too!” she said. “I eat meat.”
Such is the mashup that is Thailand.