So cities, specifically New York and Philadelphia have always been my favorite, for a very sadistic reason. I get to be mean in those cities. Visiting New York is like the Purge to me. Someone gets too close? Shoulder Check them. Last seat on the subway? Ram all other competitors out of the way. Glare at each other for a bit and then get on with whatever you’re doing. There’s a sadistic joy to cities.
But aesthetically, what I love about cities is the absolute sensory overload. Between the smells of whatever food cart you’re passing, or the subway grates, the visuals of graffiti and skyscrapers, and the noise. Cities can keep the senses going on high alert for some time, to some it’s too much but for me it’s just right.
So living in Thailand now I was excited to see some cities, especially knowing that most of my life would be spent in some rural location that many can’t find on the map. So when I got the chance to go to the cities better believe I took it.
First stop. Bangkok. First reaction, why’s it so wide? The skyscrapers are alright but they don’t look that great. Not a noticeable skyline coming in. Going into NYC I always admired the skyline of Manhattan and Lady Liberty not so far off. But Bangkok didn’t really have that. Maybe I missed it. Check into the hostel. Whatever, it’s a hostel no need to bore readers with that. Okay next, get to the main mall. Let’s see what happening there. Where’s the subway? Nope, everyone uses the skyline. What the……. I don’t understand. Why take up space vertically when you could put the entire system underground? Next note, skyline is just two lines. One goes vertically and one goes horizontally. My mind was doing the “confused math woman” meme. My mind went to Manhattan again, thinking to my self that this is too much work. What would happen if someone wanted to get from Brooklyn to The Upper West Side, it’s a diagonal transit and it wouldn’t be possible with just two lines going in a plus sign. Did I like Bangkok? Maybe. I don’t know. It was a city and it was nice to check it out but I’m not rushing back and I certainly didn’t hold on to my Skyline card. (Still have my NYC metro card though.)
Next city was Chiang Mai, and I’m 90% sure I lost five years of my life and gave myself lung cancer in that city. Learning that the air in Chiang Mai is 4x worse than NYC air blew my mind. I couldn’t understand it. NYC literally smells awful, depending on your location but I’ve never left with my lungs hurting. But nevertheless Chiang Mai was memorable. Elephants and the first soul food I’ve had in months, and great times with friends. But again, I’m in no rush to go back. It didn’t impress me that much.
I can guarantee anyone when I go back to the states I will live in a city, New York to be specific. I work well in cities and it’s where I thrive. The constant stimuli is refreshing and something I need to thrive. While the cities here were interesting on first view they weren’t for me. I still have two years though so hopefully one of those cities will begin to grow on me.
*Disclaimer, if you love Thailand’s cities, good for you. I just don’t right now.