Bangkok is an awesome city to live in. There are amazing temples, supermalls that would blow you away, a red-light district like nowhere else on Earth… It’s the capital of Thailand, roughly the same size as NYC and is home to the longest living monarch in the world. There really is never a dull moment… for instance my simple nighttime stroll around Lumphini Park, essentially the Central Park of Bangkok.
It’s mid-April, and the weather has been just stifling lately. It’s been in the high 90’s all week, but last night there was finally a “cool” 85 degree breeze. My friend, Tak, and I decided we would head out to the Central Park of Bangkok, Lumphini Park, and take a walk around the grounds. There have been massive protests in Bangkok, and the park has been “occupied” for nearly six months. I honestly couldn’t wait to check up on my protesters.
The walk from the train to the park was beautiful. The smells of Bangkok, particularly on a hot moist summer night, are truly an experience by themselves. It’s just like one cloud of scent after another wafting by as we walked down Silom to the park. We passed probably 80 street vendors in about 5 minutes—a random mix of thai street food, knock off designer clothing, as-seen-on-TV crap… Every now and then we would pass a spirit house stuffed with sweet smelling incense. Crossing the street to the park provided the obligatory helping of diesel fumes that pretty much ties together the Bangkok scent menagerie I’ve come to love.
The park is walled as you approach the entrance, and the walkway takes you under some thick trees that make the stroll a bit darker than it probably should be. Anyhow, I kind of liked the eerie vibe, and as my eyes adjusted I noticed a woman about 50 feet ahead of us walking around in a strange. As we drew closer, I could start to make out that she was in her 50s and wearing many layers of clothes. When we came within about 15 feet of her, I noticed she kind of bent down to the ground. I couldn’t quite tell if she was sitting or picking something up… it was just too dark.
I started to get excited at this point. Being the naïve idiot that I am, I actually thought maybe she was performing some mysterious Buddhist ritual. With mounting curiosity I walked a bit quicker… she was on my left and Tak was on my right… the sidewalk was barley big enough for the three of us… It was so dark… I was really concentrating on trying to make out what she was doing as we passed when…
BAM… warmth on my ankle and the sound of splashing water. It honestly took me a couple seconds to process exactly what had just occurred. Then, like a big, gross, warm smack in the face… I realized that I had just been blasted with piss ricochet from this woman as she looked right at me. I can’t even begin to explain the feelings going through my mind. I was immediately repulsed and grossed out, secondly I was violated… like Law and Order SVU– violated where you just want Mariska Hargitay to hold you against her bosom and tell you it is going to be okay. I was also outrageously confused.
She saw us coming! She heard us coming! She actually waited until we were just a couple feet away. Who does that? As we kept walking away from her, I could hear the stream continue to splash against the cold hard cement. Tak, who at this point should have been thanking me for blocking the splatter, was just being a complete jerk… laughing and refusing to come near me in this… my time of need. What had started out warm and mysterious quickly became cold and disgusting as the breeze whisked across my glistening calf.
In a mad-dash / feat-of-awkward-speed-walking-amazingness that only a 6’3” male who has just been peed on can master, I made it to the park bathroom where I managed to do a preliminary cleaning of the ground zero that was my left ankle.
And it was there… in the warm Lumphini Park bathroom… with my leg precariously hoisted up into the sink… that I realized just how far from my home in Sarasota, FL I was… and I smiled.
Question: What’s the grossest thing that has ever happened to you while traveling?