Ramkamhaeng rush again, heading back from Ramkamhaeng University to Chidlom some 12km that would stretch your patience to the maximum if you were to take the bus but this time I’m on the boat, one of the most efficient ways of getting from A to B in Bangkok and the last remaining evidence of Bangkok’s former dependence on waterways. Though I reduce traveling time from roughly 2hours down to 35min. by feeling rather like “Pirates of the Caribbean” than Keaunu Reeves in “Speed” . So what a great opportunity utilize the time to grab my netbook, shelter it against sudden splashes of blackened water and write my first blog entry.
As I said it’s my first entry and I’m writing it while speeding down Klong Saen Saeb (Klong is Thai and stands for canal) somewhere parallel to New Phetburi Road to get back to work on time without relying on my beloved Gary Fisher bike. During these rather rare occasions of using public transport instead of cycling, it is the only time I can get things done between commuting on a bicycle, teaching English and German, class preparations, classes as a student and university assignments. My classes are scattered throughout Bangkok’s Central Business District with 3-5 appointments a day, a time schedule laid out to and dependent on a transportation of utmost time efficiency this marks a real challenge. Reading these lines it is as if this is what my life is currently all about, leaving home between 6.45 and 8am and getting back home somewhere between 8.30 and 9.30pm and in between speeding through Bangkok’s massive traffic jams like a bike messenger, squeezing myself through crowds, seeing people getting in and out of the lift on every single floor before I finally reach my destination on the 10th, 17th, or 24th, a rapid and repetitive transition between air-conditioned, hyper modern office towers, condominiums, mega malls, coffee shops, hospitals and lecture halls and the steaming heat of a tropical megacity with its infinite amount of energy. It is this energy I’ve been absorbing and changing into positive life-energy that keeps me going 7 days a week. It is what I wanted to do since I was a 10th grader in a German high school somewhere in upcountry Germany, escaping the boredom of countryside Germany and nosediving into one of craziest places on Earth Bangkok.
Though on the surface it seems to me I’m a workaholic chasing after appointments (which I am and have been for a number of years now) there is still more to it. Beneath that surface of a hectic lifestyle there is more to it when it comes to living in Bangkok, as there is more behind the surface of Bangkok which many people see only as a massive, overcrowded, polluted hell-hole.
My life has become a reflection of Bangkok itself, it is dynamic, fast, never settled, stable or linear, it is restless and hungry for more, more energy, more life… Like Bangkok my life is a massive construction site with many projects going on, striving for improvement and success like multiple frontlines that either have to be held or have to be advanced, be it economically (my financial wellbeing), educational and professional (self development, academic degrees, etc.), health (time for sport and time to wind down), privately and socially (time for friends, relationships) and last but not least intellectual stimulating (living one’s creativity and passion) which raises or lowers the bar of happiness. As there’s a myriad of things squeezed into one single urban conglomerate so are these things squeezed into my 24hours of Bangkokian life. A life in a city that inspires and seems to be abound with opportunities, connecting the dots, networking, using one’s skills, aspirations, hard work, fun and meeting the right people along the way in a city like this has given me the feeling that anything goes. Life and the relentless flow of thoughts have been accelerating to a degree that life in Bangkok is outpacing my capacity to keep up with all the things to reflect on my steps towards self-realization. I know that we (my two best friends Daniel and Christin and I) are on the right track and we have reached far and beyond what I ever dreamed of but we have to keep moving and it is time now for me to live my passion by starting to keep those memories of our journey by writing so I will finally be able to sit down, rest and reflect surrounded by the torrents of Asian city life.