After two nights in our birthday hotel in Bangkok, we relocated to the impressive “White Palace Hotel” in the heart of Bangkok’s shopping district. During our travels we had assiduously avoided purchasing anything that wasn’t absolutely essential, saving ourselves (and the little room in our backpacks) for the many bargins to be had in Bangkok. This had seemed like an eminently sensible plan, until I remembered, within half an hour of hitting the streets, that I am a reluctant shopper at the best of times (unless I’m shopping for food or books). When shopping for clothes, I have the attention span of a preschooler. If I don’t find anything promising within an hour or so, I start to lose the ability to see individual items…everything starts to blend and merge, and a sense of futility rapidly takes hold.
For this reason, my preferred shopping style is to proceed directly to an area containing a few shops where I know, usually from past experience, that I am likely to find something. Ideally, the stock in such shops has already been well-selected especially for my tastes, and is displayed spaciously, so that my impatient eye can quickly scan the offerings, reducing the stress on my easily-tired brain.
These preferences unfortunately render me highly maladapted to cope with the shopping conditions in Bangkok. When I entered the popular MBK mall and saw corridors that stretched as far as my eye could see, my heart plummeted within seconds. As I inched my way through stall after stall of the same
crap stuff in Pratunam Market, dodging swarms of tuk-tuk’s, pink taxis and other shoppers, I just wanted to curl up in a foetal position. When Colin wanted to enter yet another shoe shop in search of size 12 shoes (this is ASIA for GODS SAKE), I basically became the nastiest succubus that was ever birthed in the darkest depths of hell.
While Colin’s energy and determination saw him come away with a tidy pile of clothing (for the transport of which we were forced to purchase a new piece of carry-on luggage), I attempted to distract myself from my aching feet by working on a photo essay dedicated to the mannequins of Bangkok’s markets. No doubt there are several possible psychoanalytic interpretations for my choice of subject, but I shall keep those that occur to me to myself and simply present a few mannequins, of especial beauty, for your viewing pleasure: