Bangkok has the most modern shopping malls – probably – in the world. Siam Paragon, for example, is the most photographed mall in the world and Emporium – well that is just a great mall. We will also officially be inaugurating the tallest building in all of Thailand – MahaNakon on 29 August. And Siam Icon – just down the road from my home – will be the tallest and ultramodern building at the river front anywhere in Asia. And of course, there is going to be the 6-star hotel across the river.
But Bangkok still has a more traditional and basic side.
Street food, pop-up stores and bars, blind singers on the sidewalk, lottery ticket vendors, a guy selling plants out of his hand-drawn cart, hawkers selling everything from fresh fruit, meat, meals to whatever you can imagine.
Among that crowd is “ice man”. Everyday he arrives with his motorcycle and trailer in the under-ground garage across from my home. I walk through there on the way to the boat.
He delivers the ice to the foodcourt booths nearby. The ice is piled high on his trailer under canvas bags preventing it from melting too fast in the hot, humid Bangkok air.
The guy’s job is certainly not something to aspire to: delivering the ice to the iceboxes by shouldering the orders and carrying cold, ice-water dripping, wet bags on slick floor tiles to wherever the iceboxes are set up.
But yet, he does it with a smile!