It’s hard to find a more pro-Bangkok apologist than I. Many people love Bangkok, but few have lived here for as long as I have and not grown bored. If you’ve read this site before or listened to my podcast, you’ll know that I still find it endlessly fascinating. When I first came here I arrived with my friend Mark, both of us ready for 4 months of adventure – but after 12 days he’d had enough.
I don’t write that to poke fun at Mark, but it is a perfect example of how Bangkok just is not for everyone. And I get it – it’s noisy and dusty and confusing and maddening and clogged with traffic, and large swaths of it are not very pretty. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but it’s also a vibrant, exciting, diverse, place full of interesting things to do, places to see, and people to meet.
Overall, I think the positives outweigh the negatives, and I have no plans to leave for somewhere else. I look forward to raising my son here, in a place that’s miles more culturally diverse, interesting and amenable to adventures, shenanigans and travel than where I grew up.
But I have to say – especially considering my role as a father – in recent years my “Bangkok 4-eva” mindset has started to erode. The sheen is coming off, and it’s due to one thing – air pollution.