Friday, June 12, 2009

Athens and Bangkok

When we fondly think of moments, special places, a special athmosphere, music often plays an important part.

A few years ago, I spent a week in Athens. After the week passed, I had to admit that I loved Athens. I actually think Athens is not too dissimilar from Bangkok!

Why did I love Athens? It was not a very pretty city at all...

Yet, this city was alive! People were out during the day and especially at night. They went out drinking, walking and they were loud. The typical Mediterranean lifestyle I suppose.

There was more to this place though. First, there were the dogs. Stray dogs, like in Bangkok. They were aggressive though, not like the lazy soi dogs in BKK.

The city was also incredibly dirty. Rubbish everywhere, homeless people and many chaotic building sites, much like Bangkok in fact.

Then, the culture. Greece, just like Thailand is at the crossroads of culture. I dont want to give history lessons here (others can do that for me if they wish) but I could feel a particular mix of cultures.

When I went to a market, it could have been Lebanon, Libya or Sicily...but it was Athens.

The cityscape was similar too at times. Whenever I drive down Rama IV from Hua Lampong train station towards Si Phraya, I feel reminded of the big road up from the coast into the city in Athens...many lanes, a lot of traffic, a lot of chaos, many buses, dirty fa├žades of shop houses...

And then there was the music. The moment which I will forever keep in my mind is driving down from the city to our hotel on the coast in a taxi. The open windows let us feel the warm evening breeze on our skin and the music playing in the taxi gave this scene a romantic touch.

I remember this moment because just before, I was listening to my favourite look tung (Thai country music) singer Tai Oratai. There's a song which reminded me of the Greek taxi song, and suddenly I felt like I was there in that taxi driving down the Greek highway three years ago.

I dont know the song that was played in that taxi, but I remember the feeling, and that's what's the same when listening to Tai Oratai. Both styles are extremely melancholic, dramatic and sad.

At the airport in Athens, I randomly bought a CD by a Greek singer, named Natassa Theodoridou, and luckily, the style matched the taxi song! I'll give a link to one of her songs.

1 comment:

Prkmk said...

and Greek people has the longest lastname as Thai people!