To kick off 2015 let's time travel back to 2014. This is Bangkok. The city is sinking into the flood lands it was built on. Someday soon the roads will be rivers. But that hasn’t stopped the expansion. Megacity. The exurban and suburban zones are nearly as dense as the city center. Building and rebuilding. Old and new structures competing for skyline. Some resemble robots. Some remain unfinished. The elevated Skytrain connects them all. Down below the infrastructure sags. Progress and tradition. Congestion edging towards permanent gridlock. None of the cars, buses, trucks, tuk-tuks, motorcycles, ferry boats, river taxis, scooters and bicycles move at all.
Most people wear hospital masks on the street, pulling them aside to slurp noodles or smoke a cigarette. The air is thick with humidity and sweat and smog and sex. Inside, everything is Megamall. Climate controlled consumption. Medical tourism. Sex tourism. Drug tourism. Displays telling you how to look and how to feel. Massive electronic billboards advertise for dental surgery. Written in Thai. In Chinese. In English. In Neon. Screens above and screens below. Reflections in the puddles, on the windows, in the eyes. Projections. Personalized. Customized. Individualized. Food. Fashion. Eye color. Politics. Products. Sex. Gender. This is Bangkok. - ZACKARY CANEPARI