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Friday, July 25, 2008


Finding Little India

Because I live such a long way out of town and it takes me ages to get there I usually like to do any special shopping on the days I go to school. I finish school at 1 pm so I have time to do a little before I get the train and bus back.

I have an online friend in Delhi who recommended a few Indian movies for me. I got hold of the first one at the IT Mall at Panthip Plaza. This was 'The Namesake', directed by Mira Nair who also made 'Monsoon Wedding'. Both are great movies but very different. My friend's recommendation of 'The Namesake' says we are on the same wavelength. I decided to seek out the other titles on her list.

I decided to go to Bangkok's Little India after school yesterday. It's just past Chinatown and I was told there's a DVD shop there. Two people told me to catch bus number 40 from outside the school in Asoke. 

I waited at the bus stop and after a while bus number 40 came along. I got on. When the conductor came to collect my fare, I told her 'Parhurat'. That's the name of the Little India area. But she shook her head and held up two fingers. 

'Rotmay song?' (Bus number two?) I asked. She nodded. I got off at the next stop.

When bus number two came along I got on. Once again, when I tried to pay my fare the conductor shook her head. She went and talked to the driver, came back and told me two more different bus numbers. I got off at the next stop.

When a bus came along for one of the numbers I'd been told, the conductor was at the door so I asked her 'Bai Parhurat mai?' (Do you go to Parhurat?) She told me no and gave me two more different bus numbers. I decided to give up on the buses.

There were a few motorcycle taxis not far from the bus stop. I approached them and asked, 'Bai Parhurat tao rai? (How much to go to Parhurat?)

'200 baht' one said. Now I expect that I can get an air-conditioned taxi to Parhurat for less than that. This guy thinks I am a tourist and is offering me a special price. I decided to not take him up on his generous offer. Instead I went home.

Today I took a day off from my studies. I took my usual bus and train but stayed on the train a little longer. I got off the train at Hua Lampong, the last station. It is right on the edge of Chinatown. I took a walk through Chinatown. It is quite big and quite interesting. You can buy almost anything there if you know where to look. I took a few photos as I walked. Got lost twice and found my way again both times. After about an hour or more of walking I eventually found Parhurat Road. There were a few Indians in the area but I still didn't find any shops selling Indian movies.

I kept wandering around the area for an hour or more and eventually someone told me where to find the movie shop. I bought all six movies on my list and the Devdas soundtrack CD. Not as cheap as Panthip Plaza but still quite a good price. The woman was ready to make further recommendations but I decided to wait for my friend's advice. 

After that I was ready for lunch. Found a vegetarian restaurant and had a thali. I decided to take a bus back to Hua Lampong station and I noticed one of the buses on the route was bus number 40.

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