Wednesday Walk: walking along Yaowarad road and mind drifting.
This is a continuation of my visit to Chinatown several days ago. I arrived there by bus around lunchtime so Yaowarad road had not fully woken up yet; the busy activities and crowds would be appearing in the evening. Street food stalls and restaurants would be open until 2am so they wouldn’t be getting up early to serve breakfast. Lunchtime would see local people coming out for their shopping and food. The evening would be tourists’ time to explore Chinatown and have their barbecue seafood.
Not many people paid attention to the changes of facades along Yaowarad road. In the past, most buildings were about two or three levels. Over the years, bigger and taller buildings replaced rows of shophouses. Only the rich merchants like those gold shops could afford to have building permits for reconstructing the old buildings. There were no regulations on the aesthetic requirements for reconstruction of period buildings over a hundred years old. So the beauty and harmony of architectural design had all but disappeared during the last fifty years. Nowadays there are laws to protect or conserve old buildings but civil servants hardly appreciated this concept and had not bother to educate the public in this issue.
I was quite surprised to see workers or manual labourers working with heavy loads these days. So, the gap of education between the haves and haves-not still persisted to these days. The daily wage for such hard work is pecked to the minimum wage according to the law. This has helped in keeping costs down for employers so most workers are composed of immigrants such as Burmese. I would’ve thought that modern gadgets and tools would help in lessening the stress of these manual work. Then the quality of poor people’ lives would become more pleasant.
I loved to see the old gold shops with gold jewelry hanging in their cabinets. I used to wonder how we could be certain that the whole gold necklace was made of gold! So, customers usually flocked to shops with strong reputation and known as famous among rich customers. I only trust gold jewelry and coins from my old friends’ shops and I had helped friends making at least twenty percent profits in gold the old days. Unfortunately, none gave me the advisory commissions though two persons treated me to nice Japanese dinners. So, I stopped advising friends on gold investment years ago as the manipulation was just atrocious.
One gold vendor told me a story about an elderly Chinese man who would be hanging around his gold shop to seize the opportunity to make about ten percent profit every week. This old man made enough profit to pay for his food every week. Then he would buy the same amount of gold at lower price and waited for his ten percent profit! I guessed he wouldn’t be able to make predictable profits at present. If he had bought BTC five years ago and sold at its peak, he wouldn’t have to hang around the gold shop everyday. Most Chinese people never heard of cryptocurrency. It took me some months to educate my rich old friends about crypto and they did make a lot of profit from their investment. This time I required some commissioned and that money fed me and my cats for several months. Now, the bear was too fierce!
I knew that some rich Chinese people and tycoons did buy lots of BTC five years ago. They must have had very good financial advisers as they own big telecommunications companies. There is such a big contrast between the old Chinatown and the modern financial district of Bangkok. Two dimensions of reality existing on the ends of the same pole. I wondered who wound survive the next financial collapse.
The old Chinese vendors continued their grandparents’ businesses. Those who imported dry mushrooms, tea leaves, dry fruits and nuts still selling them same stuff after all these years. The family noodle shops still opened and offered homemade fish balls; some still made fresh noodles everyday. Without these ordinary hard working people, most local people would be starving and losing their weights.
I loved to observe old Chinese people as they made me connected to my childhood and Chinese grandparents. I felt concerned that they were ignorant of the issues in the real world and how they would cope with sudden changes. But had they known these facts, they wouldn’t know how to handle the information and would lead to panic and stress. I would scan around for people who would be interested in global issues like plandemics and ‘die suddenly’, or the hidden fact that the military government had created huge amount of debts via the IMF and World Bank. That’s why they followed the ‘lockstep’ procedures and vaxxed about 90% of the population. Several cremation sites had cracked and fell to pieces due to heavy loads.
I really have to practice equanimity more often; I got stressed out when hearing that the elderly neighbour just got a free vaxx while having her holiday in Laos. In a few years, Chinatown would have changed drastically as there would be less shops and vendors around due to vaxxed impact to their health. Perhaps this was the eventual cycle of Life.
The Buddha told his monks that Buddhism would last only 5000 years and there would be cataclysmic events which would wipe out most people on the planet. About one-third would survive the horrific apocalypse. We have about 2400 years left before the grand disaster. I just hope that Divine intervention and compassion would help us to avert the path to this disaster. Lots of good vibes are needed and spiritual lifestyles are important to future survival. I continue to live mindfully and stay in the present as much as I could each day.
Wishing you peace, good health and prosperity.
Stay strong and cheerful.