I got myself lost the other day killing time. I wandered a central Bangkok neighborhood, not touristy at all, figuring I could walk the soi (small street) around the block and end up where I started. Not so. First, I spaced out, peering into people's houses and workplaces (off a dark alley, I saw a silkscreen shop where a handful of guys were making what appeared to be knock-off Mickey Mouse t-shirts, then a seamstress shop where a half dozen women were making navy blue work pants). Then I got more distracted snapping photos of back alley murals and graffiti, including one that I'm told is a grade school or high school logo converted into a tag (and crossed ouy, apparently, by a student at a rival school).
By the time, I refocused on my route, I realized I was at a dead end, at the very end of a long soi in a neighborhood few farang (foreigners) have probably gone. A bunch of 10-year old boys approached, trying out their English. They led me through one of the boy's houses and out the other side to a rubble strewn vacant lot. Gesticulating wildly, one eager kid conveyed that straight ahead and "To the right!!!!" was the way back. I gave a heartfelt "korp khun krap" along with the wai gesture of respect (which I think is usually mainly used by younger people addressing elders) and followed his directions, stopping occasionally to respond to a dozen or so shouted "Good Byes" and much giddy waving.
at 2:29 AM