By Steve Fisher
I’m in Bangkok for a week and I hope to do 2-3 posts on local life here during and shortly after my trip. I lived in Bangkok and Hua Hin (a beach town a few hours south of the city) for about a year before Vietnam and have also traveled extensively in Thailand. Bangkok is one of my favorite cities in the world and I try to get back here once or twice a year.
Thoughts on lifestyle design: creating a great daily routine
I typically travel between two and four months a year, and before each journey friends often wish me a great “holiday”. While I sincerely appreciate the kind words, I don’t think of any of my trips as vacations. Mostly, I’m just doing my work and other regular activities in a different place.
If we think about it, for most of us, life is full of a very large number of regular days and a much smaller number of holidays and other special days. So to my mind, what we do on the typical regular day is much more important than how we spend relatively rare special days. I try to create an appealing everyday life and work style that I have no desire to escape from with holidays and vacations. I care a great deal about the shape of my regular days, and don’t worry that much about what I’m doing for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, my birthday etc. (I think that these festive occasions are actually often a source of unhappiness and disappointment, because of the huge, frequently unsatisfied expectations built up around them.)
Whether I’m in Saigon or Bangkok or Barcelona, and whether it’s a weekday or a weekend or Christmas, my typical day is in many ways the same. My work is entirely location independent (Mac + internet + good coffee = office), and I finish before lunch on most days. Lunch is typically the amazing local street food they have in Saigon, Bangkok and many of the other places I’ve lived and traveled. After lunch, I’ll typically do meditation, message friends and set up plans to meet, and then go swimming or to the gym. At night I’ll meet up with friends, go to the spa or read. This routine is flexible, of course. Most days, I do my work first thing in the morning, but on the day I visited the market in these photos, I headed out as soon as I woke up, without a shower or breakfast, as these local markets are much more interesting in the morning.
Wherever I am and whatever the day, I try to do “happy things” (exercise, meeting friends, spending time outdoors, meditation etc.), and avoid “unhappy things” (working too much, stress, driving in city traffic, negative people etc.).
A walk in Khlong Toei fresh market
On my first full day in Bangkok I decided to visit Khlong Toei market, the largest fresh market in the city. Visiting local markets has always been one of my favorite things to do when I travel, and a long morning walk around this massive market seemed like a great way to get some exercise, and hopefully take some great photos for this blog. (Since starting this blog, I’ve found that I enjoy photography even more knowing I have a place to share any good shots I come up with.)
Continue reading “A visit to a Bangkok fresh market (a photo essay)”
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