The Sounds of Silence

A couple of postings ago, I mentioned that the area of Bangkok I live in is one of the so-called “entertainment districts”. The music blaring from the bars, the restaurant touts, and the inviting ladies lining the sidewalks can make an evening stroll a disorienting experience, especially for a first time visitor.

Covid-19 has changed all this. The first indication I had of what is in store for my depraved neighborhood came when I was lugging another load of groceries home and noticed some signs on the windows of a bar.

In the two weeks since, it is like a neutron bomb has gone off over the Soi, leaving only deserted buildings. The traffic has thinned out and only an occasional person can be found wandering the sidewalks. It makes one wonder how many of the businesses will be able to reopen now that there is a month-long Emergency Decree in place.

I’d be lying if I said the economic devastation is causing me any great concern. No longer do I have to run a gauntlet of ladies offering massage services on my weekly trips to Villa Market. There’s an especially annoying place a couple blocks from my apartment, impossible to avoid, where I get propositioned even when I’m on the other side of the street. You’d think that after forty or fifty no responses the women would figure out I wasn’t interested in getting pawed over. Now that they are closed, I find myself smiling as I stroll by. Savoring the moment.


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