Day 8: Monday, 2 September 2013
Eighth day. I could not believe that I have been travelling alone for 8 days. I thought that I would be home by the 7th but sometimes, fate is something that we can’t control. After all, that is the beauty of impromptu travel; you never know what will happen next. It is fun and adventurous but it can also be dangerous, if common sense has gone out of your way.
I went out of the Jim Thompson House without any plan whatsoever. I walked blindly along the street until I saw MBK Mall. This trip surely brought back memories to me. In 2011, on my first backpacking trip with my friend to Bangkok, I was sitting with my friend by the roadside in front of MBK Mall. Whilst chatting, a tuktuk driver approached us, holding a folded laminated paper. I did not know what it was until he opened it and showed us his ‘catalogue’; full with local women offering massage service.
I smiled. It was a good trip back then, having a friend to accompany me. But being alone was not too bad either.
I entered the mall, passing the security screening (gosh, Bangkok is so strict. You will be scanned at every entry points into the MRT as well as shopping malls) and went into the supermarket. I bought my mum some spices (my mum is a good.. no scrap that. She is the best cook!) and walked aimlessly in the mall.
Since I have heard that MBK Mall is also famous for its trendy clothing, I went to the clothing area and bought some t-shirts for myself too. Whilst choosing the t-shirt, suddenly I heard a couple speaking in Bahasa Melayu. I approached them and asked “Orang Malaysia ke? (Are you Malaysian?)”. “Tak, Singapore. Sorang je ke? (Nope. Singaporeans. Alone?)”, the girl answered and asked me.
“Ya, sorang je. (Yes, alone)”. And their expressions said it all. They asked me if I was bored to travel alone for the past 8 days. I answered them honestly. Yes, sometimes but no, most of the times. Throughout this journey, I have met a lot of people, learnt a lot of things. I managed to look back into my life, re-evaluate the way I see and experience life.
After touring the mall, I guessed I had enough. I walked outside, to the pedestrian bridge and walked there. I looked down and saw traffic started to build up on the road. Pink taxis everywhere.
I stopped in the middle of the pedestrian bridge, stood there and looked at the view. I looked at the people walking by the roadside, cars trying to overtake in the traffic jam, tourists and travellers alike with their cameras and shopping bags. I saw groups of people, chatting, laughing, poking each other.
And there I was, in the middle of the pedestrian bridge feeling invisible in a foreign world. It made me thinking, in life, most of us tend to expose ourselves, to show that we exist, that we are part of this group or that group. We changed to suit the pack. But does it necessary? Why are we being very afraid of being judged by others?
After all, sometimes no matter what we do, we still feel invisible.
I take these pills to make me thin
I dye my hair, and cut my skin
I try everything, to make them see me
But all they see, is someone that’s not me
-Skylar Grey, Invisible