In Hong Kong, where the air smells of fermenting tofu and the ever reaching skyscrapers brood over narrow streets, the tradition of the street market is still being upheld in this fast paced, fast modernizing city.
“Do the penguins know we’re here?” asks the little girl.
“Yes, they do,” replies Dan, our tour guide and penguin expert. “But because we’re looking at them through such a small hole in the wall, the penguins can only see very little of us and so they think that we’re smaller than them and not a threat”.
I’m either going to get mugged here or invited to dinner, I thought as the guy grabbed my arm and pulled me down the narrow market alley. It turned out to be neither, but his intentions were friendly.
Along the banks of the Chao Phraya river lay parts of Bangkok rarely visited by outsiders. This the Bangkok, the Siam, of yesteryear. A place of narrow alleyways quiet during the heat of day but full of life, noise and barbeque smoke at night. It’s a contradiction to much of the ever modernising city where skyscrapers and shopping malls multiply by the day.