Friday, January 02, 2009

Asia Adventures - Post 6 (Bangkok)

I have a fear of heights. Normally I can control myself when in an airplane, rollercoaster, or tall building by telling myself it has been engineered and many safety factors have been applied. Well my confidence erodes fast when the structure is really old or built to a 3rd world country’s standards. I know…when did I become such a pussy?

Exhibit A: the ancient temple of Wat Arun. The stairs were built at an 70-80 degree incline, so climbing them was more like a ladder than a staircase. Now imagine me looking down this shear drop where you could easily tumble over and fall to your death.

Exhibit B: the “IT” nightspot Vertigo. The bar/restaurant was located on the roof of a 70 story building. Okay let me clarify, I figured this bar would be like the Signature room in the Hancock building (inside with glass walls). Oh hell no. Here you exited the elevator and climbed up an exterior staircase pressed up against the outside of the building. Did I mention the waist high (if that) handrail that is supposed to prevent you from falling over the edge! Once you practically scaled the side of the building, you were on the roof….not enclosed…not protected…not sane! Yeah you were literally dining and drinking on the roof of this building among the various antenna and plane warning lights. It was so gusty, that I could see the antennas swinging violently and it made me think “wait those are made of metal and adhered to the building, I am not as sturdy and certainly not attached by any means to this surface, ergo I will soon be blown off to my death!” Around the perimeter were waist high glass panels so it looked like you could mistakenly just walk off the side of the building…YIPPEE! People were actually leaning their chairs up against the glass barrier and if I were not already frozen in sheer panic, I would have rushed over and restrained them. I had to take several “bathroom breaks” where I would sit for ten minutes in the safe enclosed building interior stall (with no windows) and wipe the cold sweat from my body. In the end, it had a great view of Bangkok, the rest of the gang had fun, I didn’t die, blah blah blah.


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