It was about 4pm this afternoon, and I was trying to get back to Khao San Road, after my shopping spree in Pantip Plaza and nearby Pratunam Market. I managed to get a metered cab in the morning — and this was good, since as far as taxis in Bangkok go, meter is cheaper. For getting back, however, it seemed that competition was a bit more fierce: the majority of taxis around Pantip were full; and of those that were empty and that I did manage to hail, they all refused to use their meter, and instead quoted me their outrageous farang special flat fees, which I rejected. In the end, I was forced (reluctantly) to take a tuk-tuk. And when the driver said: "velly cheap, but make some stops on the way", I knew that what I'd managed to heretofore avoid in Bangkok was now inevitable — I was going to take the famous "Bangkok Scenic Route".
Anyone who's ever visited Bangkok will recognise this ever-present, oh-so-classic sentence. It's the call of the city's extremely numerous tuk-tuk drivers, who endeavour to solicit a few baht from whoever wanders their way, and who seem to have a deep-rooted belief that it is nobody's God-given right to actually walk anywhere — everyone should be getting a lift, and they should be the ones providing said lifts. Tuk-tuks also seem to genuinely believe that they know better than you "where you go": as far as they're concerned, any and every male farang, at any time of the day, has a desperate desire to be driven to see "pretty ladies" and to get "nice massage"; and as such, it is to such venues that they will endlessly offer you a ride. In Khao San Road, the tuk-tuks are at their thickest, and a swarm of flies does a worse job of buzzing and hovering — after the first few offers, they become little more than an annoying buzz in your ears.