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Why I'm leaving Bangkok....

I almost ignored an old lady’s request for help the other day. I like to think of myself as an empathetic person but this incident has made me ponder the person I’ve become in this place.

When you live in a city like Bangkok, you learn to tune-out. If you allowed your ears to hear every barking street dog, every motorbike revving its engine, every sky train scraping along the metal tracks…if you allowed your eyes to see every child existing in squalor, every blind beggar walking down the street holding a bucket for donations, every mangy rat running through the morning market…if you allowed your nose to smell every putrid sewerage pipe, every toxic plume of car exhaust, every pile of roadside rotting rubbish…your sanity would suffer.

So you create a bubble of numbness for yourself and hope nothing pops it as you step out onto the hectic streets. You let the ugliness of the city become a blurry fuzz that you can walk through, or past, without feeling too sad. You let the overwhelming noi…

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