Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thailand should take over India - or at least lend us their king for sometime

In the last month I have visited Bangkok in Thailand and then Udaipur in India. This is little rant - I enjoyed both trips but was amazed by the huge different in cleanliness and infrastructure support in the two countries. 


Bangkok roads - Photo from here
When people grumbled about things in India – lack of decent infrastructure, corruption, and trash all over the place – I’d tell them to stop grumbling and find ways to fix it. This was before I visited Bangkok.
My first impression of Bangkok as I drove from the airport to my hotel was of pleasant surprise. We started off on a really nice six lane highway, the road from Bangalore airport is similar so I did not pay much attention but when the ‘nice’ road continued for miles I started to pay attention. It was weird in a way to see houses and flats that looked like Indian homes besides a road that looked like it belonged to America.
Once in the city we travelled extensively using the skyrail (metro) and the river boats. They were frequent, clean and on time. From the hotel terrace we could see bad traffic during the heavy commute hours but they moved on decent well-constructed highways.
Junk on the terrace of the much visited
Udaipur Palace. Something tourist see daily.
The streets are way dirtier than this.
During our visit we also noticed how clean the streets were, there were many trash cans and people did not throw rubbish all over the place. Alleyways and backstreets were remarkably clean.  The food with the roadside vendors looked clean and appetizing (well besides some fried worms – they were all clean though).
The reason I rant on is because I am a little pissed with the state of affairs now that I have seen Bangkok. Bangkok is not a rich state. It is not an IT hub or an economy much talked about. It, like India, is young in a way – Siam had become Thailand, and was still unstable since the change from Absolute Monarchy to Constitutional Monarchy in 1932” However, it does have something done right and a lot of it seems to be due to a good King. Most people there worship him and I would too. He has done something for the country. So while I agree we should do something besides grumble when we are disappointed by things, I must say getting a dictator or King of some sorts might get this country somewhere. Electing politicians that focus on using their four years to amass all the money they can is not getting us anywhere for sure.


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