It's funny how listening to a familiar song can take you back to a place that is completely removed from where you currently stand.
I arrived in Bangkok at night (again) and joined an exceptional family that I met at Railay Beach in their cab to a hotel in Bangkok as I forgot to make a reservation.
As the taxi pulled up at The Atlanta, I couldn't help but notice the large sign above the door 'NO SEX TOURISTS WELCOME', which was a relief.. It seems that everywhere you turn in this city you are forced to look at sleazy, fat old men holding hands with beautiful young Thai girls. At times the affection between the two can be so perverse it makes your stomach churn and brings new meaning to the expression Over The Top.
The Atlanta is a budget hotel built in 1952, retaining it's gorgeous art deco charm by the fact it has not been renovated since inception. The foyer is amazing and worth a visit next time you're in Bangkok. With black and white tiles, a decorative chandelier and coloured in hues of red and maroon, it is a fantastic reception into Bangkok.
I was shown to my room and led up a grand circular staircase and I wondered how I would ever leave the hotel when I could sit and enjoy the internal goings on for hours.
The Atlanta has provided a home for many writers and creatives and has a writing room and a library stocked with all the titles of the compositions written within it's walls.
Sleep beckoned and on waking I went for a swim in the hotel's pool, built in the 50's the Atlanta was the first hotel in Bangkok to have a pool. It feels like the set of a Monroe movie and if you close your eyes you can imagine Gregory Peck or Marlon Brando swimming up next to you.
After a luxurious swim I went on an exploritry mission and wandered to the sky train, destination unknown for adventures sake.
I got off a couple of stops later and went for a cruise on a passenger ferry down a small estuary to the end of the line, where I got off and went back the way I came, not really that adventurous.
In the afternoon I went to the Grand Palace which I though a peculiar name, aren't all palaces meant to be grand? On arrival I understood, the Palace is more than your average mansion. Decorated with gold and colourful glass mosaics, it is exquisite.
Built in 1782, it is home not only to the throne but also some temples and state offices. Immediately I pulled my camera out and wondered how I would be able to capture it in it's entirety. Like Angkor, the Palace photographs well but it's beauty is hard to fully film because everywhere you look there is something, culminating with a twisted skyline woven in wonder.
On my way back to the hotel I noticed a peculiar thing, how I missed it in the morning I know not.
I discovered an unusual number of people were wearing yellow t-shirts. Was the coup 2 weeks prior the yellow revolution? Suddenly the lyrics to Coldplay's most famous some came into my mind and when I looked up I was swimming in a sea of yellow.
The more I looked, the more I noticed and soon I discovered there were more yellow shirts than I could count. Yellow flags adorned buildings, shops seemed to be crammed to bursting point with yellow things. Girls were carrying yellow handbags and some people were even wearing yellow pant suits.
How did I not notice this earlier? Was I going mad? Did I have an unusual form of jaundice effecting the eyes? Was this the yellow peril that Australians used to be afraid of? Unanswerable questions were arising quicker than I could think of rational solutions.
I decided to ask someone
The young girl I spoke to looked confused and mentioned that it was because the King had his birthday coming up and the people wanted to tell him happy birthday by wearing the shirt, definitely plausible.
Later when I quizzed someone else I was told that Monday is yellow shirt day, it is a part of a twelve month celebration for the King's 60 year anniversary of being on throne. Apparently if I stuck around until Friday I would have witnessed another 6 million people wearing blue shirts for the Queen.