There was blast of air conditioning as the automatic doors opened. Bras and underwear and jeans and t-shirts and shoes and bags of all shapes and sizes and colors were on display, hanging from every surface that would allow it. The sea of commercialism was drowning us. An elevator rescued for a brief moment, but brought us to only more danger: the electronics.
One kiosk after another had a computer playing a different music video, creating a jumbled mess of noise that could have been prevented with a little coordination and communication. I braved the electronics looking at the variety of televisions, and computers, and phones, and cameras, and accessories for all of these devices. I continued walking. The sights just made this air conditioned hallucination more peculiar. There were small rooms dedicated for private arcade game playing. These games were creating the same jumbled mess as the array of music videos. My thought process went from intrigue to confusion in a very small amount of time.
“I find life back home quite sterile and boring,” Malcom confides in me during a brief conversation outside one of the classrooms. He continues “you can’t find anyone balancing on bamboo shoot ladders there. They tend to lead safe lives”
“My computer, my phone, and money are the three keys to happiness.” One of the responses by one of my most intelligent students to an impromptu assignment. Malcom wants dirt and archaic and risk. Sun wants security and innovation. What is a healthy combination of the two?
The forged world of technology and commercialism felt so contrasted to that of the raw, dirty, genuine world outside those sleek glass doors. The dried sweat on my forehead reminded me of the actuality of life outside this Westernized imposter.
Within a couple minutes of the overstimulation of this technological jungle I find myself missing the beauty and risk of simplicity. I wonder if there will be day when these intermittent hallucinations of advancement and technology become the reality here in Suphan Buri.