5:30 pm

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Reeling from the devastation of a consecutive failure to eat the Pratunam braised pork rice, I am unsure of what I should do next. A row of tuktuks lined up at the side of the road catch my eye. It's my fourth time in Bangkok but I have yet to take one of these so I figure, what better time than now?

I haggle halfheartedly (so bad at this stuff) with the driver and he agrees readily to my quoted fare.

I climb unglamorously onto the seating area of the scooter and we're off. It's a bumpy ride, and one that exposes you to the sounds and smells of notorious Bangkok traffic. Still, as we speed along a highway, I find myself enjoying the rush of the wind in my face.

I strike up a conversation with the tuktuk driver, Pong, who's Laotian but came to Bangkok at the age of 13 in search of work. After working a series of random jobs he found himself driving a tuktuk, and he's been doing this for 15 years since. When he drops me off at my destination he asks if he can come by to pick me up again when I'm done, and I readily agree.

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