Old Town Bangkok: The Bangkokian Museum

Sometimes you stumble upon unexpected things that really are very pleasant.  I guess this is what you call “Serendity.”  It reminds me of the movie by that name… Anyways,  as it happens upon our “walk” around Old Town Bangkok, we passed by an unconspicuous house with a sign above saying “Bangkokian Museum.”  We had never heard of this place and never intended to visit it, but since we were already passing by we thought, “why not?”  We weren’t in a rush to go anywhere, so lets just explore it.

And so we went in.  To our surprise, this house comprised of a fairly large compound comprising of three houses and a row of shop houses on the side.  Two of the houses and the row of shop houses had been turned into a museum by the owner (72years old) who is now residing in one of the houses.  It was like we went back in time. 

The garden was green with an old wooden gate. The houses were built of wood and in a style that reflected the western influence during the 1930’s. It somehow reminded me of the houses in Kobe, Japan that were very much influence by foreigners living there. There were large patios and open windows that allowed the air to flow through the house. As we walked around, a cool breeze flowed through. Nature’s air conditioning.

A volunteer guide greets us at the entrance.  He looks like he should be out clubbing, with his fancy hairdo, tight jeans and a fancy jacket.  He must be in his early twenties.  Looks though can be deceiving.  He is knowledgeable in history and takes us around the house, showing us this and that and telling us the story behind each item.  Its fascinating.

Old pianos, chairs, old books and personal belongings made me wonder about these houses’s former owners.  It belonged to a doctor Francis, originally from India and a Thai lady.  I see an old weigh scale like I’ve never seen one before.  The dial is written backwards and can only be read in the mirror attached to it.  This is to allow those standing on top of the scale to see their weight.  Amazing.

There is cupboard filled with surgical equipment.  Fascinating.

Old leather bound notebooks still in excellent condition remain and handwritings of his children learning english are on display.  The calligraphy back then was so beautiful, so perfect, I wonder what happened to my handwriting.  With the advent of the computer, I write less and less and my handwriting gets worse and worst. 

And so we spend a good hour wandering around the houses.  Exploring and looking at the objects.  They’re normal everyday objects, but it is reflective of the life back then.  While leaving,  I wonder what people almost a century from now will think about the things we use today….. One day, we too will be just history.  (http://www.bmalocalmuseum.com/)

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