Bangkok mailboxes reveal Bangkok-centrism

Every time I see a mailbox around Bangkok I chuckle to myself. At first, I thought that there was nothing special about the rectangular red boxes that are used by Thailand’s Postal service. Upon closer inspection I found a rather comical insight to the way Bangkokians view themselves in relation to the world.

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And there it is plain as can be, Thais really believe the capital to be the center of the universe. In America, the mail slots are typically labeled “stamped” and “metered,” referring to the separation of stamped mail and metered mail, but in Bangkok the separation of “Bangkok” and everywhere else (“other places”) is more important.

Perhaps Bangkok really is the center of the Thai universe though. The saying “All roads lead to Rome” was true of the Roman Empire and “All roads lead to Bangkok” could also be said of Thailand. Bangkok is the largest city in the country by far and is also the political, economic and social center of Thailand. It is the hub of the country and populated by approximately 7 million people. Practically everything can be found or done in Bangkok.

Bangkokians know the importance of their own city and as the mailboxes reflect, they truly believe that Bangkok is the center of the Thai universe. When all is considered the Bangkokians are probably right, there really are only two categories “Bangkok” and “other places.” There is no other place on Earth like Bangkok and the world really couldn’t handle two Bangkok’s anyways. Perhaps that is why despite all of Bangkok’s vices you really can’t help but love the City of Angels in the Land of Smiles. 

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