Element's Michaël Mackrodt just returned from Bangkok, Thailand, where he spent a couple of weeks on a solo filming trip with the now resident filmer Patrick Wallner. We asked him a couple of questions about the trip and his general impressions on Thailand, beginning with the obvious one: Why Thailand?
"We filmed this little "fishing lines" clip in NYC beginning of the summer and we wanted to do the same kind of mission again. As I've been to Bangkok couple of times before, and Patrick lives there now for a year, I knew that we could film some skating together. So I just went there to escape the cold and to do something productive."
Bangkok might not be the first place you think about when you're setting up a skate trip, but apparently it should be on the list. The spots are scattered around, but there is also great potential for cruising and hitting little quirky things in the true East Coast tradition, but with out that weather, and in full RGB. Michi's talking about a ton of little spots that always have a perfect ledge and a flat bar for some reason, great for meeting up and a having a chilled session. No hammers- "which is a nice approach, I think!"
When asked about the peculiarities or specialties about the place, Michaël puts his thinking cap on for a second, then says: "I must say that I'm very impressed by Thai mentality. Or perhaps by the religion of Buddhism. It's really amazing how much self control Thais have. You will hardly ever see a Thai freak out. Even drunk. I've witnessed car accidents close to death where both drivers get out of their cars and you can tell they both know that neither of them caused the accident on purpose, so there is no reason to shout. More like: "We have a problem, we need to solve it somehow. Shouting won't help." But you can tell that even deep inside them, they're not angry, it's not that they just "play" it cool..they are!! Even a skater that tries a trick for ages will never freak out. It would be weak! So when you skate or get into any kind of trouble, you start to keep it down aswell. If you don't land your trick, you focus harder and don't waste your energy in throwing your board away and looking stupid. I need this mentality around me more often!"
As far as the footage goes, no one's seen it yet, not even Michi himself. He says it's small skating, small spots. Sounds like something worth seeing to me. In the meantime, have a look at his nocturnal vision of place.
Hotel 28 is under Rama VIII bridge. There is a nice skatespot where the locals meet every day right by there. l liked the way the sign reflects its red light on the old wall. Looks like a drawing and the Thai flag is just a little extra.
"Pak Klong Talat" (Market at the canal-estuary/opening) is the great night-flower-market in the old-town next to the river. Flowers in the most beautiful colours are sold and ladies spend their evenings working on binding flowers. "Late" means nothing here. Bangkok has it's own rhythm.
The streets of Chinatown are pretty overcrowded during the day.
Late at night it's quiet and peaceful, the only creatures you're gonna meet
are some huge, fat rats!
Late at night you see how "food" looks like before cooking and how it is transported. Made me want to eat more meat!
This is the backside of some market. The shop is on the ground floor of the building, in the upper part they have their house.
The rainy season was just over. High waters with trash blocking the flow can cause serious flooding.
No money no honey. Sad but true.
These are lucky charms. You put a bill between the sticks, take it in both hands and move your forehead towards your hands and you might get lucky!
Seems like a bunch of legs are waiting for something.
Man "watching over" his shop in Chinatown.
Bangkok has a great mix of old culture and modern architecture.