Experiencing Bangkok for the first time was intense. What made it intense weren’t the people, the interesting smells or the massive areas of shopping, but the movie, The Hangover 2. What I like about this observation is the fact that we dealt with a chapter that’s very similar to my experience.
As an assignment, each room was required to read a chapter out of the assigned text and teach it to the group. Doing so, we all would gain additional knowledge about a particular section in the book, ask questions to each other about the reading and discuss the overall concepts or emotions that were experienced when reading. Kiara and I discussed a chapter titled “The Bridge to Yesterday”. In this chapter the narrator talks about an important bridge that’s from his native land, which he learned about through watching a film. The film represents the bridge as a fictional piece of the story, but he later gets the opportunity to go and visit the bridge and learn about the history it holds. Like the narrator, I too had my own thoughts about a place that I had never been strictly because of a movie.
Because of Hangover Two, I had a lot of notions about Bangkok. I thought it would be extremely dirty and filled with craziness polar opposite of the city life in the US. However, I now know that those ideas were false. Yes partying in Bangkok isn’t hard, but neither is it in any big city. Yes being pick-pocketed is something to be concerned about, but I would hold my purse very close to me during rush hour in New York City as well. The point that’s being made is a lot of learning comes from experiencing a place first hand. While it’s easy to say that opinions shouldn’t come from the media when clearly most media messages are misrepresentative, we all are guilty of doing so. I do realize that I am extremely blessed to have this opportunity and not many people will get the chance to experience places that they see on TV; however it’s still just as important to be willing to learn outside of popular media and be open to being corrected. Lesson learned.