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Emsphere and monkhood

It’s getting harder to trick Pangzi to go shopping, so I must find a way for him to go Emsphere with me willingly when we visit Bangkok.

“Daddy, what shall we do today?” he asked excitedly as we arrived.

“Oh, we’re going to a temple. They say the best way to fix a naughty boy is to turn him into a monk,” I lied.

“But I don’t want to become a monk,” Pangzi protested. “I promised to marry my classmate the minute I grow up!”

What?!!

I decided to return to this topic later. The show must go on.

“Either that or you follow me to Emsphere. I can reconsider the monk thing.”

“What sphere?” he blurted.

“Emsphere is the latest megamall to land at Sukhumvit,” I explained. “Heard there’s everything from designer wear to fabulous eateries.”

“Shoppi… okay, anything but temples.”

“For now. We still have a few days to go in Bangkok so we’ll see about that.”

That was an easy trick. Off we went to Emsphere, located in between two BTS stations. Nearby we could see Emporium and Emquartier, also owned by the same shopping empire.

It’s been the talk of the town since its opening late last year – the megamall to beat all megamalls. Every travel influencer on social media I know recommends it (but then I don’t follow a lot of travel influencers).

What surprised me was not how spectacularly the shops were renovated, or how mouth watering the food was on the entire first floor.

Emsphere was… something else.

“Daddy, why didn’t you tell me we were coming to an art gallery!”

“Oh, I didn’t know either. What a scam. Where’s my megamall?”

There were giant sculptures on almost every floor, some of which would fit perfectly in a contemporary art museum.

In fact, Emsphere was so generously spaced out that it really felt like walking from hall to hall, rather than shop to shop.

In the middle of nowhere an actual art gallery popped up. Pangzi spent the most time there. It seemed he enjoyed taking all the selfies among the exhibits for his Gram.

I, on the other hand, went away empty handed. So much for shopping.

Actually, I did buy something I had not seen for a while – my long lost Nayuki. Apparently it went by a new name: Naixue. Whatever its name now, it tasted just as good.

At least this wasn’t a completely wasted trip.

As we made our exit, I came back to the monk thing.

“Do you know in Thailand, all men are expected to go through monkhood at some point. It doesn’t need to be forever – just a week or two will do. So you can still get married and have kids after that,” I said.

“Interesting culture,” Pangzi replied. “But daddy, I think you’re more suited to be a monk. You’re going to lose your hair soon anyway.”

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