Bangkok, every year, becomes more cyberpunk.
Not just the image of cyberpunk, but the entire cyberpunk theme: high technology mixed with the grime of everyday life. Cyberpunk is often highlighting the difference between the haves and the have-not, where advanced technology is enjoyed by those who can afford it, and the have-nots struggle to achieve that same level of comfort making do with whatever they have.
Asia is full of the cyberpunk theme. There is a very stark contrast between people who work for one of the many corporations here and everyone else. Tall, technological buildings, like those you see in Tokyo are here as well. Buildings shine with animated lights, giant TV displays that line an entire building, glass and tech gives Bangkok a very futuristic feel. And yet the mechanisms that keep the city gleaming is just a little away, just a little out of view: concrete infrastructure turned grey from polluted air -- acid rain, smog -- and neglect. People of all sorts intermingle at the street level: the office worker, the construction worker, the student, the employer, the mechanic. Some dress nice and sharp, some in worn, unwashed clothes, but all of them have some technology with them.
Cell phones and smartphones are the easiest to point out because everyone has them. But walking around the city one notices the street vendors with smoke filled kiosks selling all kinds of food and electronics are connected to the Internet with Apple iPads and Samsung tablets. Tablets dangle on the power cables of the kiosk or a vendor holds an iPad while sitting on a plastic stool. People walk by wearing cosplay animal ears with bluetooth devices on their real ears, lighted headphones, even earbuds glowing with an LED light. Others zoom past on hoverboard/Segway-like devices.
Cosplay culture from Japan has spread here too. The younger generation dress with a fashion that resembles something from an anime. It's like walking in a real life Akira or Ghost-in-the-Shell world -- a Blade Runner city without the lighted umbrellas.
The Internet-Of-Things (IOT) is very much present here too. Obvious are the security cameras mounted on the city utility poles, but increasingly more and more boxes with antennae's are becoming noticeable. More and more things are becoming wirelessly connected. No idea what things, but those boxes are there for a reason. But the IOT is only present in places where classes of people intermix: at mass transport, at the commercial shopping areas, at the business districts. And little-by-little people are wearing the fashion of tech: the smartwatch, smart-headphones, smart-jacket.
It's small now, but it's increasing. Bangkok is becoming more cyberpunk.
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