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Digital Modelling for Urban Design by Brian McGrath

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Chapter 6

Desire

Commuters head to the centre of Bangkok on the San Saeb Canal ferry.

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The early call to prayer drifts with the morning fog on the Saen Saeb Canal. A taxi boat's engine idles for a few moments while picking up commuting passengers. As the boat takes off, its wake splashes into the tiny lanes which wind to the mosque. Across the canal, the monks from Wat Pathum Wanaram make their morning rounds through the Buddhist monastery community that lines the small soi - or alley - that connects the canal to the broad Rama I Road. People sit quietly meditating on the cool floor of the temple. The first Skytrain of the morning crosses the canal, a slowly moving arch of light turns over Pathumwan Intersection before pulling into Siam Central Station. The sound of train wheels on a steel track barely filters through the thick temple walls. Traffic is stopped at Pathumwan Intersection for a moment to allow Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to leave Sra Pathum Palace to perform her Royal duties.

The icemakers on the narrow Soi Kasemsan 1 have ground and bagged the blocks of ice which have been stored in the ground floor of the shop house all night, cooling the workers in their dormitory above. As they have for four decades, they load their bicycle samlors to deliver crushed ice for cool refreshment to the vendors diagonally across in the shopping centre Siam Square. The snack vendors ...

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