Despite servicing one of the busiest and most popular areas of Bangkok for locals, tourists and expats, exiting the Skytrain system via Nana BTS station is like the walk of shame for many.
Getting off at Nana carries a bit of a social stigma in that you’re either a hooker or a John in the eyes of many and it must be avoided at all costs – even if that means getting off one station before or after and walking in the scorching daytime heat to your destination that sits within a stone’s throw from what would be the most logical option to avoid being labelled.
Whispering housewives, smirking students, disgusted grandmothers all have their eyes locked on those stood at the doors waiting to disembark judging them. Or so the story goes.
I personally don’t believe that is the case any more.
10 years ago maybe but now the vast majority of commuters on the BTS have their nose in a phone and couldn’t tell you what the person sat or stood next to them looks like let alone care who is getting off where with who.
Back in the day passengers who weren’t reading comic books would sit looking around doing their nosy and would definitely be convincing themselves that the young smartly dressed woman exiting the train would be counting cracks on the ceiling of a short time hotel on Soi 4 within the hour.
She couldn’t possibly be going to work in one of the thousands of businesses, big and small, in the area. Oh, no, she was a prozzie for sure. How could she not be getting off at Nana at 8.30am?
A far as I can tell the judging of those getting off at Nana these days isn’t by Thais as it once was but other foreigners.
What those casting judgement don’t seem to grasp is that little Lek from Nakon Nowhere doesn’t give a shit what the farrang thinks nor does Barry from Birmingham who is here for two weeks with Singha and strumpets the only things on his mind.
Neither care what foreigners think of them. Lek might if she feels judged by her own but that will quickly fade as she’s already convinced herself that parting her pins for cash to take care of her family is the right thing to do and in the next life she will be rewarded for her efforts.
The only time the judging of others is likely to happen is away from Nana when Stefan from Sweden and Bee from Buriram are getting all “romantic” on a packed train during rush hour as they head down the line after a few hours shopping at MBK.
That is when you see looks from all around, Thais and foreigners alike.
But drop the pair of them on a packed train anywhere in the world at 6pm and their fawning and loud conversation in broken English would draw looks.
IMO, nobody in 2018 could care less if you are getting off at Nana or National Stadium – they are too consumed with their own lives in their own little bubbles.
And a final thought, if you think people are going to judge you using Nana station, you are likely one of those people yourself.