On the 11th of September 2016 we interviewed Sukanya Ruanson near the Old Customs House. We asked to hear her memories of what Bang Rak was like when she was young and her views on plans for change there. Sukanya was born in 1953. She moved to Bang Rak at the age of eighteen or nineteen after marrying a marine police officer who lived there. She grew up in a Buddhist community and has many fond memories of the place and its people. She likes photography, sewing, exercising in Lumphini Park and telling stories about her nephew.
Here are some of Sukanya’s memories and thoughts on Bang Rak:
“It used to be all wooden houses … over by the spa near the French Embassy there used to be two-story buildings … there were trees and a small beauty salon … No buildings like what you see now … The houses were old, made of wood or sheet metal … short little things … walk two to three steps up the stairs and you have reached the house … Before the environment and people here were all good. We stayed together in a group … did activities together … Things like that don’t happen anymore … everyone is on his own … In the old days police boats would bring in baskets of fish and leave them on the pier for anyone to eat … Life was easy … the air was good, no one stole … There was no such word as hot for anyone who lived alongside the river … no need for air conditioners in the past.”