It was November 2012 and my 2nd or 3rd day in Bangkok after travelling throughout Europe and Malaysia. I’d just caught up with my mate Matt and within 2 days had moved into a spare room in his flat (which I moved out of in March 2013, he moved out of in October, then my girlfriend moved into In December, and I moved into shortly after) and his Brother was visiting from New Zealand.
I’ve known Matt for years, when he used to DJ a radio show before me on Boosh.FM and hosted parties under the Dubtub brand. Nowadays he was basically unemployed and painting the odd commissioned piece of street art while doing the odd sneaky piece around Bangkok. This night however he had other plans – he was going to paint an abandoned tower in Bangkok.His brother John had brought some abseiling gear with him from NZ on the yacht that was dry docked down in Phuket, so we started to test out the equipment on the roof of our 5 story shop house, with a few large bottles of Leo (Thai beer) no less. Just to make sure we knew what we were doing.The next day the boys grabbed their stuff, including climbing gear, spray paint, cameras and the like and we all jumped into taxis to the building (which they’d recon’ed earlier and set up all the climbing ropes ahead of time). Of course, Bangkok traffic being what it is, we ended up ditching the taxis half way and taking motorbikes. Bear in mind this was the second day I’d been in Thailand and I had absolutely zero clue regarding motorbike taxis, so had my first experience barrelling down sois at full speed, driving the wrong way down the street and getting lost in a foreign country.Everyone got into position to start filming, and they boys to start climbing and painting. We shot footage from the ground while the official videographer shot it from the roofline, all was going well as the guys started to climb out the window, lighting was perfect and we were going to get something great before dark hit. Then, security arrived.
In broken English and Thai they explained to us that some VIPs were coming in a motorcade and the guys had to get down straight away. Messages went back and forth on the radio and everyone started to get worried. It turns out that the issue was more that the guys were in a position that was above the VIPs and this was considered disrespectful, as opposed to any problem with them painting. The security guards even said it was ok to start painting after they passed or come back in the next morning.
So they cracked right into it, Sasha videoed from above while we shot footage of our mates from below, as the boys tried to finish it as quickly as possible.
Take the road down towards the southern bus terminal (Sai Tai Mai), on the left hand side you will see a massive abandoned building which often has buses parked outside. Its a common street art/graffiti hang out and theres always something fresh getting painted on the walls.