Well I finally did it.
I finally went outside wearing a face mask…I finally feel like a true Bangkokian (I don’t know if Bangkokian is an actual word to describe people who live in Bangkok but I’m claiming it!).
Make a note of the date and we’ll all have an anniversary celebration next year because I never thought I would ever wear one…ever.
I felt myself giving into the idea of wearing one about a week ago when I read reports of the air quality in Bangkok. To put it in layman’s terms the air here is shit, it’s about as healthy as a two Big Mac’s in leather jackets at the beach (look, I made it clear in previous posts that I am not very good at writing synonym’s…I’m not even that great at writing the actual word ‘synonym’ as I just had to check the spelling for it on Google!)
The air has been so bad some days that I could feel my eyes itching and my throat begin to swell. I also had the rather odd experience of my entire body feeling dry while sweat poured out of my neck – I just had a sweaty neck and nothing else – attractive and weird (I still havent lost my sarcasm!)
So I decided to take the plunge.
A lot of Thai people wear them, it’s an extremely common sight and more so recently, so I didn’t feel too self-conscious (much). I don’t know what took me so long to succumb to the inevitable. I knew going out without one was bad for my health but I still resisted – I suppose it’s like why I took so long to quit smoking – because I am cool AF!
But being so downright cool and enigmatic means that once I put on the face mask I made the whole thing look incredibly fashionable – it’s as if I was born with it on, look!
Look at my lovely, calming blue eyes…aren’t they hypnotic?!
I also took a photograph of my profile angle just to prove how well I carried this look off…
As you can see, I plumped for the 3M 9501 model as I read it is very much the mask in vogue right now and is the model all the cool kids of Bangkok are wearing.
I kind of look a bit menacing with the mask and cap, almost like I’m about to start a riot or do something mental like knock over a small glass and shout ‘I am going to kick someones shins really hard now!’
The first time I remember seeing anyone wear a face mask was in the late 1980’s when I saw Michael Jackson wearing one. We all thought he was a bit odd even though I will admit I was a fan in my teens…hey, I am STILL a badass, cool guy! Look at the photos above if you don’t believe me! I think that’s why I always felt it was odd to wear one, the only people I ever saw wearing them were Japanese people (without understanding why) on the TV and Michael Jackson. It’s just yet another reminder (if I needed more) that you’re not always right and you don’t know everything. When you admit to yourself that you don’t know everything that’s when you can really learn! (Gosh that sounded like something someone wise would say!)
If you’ve never worn one, here is my review – they hurt your ears and make your face sweat. Goodness knows I sweat enough but now I have to contend with even more sweat on my face! Thank you, goodnight. Review over.
But I’ll have to get used to wearing one for the foreseeable future as there seems to be no let up in the poor quality of air.
Anyway, I did a bit of research on the history of face masks and what I found out is fascinating;
Face masks were invented by Genghis Khan, the first great Khan of the Mongol Empire in 1221. He designed it in such a way so as to hide his smile. He had an absolutely wonderful smile but felt it diminished away from his fearsome reputation of destroying entire countries and civilisations. Here is a drawing (photography wasn’t invented in the 13th century) of Genghis and you get just a hint of that hollywood smile…
So thank you for reading about the fascinating subject of the time I wore a face mask for the first time.
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