Sagat Bridge, Bangkok, Thailand

I had a dream. A vivid waking dream. It wasn’t profound. It was stupid. It happened a few days ago. In the dream, Emma and I were back in San Francisco. Only it wasn’t San Francisco. It was Thailand. Even though all the buildings and people were those of San Francisco, I was convinced we were in Thailand. Everything had a different meaning, a different purpose, a different history…

There was a bridge:

 019

Sagat Bridge.

It was named for the fictional Muay Thai kickboxer from popular video game series, Street Fighter. It was originally called the Ong Bak Span, in honour of legendary Thai actor-cum-political leader, Tony Jaa. However, his eventual downfall—precipitated by a tawdry affair with a Sailor Moon-type schoolgirl—brought shame upon the entire nation, and the populace sought to quickly shake loose any association with the disgraced leader.

During the fallout from Jaa’s ruination, a small advisory council—charged with preserving Thailand’s unique architectural nomenclature—began canvassing the Bangkok population, seeking suggestions on renaming the bridge. A sizeable minority proposed Sinatra Bridge, given its uncanny resemblance to one found in San Francisco, California (the name of which I’d forgotten) and because Sinatra had been enamoured with San Francisco. His love was such that it manifested lyrically: My Way was written as an ode to road rage following an incident on the outbound lanes of that bridge. The original title was (Get the fuck out of) My Way (you twat!).

In the end Sagat Bridge won out. This was on account of the bridge’s central load-bearing pylon developing a stress fracture in the heatwave of 1967. The fracture reminded Bangkokians of Sagat’s facial scar, famously inflicted by Ryu’s Dragon Punch, or Shoryuken.

Bombastic onomastics aside, it is strange how often my daydreams conclude with a rōmaji (Japanese written in the Latin script) translation.

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One Response to Sagat Bridge, Bangkok, Thailand

  1. Paul Wood says:

    Maybe they should have called it ‘Martin Luther King Jnr. Bridge’.

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