Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Not in Kansas anymore
After a worrying episode of forgetting my arrival pass, and dropping by bag on another guys foot, I stepped out of the airport. I was suddenly blasted with the realisation of what I was actually doing, as well as the sauna-heat that is Thailand all year round (and I am in the coldest month of the year).
I was met by the guys who would take me to the airport, they were 2 young guys about 17 or 18. They were really friendly and they all seem to be interested in foreigners like me, and practicing their English. One of the guys asked me if they had ‘Kwala Bares’ in the city, to which I said no and he commented (to my surprise) on how Koala’s usually live in one tree. I told him that Koala’s were not actually bears and he just kinda laughed and didn’t understand.
As I got to the ‘resort’ I realised that I was staying in one of the more upper class places, but for $24 Australian a night I wasn’t really breaking the bank. I got a huge room with a double bed and bathroom all to myself. I tried to watch some Thai tv however the tv was stuck on one channel which was a ram eating some grass to classical music and people clapping.
I walked up the road to get some food at about 4am from the street vendors as it was about 5 times cheaper than the hotel (and even then the hotel food was about $3 a meal). The street vendors basically have mobile food stalls on the back of their scooters. I went over to one stall and she didn’t really speak a word of English, but her daughter pointed at one and managed to say ‘kin-kin’ and I assumed that was chicken so I bought it. It turned out to be Thai fish cakes with chicken, beans, chilli and rice, and it cost me only 20baht in total, which is 64 cents!! I gave her another 20baht tip and she was really happy. I guess money means a lot in a country like this!
Walking along the street I realised how different everything was here. The long winding and confusing roads, indecipherable writing, hardly anyone speaking good English, stray dogs, poorly constructed houses, crazy wires everywhere, second rate plumbing and electricity, everything is just a little bit old and downgraded, it really makes me appreciate how nice all the things are we have in western countries!
|I think the safety inspector had the day off|
The people are what matter though, they seem to have a natural carefree nature, they are hospitable and respectful (but maybe because I have money), and on the most part just really friendly.
Now that I am travelling I have also decided to develop my own morning routine, for vitality and happiness. Half an hour of meditation, followed by some basic yoga, a (possibly fruit) breakfast, and some reading of the Dalai Lama if I have time. Then I will pack my things ready for the days exploring and leave.
Day 1: Total Chaos
So as much as I might of thought I was prepared to travel around Bangkok on my own, I was completely mistaken. As soon as I get out of the hotel about 4 taxi drivers try and offer me some discount to drive around the city. At first I was trying to be nice but I soon learned a swift ‘no’ shuts them up.
|Kho San Road area|
Taking a taxi all the way to the city proved to be further than I thought, but I guess i’m lucky that its Thailand cause a half hour taxi ride only cost me about $10 au. I told the taxi driver to go to the only place that I could remember ‘Kho San Road’. He didn’t speak any English at all, and I tried to tell him to go back to the hotel when it started raining, but he said some shit in Thai and kept driving so I just went along with it.
Kho San Road is an amazing place, and defiantly a culture shock. There are market stalls EVERYWHERE and sooo many people trying to sell you shit, Indians trying to sell you suits (like who is going to wear a suit in a sauna?), sunglasses, watches, massages, and everything else under the sun, just cheap and shitty.
I met a group of students who wanted to interview me for a university project and asked me some questions and stuff. I got to know them and they were really nice, and I even gave them my contact details incase they ever needed to practice their English speaking. Already made some friends in Bangkok 🙂
I wandered around the streets of Bangkok for a while which are just really amazing, and then spent ages trying to get back to my hotel with another taxi driver who didn’t understand my because I lost the address.
Also I got a nice 1 hour massage for only 300 baht (about $10), and i’m gonna go out drinking with one of the guys who works at the hotel i’m staying at.
I love Bangkok!