That time I went to Bangkok
What a place. It's a bizarre and bustling city. I am loving it.
I felt like I copped out a wee bit taking a taxi to the hostel but I did it so whatever. Sue me! I had a grin on my face the whole journey into the city. The billboards and advertising here are just ridiculously funny. One of my favourite things I've seen so far is about 4-5 people dancing in the middle of Khao San Road, promoting a club, wearing bright orange t-shirts that read, "WE DO NOT CHECK ID CARD". Spot-on marketing tactic. You know in retrospect, do any of the bars here check ID? Pretty sure they don't. It must be a GREAT place for 13-year-olds though.
My taxi driver gave up trying to find my hostel so he dropped me off on another street. I decided to ask someone for directions. A McDonald's employee drew me an awesome map. It included buildings and landmarks. The hostel ended up being a 2 minute walk away.
I couldn't check-in at this point so I hit the streets of Bangkok. I was un-showered, had terrible morning breath, not wearing a lick of makeup (which I hate to admit- is a super big deal for me. Conquering fears), and I was wearing my heaviest clothing. It was at this moment I realized traveling alone has it's perks. I was immediately pouring buckets of sweat. I was going to visit the temples but I felt I was too dirty it would just be disrespectful. I'll go back tomorrow. I followed a group of monks for awhile because I heard they know where the party is. I ended up at an adorable area near the port.
Something that I've found very refreshing are the people here. Bangkok is a super touristy destination and many people have businesses geared towards the tourism industry. For some reason I was expecting to be berated a bit more. I thought people would be a bit more intrusive (tuk tuk drivers are an exception). Don't get me wrong, people are constantly trying to sell you things, but I've found smiling and saying "No thank you", makes them stop pretty much immediately. When walking down the very narrow sidewalks filled with street food and material-goods, people usually keep to themselves. I think I had envisioned a similar vibe to Jamaica. It was ridiculous how much we were verbally harassed there. We had a dude drive up next to us, roll down his window, and ask us if we'd like to buy weed whilst going 60km/hr on a winding jungle road. Thanks but no thanks guy.
One of the nicest things that happened to me was when I was given two oranges from these security men yesterday. My first thought was, "WHAT DO I LOOK LIKE? A CHARITY CASE?" I didn't throw it on the ground. Instead, I decided there are other people who need this more than me so I gave them to two other people. I hope they ate them / didn't feel like charity cases.
One of the sweetest things I've seen was a very thin man feeding a watermelon to a squirrel.
Also an infant purchasing a snack from a 7/11 (he probably just learned how to walk). I don't know where his parents were though so maybe it wasn't that sweet.
One of the funniest things I've experienced is spontaneously getting a haircut. It was my first day, I was so dirty (felt so sorry for making this woman touch me) and she chopped a lot off. The funny part is when she blow-dried it. I was trying to stay awake and not laugh at the same time. The end result was very similar to this. It was funny but also not, ya know?
One of the most outrageous things I've seen was a family of four riding on one motorbike.
One of the best stories I have is from a night out of Khoa San Road. The hostel crew and I were hitting up the clubs, drinking buckets, and once the bars closed, had a dance party on the street. An Aussie friend tapped me and said, "This is so funny, this guy was my flight attendant on the way here." I looked over and realized HE WAS MY FLIGHT ATTENDANT TOO! He was with two other flight attendants that I recognized as well. The best part was, we were telling them how shitty that airline is and how outraged we were about not getting food on the flight. They were dying laughing. They thought it was HILARIOUS.
One of the worst things that has happened to me is waking up with my eyes swollen shut (slight exaggeration). It looks like I had been beaten with a bat. Why? I don't know. But I do know this happened to me before after my flight to New Zealand. Also, whenever I get into a hot climate for the first time in awhile I get a heat rash. So in other words, I am the MOST attractive person right now.
PS: I'm better now (don't freak out mom)
Bangkok has been great but a lot of partying has been had. I was hoping for a bit of a detox. In time...
I'll be taking a 13 hr train ride up to Chiang Mai on Saturday. Should be good fun.