Friday, June 22, 2012

Love Hate Relationship with Bangkok

I have been in Thailand for about a week and a half now, but to be honest it has felt like a lot longer than that.  I think because in New Zealand my pace of doing things is much slower than the pace we keep here.  I arrived in Bangkok around 8 in the evening and checked into my hotel without much difficulty.  I was pretty tired from my 15 hours of flying so I set my alarm for when I needed to meet Caitlin and went to bed.  My alarm went off at 2 am and I went searching for Caitlin.  I found her in the lobby - it was really great to see someone from home.  She was wide awake from traveling, I had gotten a good six hours of sleep, and it appeared that Bangkok never slept so we went for a walk to find some beers and some food.  I believe we found both along with an impromptu dance party in the middle of the street.  It was pretty cool but we were winding down a bit so we went to bed.  The next day we woke up pretty early and the plan was to go to the Grand Palace.  We ended up talking to this guy on the street who told us the Grand Palace was closed until the afternoon.  He called up a tuk tuk and sent us to other sites that were supposedly open in the morning.  Now anyone who has been to Thailand will be laughing at this point because we fell for the classic scam that the guidebooks warn you about.  The local people will tell you that whatever you are going to is closed and send you on a tuk tuk ride.  The tuk tuk started to take us to some sites but then took us to some tailors, a travel agency, and a gem shop.  He takes tourists there and in exchange gets coupons for gasoline.  So we had to go into the tailors and gem shops and pretend we wanted to buy or he wouldn't get his coupons.  We played along but were a bit annoyed that we had wasted our morning.  Riding around in the city was pretty fun though.  In the afternoon we went to the grand palace, which was really beautiful but since we had wasted our morning we were tired and now it was the hottest part of the day.  So after 1 day in Bangkok we decided it was time to book our train ticket south.  Now don't get me wrong - I really love Bangkok.  I keep calling it a love/hate relationship.  I love the cheap, delicious, and sometimes spicy food (Caitlin and I have both had a situation where liquid was coming from our eyes because of accidentally chewing or swallowing a pepper).  I love the people (that are not trying to scam you) who are warm and helpful.  I love seeing a different culture from my own.  I love the spraying devices for your nether regions that are in every bathroom.  I love the fresh fruit and fresh fruit smoothies.  I love the $6 massages.   I love the sun and the heat.  I hate the people who are always yelling at us to buy something or take a ride with them.  I hate being sweaty all the time.  I hate trying to figure out when someone is trying to scam us or trying to help us.  So the next day in Bangkok we booked a train ticket for later that evening and did a little more exploring around the city.  We took a river ride and explored some markets, then picked up our stuff and went to the train station.  More about Thailand as soon as I can make myself sit down and write another post - much love!!
Caitlin and I in the tuk tuk

at the Grand Palace

At the Grand Palace

At the Grand Palace

This was in a bar - I thought it was a funny thing to have in a bar

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